This WG focuses on awareness and building capacity, especially in developing nations. Capacity for managing human activities affecting deep-ocean ecosystems is limited in terms of awareness, information, knowledge and available expertise. Depending upon the audience (from political decision-maker to the general public), geographic region and theme, needs for building capacity differ. Any form of capacity building needs to be underpinned by good scientific information and expertise, education and communication. Fundamentally, a lack of awareness of deep-ocean issues among decision makers, industry stakeholders and civil society is an impediment to generating adequate support for the protection of deep-ocean ecosystems. This can be overcome by transforming available expertise on deep-ocean ecosystems and management into easily understandable, attractive information in print, web material and targeted training seminars.
Particularly in developing countries, access to relevant data and information is a critical need, which is rarely met. Here, support from the science community to collate and share available data, information and expertise through online databases, also provided offline where appropriate, can be a highly valuable contribution to enable national authorities and regional and international organisations to take appropriate planning steps and management decisions. The information available should include the most basic information; and should be enticing and interesting to those with no previous exposure to deep-ocean issues. When building capacity in developing countries the scientific issues must from the start indicate direct links to societal needs and benefits, in order to capture decision makers’ attention. Developing countries may be the most urgently in need of such capacity because many are already targeted for deep-ocean exploitation and do not have sufficient background information to respond knowledgeably.
Technical and scientific knowledge and expertise to turn data and information into good management practices need to be strengthened for a range of audiences: early career scientists, management practitioners and regulators, civil society actors, and professionals in private sector industries affecting the deep ocean. These professionals need to be trained on the specific characteristics of deep-ocean ecosystems, climate change and human use issues facing these ecosystems, and their implications for effective and sustainable management. Online courses that cover the broad spectrum of deep-ocean stewardship and bespoke courses for key stakeholders can strengthen their capacity for protecting the deep ocean. This working group will work towards implementing the following actions:
Current Working Group Activities:
- Development of web-based lectures on the fundamentals of deep-ocean ecology and deep-ocean stewardship. Production of this “speaking textbook” series is underway and the first lectures are freely available on a dedicated DOSI/INDEEP YouTube Channel.
Planned Working Group Activities:
- Develop and hold short courses on deep-ocean stewardship for public, private and civil sector representatives.
- Develop an online video library of deep-ocean settings and organisms.
- Write a ‘Deep-Ocean Stewardship for Beginners’ publication.
- Develop and compile an on- and offline searchable bibliography of deep ocean science and projects.
- Develop a deep-ocean citizen science platform.
- Facilitate the establishment of regional centers of expertise for deep-ocean science and stewardship, targeting regions such as Africa, the southwest Pacific, and Latin America.
Want to get involved?
If you are interested in participating in the DOSI-Capacity Development working group, please contact Bronwen Currie: currie32(a)gmail.com, Kerry Sink: k.sink(a)sanbi.org.za. Maria Baker: mb11(a)noc.soton.ac.uk