Virtual Conference of Ocean Governance for Sustainability: Action Insights and Foreshadowing Challenges

On 19 and 20 November 2020, the closing conference of European COST Action ‘Ocean Governance for Sustainability – Challenges, Options and the Role of Science’ took place under the motto ‘Ocean Governance: Action insights and foreshadowing challenges’. The conference was hosted jointly by the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), with funding from the European ‘Cooperation in Science and Technology’ (COST) programme.


The four-year COST Action analyzed current legislative and regulatory challenges for ocean sustainability from a transdisciplinary perspective. The concluding conference brought together over 300 researchers and professionals from more than 29 countries to reflect on the Action’s research findings and to discuss emerging topics and upcoming challenges.



Prof. Dr Anna Katharina Hornidge, as chair of the action, and the conference’s scientific organizer Dr César Giralo Herrera opened the event and introduced participants to the programme.

Three keynote addresses were given

The keynotes set the frame for nine scientific panels covering a variety of topics ranging from privatization of the ocean over fisheries

governance and seabed mining to connections between emerging infectious diseases and the ocean.

In their concluding address, action chair Professor Anna-Katharina Hornidge (DIE) and Working Group leaders Professors Achim Schlüter (ZMT) and Maarten Bavinck (University of Amsterdam) emphasized the network’s achievements in strengthening the marine social sciences and gave an outlook on its potential for future cooperation for ocean sustainability. You can watch the closing address here (beginning at ’42:00).


About the European COST Project “Ocean Governance for Sustainability”

For several years now, the European Union has been increasingly interested in questions of sustainable ocean management. Above all, an impression of great conceptual fragmentation and missing connections of local, regional, national and global approaches becomes apparent. The aim of the four-year European COST project “Ocean Governance for Sustainability” is to address problems of current legislations and regulations in a transdisciplinary way to adapt existing strategies in research and policy. The integrative approach brings together natural, social and human sciences, as well as international know-how is a specific feature of the COST projects funded by the European Union. The final virtual conference will be the last network conference of the project established in September 2016 in Brussels under the direction of Prof. Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge (then ZMT, now DIE).



Program: click here to download

Recordings of Keynotes and Panels: click here to watch the videos



OceanGov Team:

Prof Dr Anna-Katharina Hornidge | OceanGov COST Action Chair|
Director of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) |

Prof Dr Achim Schlüter | Head Department of Social Sciences |
Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT)

Dr Cesar Giraldo Herrera | Scientific coordination of the Conference|
Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) | Institute for Science Innovation and Society (InSIS), University of Oxford

Ms Hannah Jansen | Coordination Office |
Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) |

Miguel Leyva | German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

Ina Lehmann | German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)


Panels (see program and schedule for more details, click on panel title to watch recording):

  1. [P1] Traversing oceanic and coastal space *

    Convenor: Maarten Bavinck (University of Amsterdam)

  2. [P2.1|P2.2] Land-Sea-Interactions 1&2 *

    Convenors: Achim Schlüter (ZMT & Jacobs University), Natasa Vaidianu (University of Bucharest)

  3. [P3] Connecting Science and Social Science for Sustainable Seabed Use: Contemporary Knowledge in Socio-Cultural, Political, Legal, Economic and Environmental Understandings of Deep-Sea Mining

    Convenors: Kimberley Peters (University of Liverpool), Phillip Steinberg (DurhamUniversity, UK)

  4. [P4] Bringing the pieces together: Area Based Management Tools for Effective Integrated Ocean Management

    Convenors: Sebastian Unger (IASS), Elena Gissi (University of Venice)

  5. [P5] Privatisation of the Oceans, Panel Discussion

    Convenors: Achim Schlüter (ZMT), Maarten Bavinck (University of Amsterdam)

  6. [P6] Fisheries Governance

    Convenors: José Pascual-Fernández (University of La Laguna, Spain), Aline Delaney (Aalborg University, Denmark)

  7. [P7] Connecting Ocean Acidification Research with the UN Decade of Ocean Science

    Convenor: Roberta Guerra (University of Bologna, Italy)

  8. [P8] Oceans´ contribution to food security

    Convenor: Maarten Bavinck (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

  9. [P9] Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Ocean, Policies and Diplomacies

    Convenor: César Giraldo-Herrera (Leibniz Centre for Marine Tropical Research (ZMT), Germany)

* Unfortunately, due to technical issues on the platform’s end, there appears a popup throughout the panel and won’t disappear. The talk is audible though.


Conference organized and made possible by:

Organizers - logos: ZMT, DIE and COST (EU)

Supported by:

conference supporters - logos: Future Earth Coasts and MARE