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The Ocean Transition: What to Learn from System Transitions

In paving the way for a sustainable ocean economy, the importance of learning from comparable global transitions in the past cannot be overstated.

This paper examines past successes and failures and their key contributing factors, identifying relevant learnings to be applied to the ocean context.

The paper will consider the current dynamics of transition already underway; alternative future transition pathways; and policy or other responses that can help encourage a transition to a more sustainable ocean.

The authors for this paper are: Mark Swilling, Mary Ruckelshaus, Tanya Brodie Rudolph, Eddie H. Allison, Stefan Gelcich, Philile Mbatha and Henrik Österblom.

The Ocean Transition: What to Learn from System Transitions’ launched 12th June 2020 launched as part of a broader webinar ‘Ocean Panel Perspectives: Accelerating the Transition to a Sustainable Ocean Economy’, featuring reflections from Ocean Panel members and experts on recent global ocean dialogues and activities and the road ahead for building a sustainable ocean economy.

Featured in this event were Peter Thomson, United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, who delivered opening remarks, as well as Norway’s Special Envoy for the Ocean and Ocean Panel Sherpa Vidar Helgesen; Ocean Panel Expert Group Co-Chair Jane Lubchenco, PhD., Oregon State University; and Blue Paper co-lead author Mary Ruckelshaus, Director, Natural Capital Project and Consulting Professor, Stanford University. The event was moderated by Andrew Steer, WRI’s President and CEO.

The webinar was featured in the WRI Podcast ‘Seeing the Ocean as a Solution, Not a Victim'.

An adapted version of the Blue Paper was published by Nature Communications 'A transition to sustainable ocean governance' on 17th July 2020.

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