Beatrice Crona (Stockholm Resilience Centre), 22 Mar. 2017:

Governance in the context of ocean acidification: Global challenges and multi-level solutions

Ocean acidification is a serious threat to our oceans as we know them but it cannot be viewed in isolation. In fact, as a process it interacts with multiple other planetary processes and the outcomes associated with these interactions pose severe challenges for global environmental governance due to their inherent uncertainties and complex multi-scale dynamics. This talk will examine some of the foreseen governance challenges resulting from these interactions, namely i) the interplay between Earth system science and global policies, and the implications of differences in risk perceptions in defining planetary scale boundaries, ii) the role and capacity of international institutions to deal with individual ‘planetary’ level processes, as well as interactions between them, and iii) the role of global governance in framing social–ecological innovations.

However, global formal institutions are not the only way to address marine governance challenges, such as ocean acidification. Informal social networks are important conduits of information flow and mechanisms for building partnerships and cooperation. These informal arenas have been less examined but are likely to play a key role for global marine governance through their interaction with formal multilateral processes. The talk will examine some ongoing initiatives to exemplify how such cross-sectoral, globally spanning networks play a role in marine governance transformation by providing structures that bridge poorly connected policy fields and arenas, and functioning as platforms for learning across regional initiatives, with potentially synergistic effects in terms of spread of new ideas, transfer of lessons learned etc.