Swansea University publishes ‘The Future of Coastal Communities in Swansea and South Wales’ workshop report

By Graham on February 23, 2022 in News Articles

Swansea University has published its report on its multi-stakeholder workshop ‘The Future of Coastal Communities in Swansea and South Wales’.

The workshop, which was held in September 2021, was supported by the EU Horizon 2020 project ‘Grounding Responsible Research and Innovation Practices’ (GRRIP) and the HEFCW funded RWIF Collaboration Booster program.

Swansea University is one of the five Research Performing Organisations and Research Funding Organisations that is currently participating in the GRRIP Project. This workshop supported Swansea University’s aim to co-create the direction of future research and innovation with marine and maritime communities.

During this workshop participants were invited to identify challenges faced by coastal communities and the marine environment, and to suggest new relevant research activities. Attendees included participants from industry and businesses, academia, civil society, policy makers and public authorities.

The format of this workshop was based on a multi-stakeholder workshop concept created by University College Cork (UCC) for the online event ‘Shaping the Future of Marine and Maritime Communities‘.

The results of this workshop improve SU Biosciences’ understanding of stakeholder views and interests and will contribute to future events and closer connection with communities. Insights will influence the direction of the research agenda.

Download the report HERE.

GRRIP Winter Newsletter 2021 / 2022

By Graham on January 18, 2022 in News Articles, Newsletter

With 2022 upon us GRRIP is preparing for a hectic (and productive) final year. Work is ongoing in terms of implementing the Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI) interventions that will facilitate the desired institutional change at our five Marine & Maritime case study sites – MaREI (Ireland), IUML (France), Swansea University (UK), PLOCAN (Spain), and WavEC (Portugal).

In the meantime, we’re pleased to present our Winter (2021 – 2022) GRRIP Project Newsletter. The newsletter contains:

  • Foreword by Dr. Gordon Dalton, GRRIP Project Coordinator (page 1).
  • Interview with Dr. Ayoze Castro Alonso, Head of the Innovation Unit at PLOCAN (The Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands), one of the five M&M case study sites in the GRRIP project – during the interview Dr. Alonso discusses the implementation of Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI), the importance of societal engagement and how it benefits PLOCAN as well as PLOCAN’s motivations for joining the GRRIP project (page 2).
  • Partner Profile: PLOCAN (page 3).
  • Article on ‘Democratising research and innovation’, by Dr. lndrani Mahapatra, GRRIP’s Project Manager, where she provides a summary of the workshops that are being done by the case study sites with the involvement of representatives from society, academia, business, and government (Quadruple Helix) to inform research direction and to help lobby funding bodies to consider supporting the topics identified. The article looks at how these workshops can be used to raise awareness of the need to make research relevant to local community and stakeholders of research institutions (pages 4-5).
  • Updates on various project related events and collaborations that took place during 2021 (page 6).

GRRIP Winter Newsletter 2021 – 2022

GRRIP to host workshop on Funding Opportunities for Offshore Wind Projects in Europe

By Graham on May 10, 2021 in News Articles, Press Release

Two H2020 projects, Twind and GRRIP are jointly hosting an online Workshop titled “Horizon Europe: Funding Opportunities for Offshore Wind Projects in Europe” on Friday, May 14, 2021at 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM BST (GMT+1).

This webinar will cover the Horizon Europe call 5, Work Programme 2021-2022, Section 8, Climate, Energy and Mobility.


  1. The TWIND and GRRIP projects, WavEC Offshore Renewables
  2. Global review on Horizon Europe calls for renewable energy, Tecnalia
  3. HORIZON-CL5-2021-D3-02-12: Innovation on floating wind energy deployment optimized for deep waters and different sea basins, Tecnalia
  4. Introduction and Overview of Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence, ORE Catapult
  5. Q&A Session, Moderated by WavEC Offshore Renewables


Save your seat, register here.

Download Press Release

How do we build an aquaculture sector that is serious about SDGs

By SalM on March 31, 2021 in News Articles

he development of global aquaculture over the course of the next 20 years must be more focused on helping to reduce poverty and hunger – the first two, and most important, of the UN’s sustainable development goals.

