Social equity is key to sustainable ocean governance

Katherine M. Crosman*, Edward H. Allison, Yoshitaka Ota, Andrés M. Cisneros-Montemayor, Gerald G. Singh, Wilf Swartz, Megan Bailey, Kate M. Barclay, Grant Blume, Mathieu Colléter, Michael Fabinyi, Elaine M. Faustman, Russell Fielding, P.J. Griffin, Quentin Hanich, Harriet Harden-Davies, Ryan P. Kelly, Tiff-Annie Kenny, Terrie Klinger, John N. KittingerKatrina Nakamura, Annet P. Pauwelussen, Sherry Pictou, Chris Rothschild, Katherine L. Seto, Ana K. Spalding

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Calls to address social equity in ocean governance are expanding. Yet ‘equity’ is seldom clearly defined. Here we present a framework to support contextually-informed assessment of equity in ocean governance. Guiding questions include: (1) Where and (2) Why is equity being examined? (3) Equity for or amongst Whom? (4) What is being distributed? (5) When is equity considered? And (6) How do governance structures impact equity? The framework supports consistent operationalization of equity, challenges oversimplification, and allows evaluation of progress. It is a step toward securing the equitable ocean governance already reflected in national and international commitments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Journalnpj Ocean Sustainability
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2022

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