Improving Ocean Governance through informal networks
For this episode we move back to the eastern shores of Africa, where we virtually had a lovely chat with Dr. Shannon Hampton of the International Ocean Institute (IOI) in South Africa. In her role as the programme manager at IOI she is also co-coordinating the Western Indian Ocean Governance Exchange Network (WIOGEN).
Ocean governance is a relatively messy field, as jurisdiction of large parts of the ocean is unclear, and ecosystems typically span across national borders. So it sometimes takes regional initiatives like WIOGEN, that are inclusive and open by nature, to get as many of the involved stakeholder as possible a seat at the table. AS the network is entirely member-driven, it also offers an excellent opportunity to early career researchers to drive their agenda forward with fellow peers from the region and try to have an impact beyond the scientific sphere. Based on member demand WIOGEN then offers support through training and joint learning experiences.
We also briefly touched upon what the future might hold for WIOGEN. Hopes are high that we can continue to make an impact on decision-making processes through less-formal exchange opportunities, our training activities and larger exchange events like the WIOGEN Virtual Ocean Governance Conference in Oktober 2021.
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