So argued Jim Leape, co-director of Stanfod’s Centre for Ocean Solutions, summing up a thought-provoking webinar this week, titled ‘Is Aquaculture Breaking Into the Global Food System?’, which was and was co-hosted Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture and the Center on Food Security and the Environment (FSE).


Twenty years ago, a highly influential review was published in Nature, under the title Effect of Aquaculture on World Fish Supplies. The review outlined aquaculture as a possible solution, and a contributing factor, to the decline in fisheries stocks worldwide. The webinar looked back at 20 years of aquaculture, reviewed how things have changed since the release of the review and ventured a number of points on how it was likely to evolve.

Fittingly it was opened by Dr Roz Naylor, from the Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University – the lead author of the original paper on fish supplies, and the lead author of A 20-year retrospective review of global aquaculture, which was published in Nature last week.

Progress, but more must be done

As Leape observed: “20 years ago the paper that Roz [Naylor] led in Nature, highlighted the daunting sustainability challenges facing the aquaculture sector – you see from the comments from Jose [Villalon, corporate sustainability director at Nutreco] and Ling [Cao, from Shanghai Jiao Tong University], in particular, that huge progress has been made in the last 20 years to tackle those fundamental sustainability challenges.

“But what strikes me now are the comments that Pip [Cohen, of WorldFish] made – what are the central challenges going forward and how do we build an aquaculture sector that is serous about SDGs 1 and 2? About cracking hunger and about cracking poverty. And what are the innovations needed to meet those challenges? And how do we create the investment vehicles that allow us to do that because the market won’t do it on its own? How do we create the governance structures that foster the kind of production that is good for livelihoods, that’s good for nutrition, that’s good for equity?” Leape pondered.

“I think that’s a really interesting set of problems for us to be focused on now, as we think about what have we learned and how do we apply that energy and creativity to building the aquaculture sector that we need?” he added.

One project Leape flagged up, that is currently looking to address the questions is the Blue Food Assessment, convened by Stanford and the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and is currently looking at the challenges and opportunities offered by aquaculture and “to provide the scientific foundation for bringing aquaculture fully into discussions about the future of food”.

Source: https://thefishsite.com/


Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance

By SalM on March 31, 2021 in News Articles

Bibliographic Reference

Handbook of Democratic Innovation and Governance. Edited by Stephen Elstub and Oliver Escobar. Edward Elgar Publishing. Dec 2019.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4337/9781786433862

Summary of Content

Democratic innovations are proliferating in politics, governance, policy, and public administration. These new processes of public participation are reimagining the relationship between citizens and institutions. This Handbook advances understanding of democratic innovations, in theory and practice, by critically reviewing their importance throughout the world.

The overarching themes are a focus on citizens and their relationship to these innovations, and the resulting effects on political equality. The Handbook therefore offers a definitive overview of existing research on democratic innovations, while also setting the agenda for future research and practice



  • 1. Defining and typologising democratic innovations | Stephen Elstub and Oliver Escobar (FREE ACCESS)
  • 2. Democratic innovations and theories of democracy | Ian O’Flynn
  • 3. Mini-publics: design choices and legitimacy | Clodagh Harris
  • 4. Collaborative governance: between invited and invented spaces | Sonia Bussu
  • 5. The long journey of participatory budgeting | Ernesto Ganuza and Gianpaolo Baiocchi
  • 6. Referendums and citizens’ initiatives | Maija Jäske and Maija Setälä
  • 7. Digital participation | Hollie Russon Gilman and Tiago Carneiro Peixoto


  • 8. Does political trust matter? | Gerry Stoker and Mark Evans
  • 9. Accountability and democratic innovations | Albert Weale
  • 10. Anti-politics and democratic innovation | Matthew Flinders, Matthew Wood and Jack Corbett
  • 11. The impact of democratic innovations on citizens’ efficacy | Paolo Spada


  • 12. Facilitators: the micropolitics of public participation and deliberation | Oliver Escobar
  • 13. Consultants: the emerging participation industry | Laurence Bherer and Caroline W. Lee
  • 14. Public servants in innovative democratic governance | Wieke Blijleven, Merlijn van Hulst and Frank Hendriks
  • 15. Experts: the politics of evidence and expertise in democratic innovation | Ruth Lightbody and Jennifer J. Roberts
  • 16. Advocates: interest groups, civil society organisations and democratic innovation | Carolyn M. Hendriks
  • 17. The role of elected representatives in democratic innovations | Nivek Thompson
  • 18. Journalists: the role of the media in democratic innovation | Gianfranco Pomatto


