Interdisciplinary team of early-career researchers meets in Bremen, Germany to develop solutions for sustainable ocean governance

Post-doctoral Fellow Dr. Islam shares his experience as part of the ZMT/IOI Winter School in Bremen, Germany

by Dr. Mahmudul Islam, OFI Module I Post-doctoral Fellow

I learned about multi-faced challenges of ocean governance in a changing world and a transdisciplinary way to tackle these challenges for a sustainable ocean future.   

Participants at the ZMT/IOI Winter School on 'Ocean Governance for Sustainable Marine Ecosystems', held on February 16-21, 2020, at the Leibniz Center for Marine Tropical Ecology in Bremen, Germany. ©Leibniz Center for Marine Tropical Ecology

I participated in the ZMT/IOI Winter School on ‘Ocean Governance for Sustainable Marine Ecosystems which was held from February 16-21, 2020 at Leibniz Center for Marine Tropical Ecology in Bremen, Germany. The five-day intensive training program was designed to enable participants to engage in marine governance issues by providing a solid scientific ground from different disciplinary perspectives. This approach allowed the participants to have a holistic understanding of ocean governance-related concepts. The participants of the winter school were young academics, researchers and practitioners from 22 countries from both the global South and North.

The lectures that were part of the program covered all aspects of marine ecosystems: modelling of resources in its marine ecosystem context, pollutions and global changes, societal perspective on biodiversity & marine spatial planning, and economic perspective on biodiversity. The instructors from Leibniz Center for Marine Tropical Ecology, GIZ (German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH), WWF, the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development shared their perspectives on ocean challenges and solutions. The aim was to equip the participants with a reflected understanding of ocean ecosystem issues and governance and develop a network of experts. Four day-long lecture sessions were followed by an excursion to BSH (Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie) to get an idea on different activities of BSH for Marine Spatial Planning in Germany. At BSH, along with theoretical lectures, a group exercise and role-play on Marine Spatial Planning was carried out by the participants to have real-life experiences about trade-off and synergies in MSP.  

Lecture sessions in the winter school were followed by brainstorming sessions where participants were categorized into different groups to synthesize various aspects of a large marine ecosystem. After a brief discussion, the Agulhas current large marine ecosystem was selected for an in-depth governance system analysis. The work is still ongoing, as I now prepare a manuscript /policy brief as a scientific outcome of the winter school. The participation in the winter school has allowed me to become part of a cohort of young scientists who has a common interest in ocean governance with different academic backgrounds. I learned about multi-faced challenges of ocean governance in a changing world and of a transdisciplinary way to tackle these challenges for a sustainable ocean future.   

Written by Dr. Mahmudul Islam, OFI Module I Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Islam has been a post-doctoral fellow with sub-module I-5, working on the Vulnerability and Viability of coastal communities of Newfoundland and Labrador.

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