AZTI organizes annually (since 2004) an international ‘Summer School’ on marine research related cutting-edge topics, always trying to bridge the gap between research and policy. The course is taught by about 5-12 professors and attended by around 60-90 students from 15-20 countries. Some years we have organized the school back to back with European projects, such as DEVOTES (DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status: www.devotes-project.eu) or MARS, as well as other organizations (e.g. Euromarine), and in 2017 with the EEAcademy.
For 2018, coinciding with the 15th anniversary of the courses, the topic proposed is the Blue Growth and how to reconcile this growth with the maintaining of the environmental status, under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Hence, a new edition building on a socio-ecological framework to address the important management issues related to the governance of the oceans. Governing the oceans and keeping them in a healthy state requires activities at sea to be sustainable, so that the ecosystem services provided by the oceans and the functionality of the ecosystems can be maintained, even under a blue growth.
The attendees will acquire new knowledge on recent trends in marine research, in relation to the management and governance of our oceans and the blue growth initiatives.
This summer school will focus on the integration of different sciences (i.e. social, economic and ecological) as a means to enhance the potential of our oceans through adequate management and governance, for which sustainable blue growth is crucial. This course will explore this at different spatial scales and in management and governance applications (e.g. to the MSFD, the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive, the Biodiversity Strategy 2020; etc.). Hence, the main objective of the school is to give an overview on the problems associated to blue growth, and its relationship with ocean and coastal livelihoods, management and governance.
As an outcome of this course (in addition to the presentations, which will be freely available after the school), the professors participating in the course will prepare an open access position paper on this topic, to be submitted to a broad scope scientific journal (e.g. PlosOne, Frontiers in Marine Science, etc.). This will be a cross-cutting review.
This position paper will have an impact on another key audience, marine policy makers and managers. In addition to such impact, it is expected that students participating in this summer school will implement the knowledge gained through this summer school in their professional careers.
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