Peter Wells, a member and co-lead of the Environmental Information: Use and Influence research team, and a senior research fellow at the International Ocean Institute (IOI), travelled to Haikou, Hainan, China, in late January 2016, with an IOI team (Figure 1) to attend and participate in the Inaugural Program of the China-Asean Academy on Ocean Law and Governance. He gave the lecture on “Health of the Oceans,” a fundamental component of caring for and governing the oceans and one heavily reliant on environmental information, past and present, in both the primary and grey literature.
The Program took place at the National Institute for South China Seas Studies (NISCSS), in Haikou and was attended by 34 senior research, policy, legal and defense personnel from 10 countries around the South China Seas region. Peter’s lecture covered topics of the ocean health index, issues (problems) affecting the seas, indicators and monitoring, and importantly, the various assessment documents prepared by countries, regions, and global organizations for the benefit of ocean managers, policy and decision makers. This lecture is an example of communicating critical scientific information to potential users—the science-policy interface in action!
While there, he distributed flyers for the forthcoming book on information and coastal and ocean management, prepared by the EIUI team and 35 contributing authors (Science, Information, and Policy Interface for Effective Coastal and Ocean Management to be published by CRC Press/Taylor & Francis in May 2016). Michael Butler, Director of IOI and head of the Canadian team on this trip, presented a copy of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO)-Oceans Association book Voyage of Discovery, a recent marine publication from Nova Scotia, to Dr. Wu Shicun, President of the NISCSS (Figure 2). It is expected that the China-Asean Academy Program will continue, offering many future opportunities for EIUI and IOI to spread the word in Asia about the multi-faceted role of information in managing and governing the oceans of our blue planet.
Author: Peter Wells