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THE SASAKAWA GLOBAL OCEAN INSTITUTE (SGOI): A NEW INITATIVE FOR GLOBAL OCEAN CONSERVATION AT THE WORLD MARITIME UNIVERSITY (WMU)

07-07-2017 01:55 PM CET | Science & Education

Press release from: NIPPON FOUNDATION

Juvenal Shiundu, Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry,  Kitack Lim,  Mitsuyuki Unno, Arsenio Dominguez (L-R)

Juvenal Shiundu, Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, Kitack Lim, Mitsuyuki Unno, Arsenio Dominguez (L-R)

The complexity of problems facing our global marine resources has been unfortunately on the rise; pollution from all sources, the effects of climate change and coastal development are all contributing factors. This throws the sustainability of the world’s fisheries into serious doubt. And, despite a number of international bodies & initiatives meant to address these concerns, they are often independent and powerless to effect real change. This is the situation we are currently facing.

To effectively tackle the global issues affecting marine life and ecosystems, a more comprehensive and unified effort is required .

The Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute (SGOI) is set to open its doors on the ground of the World Maritime Institute (WMU) on April 2018. Initially to be staffed with three professors and a director, they will all hold doctorates & relevant track records in their respective fields of expertise. The Nippon Foundation will provide $1.2 million for the first year of operations.

SGOI aims to serve as a unique education hub providing specialized training in local, regional, global and interdisciplinary maritime policy. And, to develop comprehensive long-term global strategies for marine resource management & conservation.

Most problems in international policy fall in more than one sector; fisheries are no exception to this rule with the challenge of effective environmental policy being a clear example. Other such compounding problems include acidification of the oceans, climate change and pollution – all which need multi-sector oversight or intervention.

Lack of effective interplay between science, policymaking, law and industry also compounds the problem. Younger academics often feel stymied in their roles with even their published research often having little impact on actual policy. Similarly, neither the scientist nor the policymakers are in a position to influence industry and commercial interests. A new paradigm is required to connect scientific experts with industry and harness the expertise of academics by identifying common goals and responsibilities. And, working to provide a viable platform for these important exchanges of ideas, discussions, negotiations and investment will allow these parties to work productively.

The ability to conduct scientific research will be the cornerstone of the institute’s effectiveness with its stakeholders in mind including international organizations, policymakers, business and society at large. SGOI will provide objective scientific knowledge interfaced with policy, law and commerce while remaining financially independent.

Educational initiatives to educate the public on international policy as well as research projects that invite participation from the public, business and government are also paramount. And, SGOI will look to participate in international agreements affecting the state of marine resources including UNCLOS, sustainable development targets set by the UN, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and treaties on biological diversity:

1) Evidence-based research and educational programs
2) Multi-sector discussions on policy and regulations
3) Policy studies on ecological and socioeconomic influence
4) Promotion of the innovative solutions
5) Personnel training development
6) Empowering local and regional initiatives

For over thirty years, The Nippon Foundation has funded education, training and research for international maritime resources and sustainability around the world. The Nippon Foundation has supported researchers, policymakers, managers, oceanographers, and marine biologists thorough investments in personnel training with the aim to allow future generations to enjoy the ocean’s vast resources. One notable graduate of the program’s international maritime law program is a Director of the Malaysian Coast Guard, Dr. William Cheung, who leads the NEREUS Program which looks to make accurate forecasts as to the state of the oceans.

Nippon Foundation

The ocean is essential to human life.

Today, however, the world's seas and oceans face a variety of problems, including pollution, kidnapping and piracy, and the depletion of marine food resources.

Resolving these problems requires human resources to tackle these issues.
Even if there are people and organizations who share this sense of crisis for the future of our ocean, they are not able to work together and effectively realize their full potential.

We are cultivating people to clear the future for the world's oceans, while at the same time building a foundation that connects these people and organizations, to pass on the ocean's riches to future generations.

The Nippon Foundation
The Nippon Zaidan Building
1-2-2 Akasaka, Minato-ku Tokyo 107-8404, Japan
TEL : +81-3-6229-5111 FAX : +81-3-6229-5110
email : cc@ps.nippon-foundation.or.jp

http://www.nippon-foundation.or.jp/en/what/projects/ocean_policy/

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