  • 19. Democratic innovations and the policy process | Adrian Bua
  • 20. Democratic innovation in science and technology | Sarah R. Davies
  • 21. Democratic innovation in social policy | Rikki Dean
  • 22. Democratic innovation and environmental governance | Jens Newig, Edward Challies and Nicolas W. Jager
  • 23. Democratic innovation in constitutional reform | Ron Levy
  • 24. Democratic innovation in transnational and global governance | Mikko Rask, Bjørn Bedsted, Edward Andersson and Liisa Kallio


  • 25. Democratic innovations in North America | Christopher F. Karpowitz and Chad Raphael
  • 26. Democratic innovations in Latin America | Thamy Pogrebinschi and Melisa Ross
  • 27. Democratic innovations in Europe | Brigitte Geissel
  • 28. Trends in democratic innovation in Asia | Naoyuki Mikami
  • 29. Democratic innovation in Australasia | Lucy Parry, Jane Alver and Nivek Thompson
  • 30. Local democratic innovations in Africa | Isabel Ferreira and Giovanni Allegretti


  • 31. Quantitative methods in democratic innovation research | Simon Beste and Dominik Wyss
  • 32. Qualitative approaches to democratic innovations | Julien Talpin
  • 33. Mixed methods research in democratic innovation | Oliver Escobar and Andrew Thompson
  • 34. Using experiments to study democratic innovations | Kimmo Grönlund and Kaisa Herne
  • 35. From discourse quality index to deliberative transformative moments | Maria Clara Jaramillo and Jürg Steiner
  • 36. Analysing deliberative transformation: a multi-level approach incorporating Q methodology | Simon Niemeyer
  • 37. Comparative approaches to the study of democratic innovation | Matt Ryan


  • 38. Reflections on the theory and practice of democratic innovations | Graham Smith

The blue Economy as an Opportunity to Advance Gender Equality

By SalM on March 26, 2021 in News Articles

By Dona Bertarelli, UNCTAD Special Adviser for the Blue Economy

Around the world, women are excessively affected by climate change, by market fluctuations, or shocks like the pandemic, which has put millions of jobs at risk.

Gender equality matters:

  • For women and men, in and out of the workforce.
  • For girls and boys, about to explore their potential.
  • For governments and the private sector, hoping for economic recovery.

Women’s rights are human rights, and governments and businesses need to ensure their equal representation.

Not only is this a just cause, but economies grow when women prosper – and when women are economically empowered, the gender gap narrows. Advancing gender equality could add an estimated 13 trillion dollars to global GDP in 2030.

So, how can the blue economy help advance gender equality?

SDG 14, Life Below Water, is essential for a blue economy, but also directly impacts the status of women by advancing SDG 5, and, in fact, many other SDGs – poverty, hunger, education, health and climate change.

Women make up most of the workforce in coastal and maritime tourism and fisheries, the main blue economy sectors. Yet they are in the lowest-paid, lowest-status and least-protected jobs.

In small island developing States, tourism accounts for 30 to 80% of total exports, with the participation of women as high as 54%. But most work in low-skilled, casual and temporary jobs.

As for the fisheries and aquaculture sector, women’s contribution is overlooked or undervalued. They play a key role in ensuring a reliable supply of food from the ocean, which 3 billion people depend on for their daily source of protein.

The order of disparity

There is a disparity of work and pay by gender, with women having a significant presence in processing but not in fisheries management, or ocean decision-making bodies.

Many don’t have equal access to opportunities, resources, financing, market information, technology, training, mobility and bargaining power. And that has a negative impact on food security.

In the Republic of Kiribati, as an example of a small island developing State, 70% of households participate in the fisheries sector. Women are not socially expected to fish at sea due to the perceived dangers involved. Instead, they are heavily involved in shore-based activities and, increasingly, engaged in the marketing and sales of fish. Nevertheless, UNCTAD research indicates women struggle to participate in domestic and international trade.

In The Gambia, as an example of a coastal state, 10% of the population depends on fish processing and marketing. UNCTAD research reveals that about 80% of fish processors are women.

