Ocean Community Study
Evaluating policy, strategy, and advocacy effectiveness for marine protection…
Grant Recipient: The Aspen Institute
Project Support: Ocean Community Study
The Aspen Institute mission is to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program provides leadership and a neutral forum for improving policy making through intentional values-based dialogue in the areas of energy and environmental policy. For over 35 years, the Energy and Environment Program has directly sought to improve the quality of leadership and the formation of policy through dialogue on the environmental challenges facing societies and organizations. Through a form of intentional dialogue that fosters candid exchange among people of diverse viewpoints, the Program seeks solutions to, or seeks to better frame the questions regarding, important energy and environmental policy issues.
The purpose of this initiative is threefold: 1) to develop a method for how to evaluate marine protection policy advocacy effectiveness; 2) to assess the efficacy of marine protection policies and advocacy initiatives in three defined areas; and 3) based on this research and analysis, recommend new strategies for how to significantly enhance the effectiveness of advocacy and other initiatives (e.g., science, education, communication, etc.) to improve policies related to marine protected areas, consumer awareness and overfishing.
The research and dialogue conducted for this initiative will be used to formulate new thinking about the funding and advocacy decision making process affecting marine protection initiatives. The final report will present findings and create recommendations as to how the ocean community can be more effective as policy advocates and how it can make significant improvements in ocean conservation strategy and policy.
This project aims to develop an impartial ocean community advocacy study to assess and recommend how the ocean conservation funding and policy community can more systematically plan and evaluate their advocacy work and strategies for having greater impact on marine protection policy. The research will be organized to survey, analyze and make findings and recommendations addressing how to evaluate the effectiveness of marine protection policies; how philanthropists, the scientific community and NGO’s can improve the effectiveness of their advocacy, education and other marine protection strategies; and how to create new strategies to achieve greater progress in three key ocean conservation and policy areas:
• Creation of Marine Protected Areas (with significant spatial and temporal scale)
• Raising awareness to the problem and risks of overfishing and seafood consumption
• Fisheries reform to sustainable catches
A threshold (and independent research task to be managed by Aspen) of this inquiry requires assessing the level of past and current policy effectiveness in these areas as well.