Many people in the Western Indian Ocean region live from and with the ocean.
Many people in the Western Indian Ocean region live from and with the ocean. shutterstock/KucherAV

Headline: Marine Regions Forum


The Marine Regions Forum: A dialogue platform to enhance ocean action

Spurred by voluntary commitments made by Germany and the European Union in 2017, the Marine Regions Forum was established in 2019 with funding from the German Environment Agency and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund as an informal platform for dialogue to enhance and support joint learning and collaboration between multiple actors. The Marine Regions Forum brings together experts and actors from decision-making, academia, civil society, and industry to openly discuss pressing ocean issues and good practices, develop recommendations, and build collaborations for effective ocean action.

Key achievements of this new platform include the international conference Marine Regions Forum 2019. The conference, which was held in Berlin, aimed to launch this new initiative through an international, high-level, and engaging setting. In addition, the Marine Regions Forum hosts participatory workshops with diverse actors to discuss pressing ocean topics, such as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and possible pathways to build resilience.

The Marine Regions Forum builds on a conceptual framework that is grounded in knowledge-based co-creation and aims to foster participation and collaboration between science, policy, and society. It was developed by the project partners together with a Steering Group, and with the support of an international Advisory Board and renowned ocean experts. A comprehensive project report on this conceptual framing and the activities conducted during the inception phase (2017 - 2021) is available here. A peer-reviewed research article has also been published on the challenges and opportunities of collaborative processes in and across marine regions, specifically using the Marine Regions Forum as a case study.

Making regional action tangible: The Marine Regions Forum in the Western Indian Ocean region

Following its successful launch, the Marine Regions Forum is now focusing on a designated marine region to support action and transformation in ocean governance.

Through a grant provided by the Swedish Ministry of the Environment and with support of the European Commission, the Federal Government of Germany, the Government of France, and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the project partners and Steering Group are further advancing the work of the Marine Regions Forum. The focus is two-fold: i) applying a regional focus within the Western Indian Ocean to learn from experience and support transformative ocean action in the region, and ii) continue to foster exchanges between marine regions and from the regional to global level.

For more information and updates, please refer to the official website of the Marine Regions Forum.