Here, women could benefit from increased access to equipment, credit and support services, or from improving their skills in marketing, or safety and hygiene, to meet EU market regulations, for example.

Weaving women into the blue economy

UNCTAD’s work shows there is untapped potential for women in the blue economy if we improve gender equality in the tourism and fisheries sectors alone.

Just imagine how much more we could do by diversifying in new areas like sustainable aquaculture, renewable energy, blue carbon, and marine bio-prospection. Innovation and technology are needed to support ocean and coastal restoration and protection, which are often community-led.

So imagine if we integrate women throughout all of these areas.

A change in mindset is needed, just as changes in policies are needed.

Growing a sustainable and resilient blue economy by fully including women’s potential, will benefit society and the economy, and in turn, advance all 17 SDGs.

Source: unctad.org

Shipping groups calling EU to advance marine ‘fuels of future’

By SalM on March 22, 2021 in News Articles

Shipping and trade groups are calling on the European Union to advance the development of ammonia and green hydrogen as the best marine fuel options to enable the industry to accelerate decarbonisation.

With about 90% of world trade transported by sea, global shipping accounts for nearly 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions.

To reach goals for shipping set by the United Nations, industry leaders say the first net-zero ships must enter the global fleet by 2030, with vessels powered by green hydrogen and its derivative compound ammonia among the options.

The coalition of groups, which includes commodities trader Trafigura, urged the European Union – one of the world’s major shipping hubs – to prioritise these two fuels as part of its draft FuelEU Maritime initiative, which seeks to boost production and use of sustainable marine energy in the bloc.

“Building on independent research, and with the knowledge that we currently have, we believe that hydrogen-based fuels will be the shipping fuels of the future,” a Trafigura spokesperson said.

Trafigura added that a global carbon levy led by the U.N. shipping agency, the IMO, was also needed “to encourage and incentivise the use of low and zero-carbon fuels”.

IMO discussions though are still at an early stage.

A European Commission spokesperson said it was assessing the different policy options as part of FuelEU Maritime and planned to present a proposal in the second quarter of this year.

Green hydrogen, made from electrolysis to split water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity from renewable energy, is emissions free. But it is expensive and less dense than other fuels, meaning more onboard fuel storage capacity is needed.

Other projects anticipate using hydrogen to make other products, such as ammonia, to improve viability.

A study conducted for the non-profit Getting to Zero project showed this week that zero-emissions fuels need to make up 5% of international shipping’s energy mix by 2030 to ensure the sector’s decarbonisation is in line with the Paris accord’s climate goals.

Others seeking more EU help with hydrogen and ammonia are shipping companies CMB, DFDS, Torvald Klaveness, Viking Cruises, trade association Hydrogen Europe, ship certifier Lloyd’s Register and green group Transport & Environment.

Source: reuters.com

Strengthening the Participation of Women and Girls in Ocean Science to Achieve the SDGs

By SalM on March 18, 2021 in News Articles

Science, technology and innovation are fundamental to address global challenges such as poverty eradication, economic and social development and the protection of the environment. They are also critical for the achievement of the Goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The vital role of women in contributing to these global objectives is well established and has been repeatedly reaffirmed by governments and at key United Nations conferences and meetings, from the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in 1979, to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 1995, and the Dakar Framework for Action in 2000.

Over the last decade, we have also seen the adoption of the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society in 2005 and the agreed conclusions of the Commission on the Status of Women in 2011, along with the UN Resolution on Science, Technology and Innovation for Development in 2013, and more recently, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015.

Although many initiatives have been adopted at the global, regional and national levels to advance opportunities for women in emerging sectors such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and the Blue Economy, the participation of women from Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Land Locked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) remains low in these sectors. More efforts must be mobilized to enhance their participation.

According to UNESCO, women today account for only 38% of the world’s researchers in ocean science, and the rate is even lower for women from developing countries.

Recognizing the benefits of fully including women in ocean science to development progress, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) has launched a Voluntary Commitment to increase women’s participation through capacity-building opportunities and enhance the scientific and technological capabilities of developing States – pledged at the 2017 UN Ocean Conference in New York (#OceanAction15467).

