Ocean Governance and Geological Resources


Developing states in Africa and the Pacific have sovereign rights over vast areas of the ocean filled with fish, petroleum and minerals plus a number of undiscovered resources. These countries are rightfully beginning to question the current methods of exploiting resources.

Even within states with established resource industries, the benefits derived from these sectors often do not adequately support sustainable livelihoods for their citizens. Nor is much effort made to be innovative and look for ways to increase resource value while decreasing the environmental footprint caused by its exploitation. There needs to be a new conversation about how resources are extracted, and who benefits from this extraction.

While there is a strong push for the rapid development of these sectors to drive economic development, there is also an emerging need for marine and coastal ecosystems that can provide long-term sustainable benefits. In fact, responsible management does not preclude, but enables social and economic prosperity, and can spark a new era in the story of resource exploitation.  Developing nations in Africa and other regions can lead the world in the holistic approach to marine resources, an approach which acknowledges their “real” value.

Main Activities in 2016

The Marine and Coastal Resource programme encourages innovative thinking in sustainable development based on marine and coastal ecosystems and resources.

  • This will result in a true “green-growth” that increases human wellbeing while maintaining and enhancing the health of our oceans and coasts.
  • It will ensure that resource use adds tangible local value and leaves a significantly smaller environmental footprint than is currently seen through out the world.

Today coastal states in Africa and the Pacific are the architects of the development and conservation of their marine and coastal resources. GRID-Arendal’s model for capacity building is based on true partnerships, which include regional organisations, national agencies and motivated scientists and policy makers who are transforming their societies.