Putting values at the heart of sustainable marine management

Photo by Mathyas Kurmann on Unsplash

The values-based approach that the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (CGF) has championed over the years is at the core of a new marine management research project funded by UK Research and Innovation. Led by Professor Stephen Fletcher at the University of Portsmouth, the project Integrating diverse values into the sustainable management of marine resources in the UK aims to generate an enduring step-change that will identify and incorporate more diverse voices and values into the sustainable management of the UK’s marine resources. It is one of six projects chosen from over 70 applications, which have received a share of £9.2 million to investigate how to safeguard the future of marine and coastal economy while protecting existing sea ecosystems.

Professor Fletcher’s project will drive an innovative agenda of transformational research that seeks to advance our understanding of values-based marine management and to provide actionable tools that can be implemented into the management of marine resources in the UK. It will help to drive forward the type of values-based engagement and collaboration approaches in which CGF has invested through our Valuing the Ocean programme. These have shown the power of innovative, inclusive values-based processes in building consensus on contested issues and securing progress for sustainable management of the marine and coastal environment.  The project will directly build on initiatives CGF has supported, working with key partners including the Marine Conservation Society and the New Economics Foundation, both part of the Marine CoLABoration.

Research like this is essential to building the long-term change in communication and collaboration needed to place the true value of the ocean – the blue heart of our planet – at the forefront of the discussion, safeguarding prosperity at the coast and the healthy marine environment on which we all depend. It will complement the Foundation’s own ambition to scale and amplify values-based approaches with a focus on promoting effective public engagement and integrated and inclusive management of marine protected areas over the next two years.