ISA has a clear vision of women from developing States playing a central role in marine scientific research, with the impacts reaching far beyond the sphere of ocean science. To achieve this goal, ISA is investing in innovative and practical capacity development programmes to improve the participation of women in ocean science, and particularly in deep-sea research.

Since the 2017 UN Ocean Conference, ISA has significantly increased opportunities for women scientists from developing States to benefit from unique tailored trainings in deep-sea research. In just three years, almost 50 women have taken part in the Contractor Training Programme implemented by ISA under the requirements set out by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea for exploration contractors undertaking activities in the international seabed area.

Source: sdg.iisd.org


The Cost of Saving Oceans

By SalM on March 17, 2021 in News Articles

In 2015, 193 countries agreed on 17 global objectives for ending poverty and protecting the environment by 2030. These Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) included SDG 14, to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.”

A new study by two former diplomats with the CONOW Competence Centre for International Relations published in the journal Marine Policy estimates that to hit the targets needed to achieve this SDG the world must spend US$175 billion per year.

Reducing marine pollution will take more than half the money needed, according to the paper. At over USD$90 billion, that cost includes programs to clean up ocean trash, better manage waste and improve wastewater treatment plants. It also means investing in research on biodegradable plastics, all while working to limit plastic pollution of any kind in the first place.

About one-fifth of the needed funding, the researchers say, is for protecting and restoring wetland ecosystems, coastal habitats, coral reefs and other environments. For wetlands, that could entail setting aside new areas under the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty that aims to conserve wetland wildlife and ecosystem services.

For seaside ecosystems, it could mean investments in integrated coastal management. This approach brings together scientists, managers, community members and other stakeholders to cooperate on unified oversight and administration of activities in coastal areas, aiming to balance competing interests for sustainable development — all while prioritizing the preservation of biological resources and ecosystems.

Other priorities, the study says, are promoting sustainable fishing, directing resources to low-income island countries, supporting efforts to manage fisheries and fight pollution, and dealing with climate change, which acidifies oceans.


To estimate the price tag for achieving the goal, the researchers drew heavily from a 2012 report by countries involved in the Convention on Biological Diversity, an international conservation treaty. The authors adjusted the report’s marine conservation cost estimates for inflation, while noting the high degree of uncertainty for some of the estimates.

Can we make these big investments? While the data are hazy, the researchers estimated that the money pledged right now for ocean conservation totals just about US$25 billion yearly. If that uncertain estimate is correct, it leaves an annual funding gap of around US$150 billion.

At the United Nations’ first Ocean Conference in 2017, 44% of commitments to take action on SDG 14 came from governments, while 20% came from non-governmental organizations. Businesses promised just 8%.

The biggest commitment was from the European Investment Bank, which committed US$8 billion to help small, developing island nations become less vulnerable to climate change.

To bring the needed funding and urgency to SDG 14, the researchers issue 10 recommendations:

  1. Acknowledge how wasteful lifestyles mar our oceans, then shift our culture and consumption in a more sustainable direction.  “For too long we have taken nature for granted, and this needs to stop,” the study states.
  2. Keep SDG 14 on local and international political agendas. The last few years have seen more attention, which is a good development — if it continues.
  3. Invest in institutions that can implement ocean solutions, particularly in developing countries.
  4. Put effort into developing knowledge and technology that builds the capacity to protect ocean health.
  5. Target spending better. This could be accomplished in part by ending the some US$20 billion in harmful subsidies to fisheries. At the same time, decision-makers should bring the SDG 14 targets into more development and environmental policymaking.
  6. Scale up traditional funding. Most of the money spent on biodiversity efforts, the report says, come from national governments and international organizations, which could mean big impact if these states and groups up their contributions even further.
  7. Engage the private sector. Businesses might help do their part by paying for ecosystem services or investing in financial innovations like blue bonds.
  8. Get more money from philanthropists, who the research estimates currently contribute just US$1 billion per year to ocean health.
  9. Support trust funds dedicated to ocean conservation.
  10. Coordinate overall financial efforts for SDG 14 by working for sustainable ocean financing.

“Our Ocean is vital for our ecosystem and for our economy,” the researchers write. “It provides us with most of the oxygen that we breathe, water that we drink… and is the foundation for an economic activity estimated at around US$3 trillion per year.” Given that reality, the price tag of saving the seas seems worth it.

Source: ensia.com