Research articles

Bridging Shades of Blue: Co-constructing Knowledge with the International Panel for Ocean Sustainability


The efficacy of global environmental assessments in informing and shaping ocean and coastal management is hampered by recognized gaps in global science endeavours. In order to bridge these gaps, and secure inclusive and equitable knowledge co-construction by ocean stakeholders, the International Panel for Ocean Sustainability (IPOS) is emerging. Here we present the outcomes of the “Bridging Shades of Blue Workshop” held in Spain 2023. A diverse group of Ocean knowledge holders, including policymakers, small-scale fishers, marine social scientists and ocean lawyers gathered to reflect on the key features, challenges, strategies, actors to be involved, as well as pathways to balance power for advancing an inclusive and equitable IPOS. As a result, six foundational dimensions of IPOS’s institutional identity were proposed as IPOS ID cards: 1) Diversifying Ocean Knowledge Systems, 2) Widening the Range of Methods for Ocean Knowledge Production, 3) Informing Decision-making, 4) Engaging at the Interfaces of Knowledge with Decision-making, 5) Communicating, Learning, and Sharing Knowledge, 6) Measuring Progress and Evaluating Success. We conclude by emphasizing IPOS’s potential role as a beacon for inclusive, equitable, and sustainable ocean governance.

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