Future Earth Australia has assembled an Expert Working Group of leading ocean and coastal researchers and practitioners to steer the strategic direction of a National Ten Year Strategy for Sustainable Ocean and Coasts. The Working Group will help develop a strategy that outlines clear, actionable approaches to achieve healthy and resilient oceans and coasts for all of Australia.

UNSW’s representatives on the Expert Working Group include Professor Emma Johnston, UNSW Dean of Science; Professor Will Glamore, Principal Research Fellow,  UNSW Water Research Laboratory; and Dr Mitchell Harley, Scientia Fellow and Senior Lecturer, UNSW Water Research Laboratory, who is on the science working group. The strategy will align with the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), an opportune time to deliver more systemic and integrated approaches.

To help inform the strategy, a series of workshops with Partners across Australia was held throughout September to gather information about how Australians from all ocean and coastal sectors view sustainability and how they think a sustainable future for these sectors can be achieved.  Until 23 October, written contributions are also being welcomed from any and all stakeholders in ocean and coastal sustainability: practitioners, decision-makers, researchers, Indigenous groups, industry members, knowledge brokers, NGOs, and community organisations; on one or more of the following topics:

  • Developing shared ocean and coastal visions, goals and indicators
  • Collaborative governance and decision making
  • Identification of high leverage issues and opportunities
  • More effective stakeholder and community engagement and influence
  • Co-produced knowledge development, usage and learning
  • Identification of high priority knowledge gaps, issues and opportunities
  • Other elements of a vision and strategy for sustainable oceans and coasts for Australia.

The strategy will outline the steps needed to transform the way oceans and coasts across Australia are considered, governed and protected. It will take a systems approach, with many sectors required to work together to achieve the goal: social services, tourism, Traditional Owners, industry, land use experts, ocean and coastal researchers, and decision makers from all levels of government.

The end result will overcome the fragmented approach that is currently in place and provide a blueprint for national transformational change that Australia’s oceans and coasts need.

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