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Urban Coast Institute and Global Ocean Forum Form Partnership on Ocean Policy Research and Initiatives

The Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute (UCI) and the Global Ocean Forum (GOF) have entered a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to leverage their expertise and resources to advance global ocean policy and research initiatives that mutually align with their missions. 

Formed in 2001, the GOF is an international, independent nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting good governance of the ocean, sustainable development for coastal and island peoples around the globe, and healthy marine ecosystems. The GOF brings together ocean leaders from all sectors to advance a global ocean agenda by promoting the implementation of international agreements related to the ocean, coasts, and small island developing states; promoting consensus-building on unresolved ocean issues, including ocean and climate issues, and improving the governance regime for ocean areas beyond national jurisdiction; and anticipating new ocean issues to facilitate forward-thinking policymaking and governance.

The UCI and GOF have collaborated on several initiatives, most recently co-organizing and participating  in side events at last summer’s United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon and December’s U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) in Eqypt. UCI Director Tony MacDonald has served as a member of the GOF’s Policy Advisory Board, and is currently a member of its Board of Directors.

“As a member of the U.S. National Committee for the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, hosted by the National Academy of Sciences Ocean Studies Board, I am acutely aware that the challenges facing the oceans off the coast of New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic are similar to those facing other regional urban seas around the world, and in some cases it will take international commitments to reduce the impact of claims on oceans and to protect biodiversity and ecosystem health,” MacDonald said. “I hope that through our collaboration with the GOF, we can add our voice to the call to action to protect the ocean and bring some of the lessons learned from our work at the UCI,  as well as learn from what others are doing around the globe.”

The GOF MOA recognized Monmouth’s value as a partner, citing the UCI’s focus on integrated coastal and ocean management and regional ocean planning, as well as the University’s proximity to the U.N. headquarters in New York City and its active U.N. partnerships, including its United Nation Academic Impact membership, the UCI’s official observer status at UNFCCC conference, and the School of Social Work’s collaboration through the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) Social Work at the United Nations Initiative

“The Global Ocean Forum has benefited from the support of a host institution since its inception. Through a strengthened partnership with the Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute, the GOF has found its new home,” Global Ocean Forum Executive Director Miriam Balgos said. “This collaboration will provide a strong, science-based foundation ensuring that the GOF remains grounded while responding to the needs of developing countries and stakeholders it continues to serve across various international fora.”

The agreement paves the way for future collaborations including:

  • Opportunities for Monmouth students to serve as GOF interns and research assistants and participate in international fora. 
  • The development of joint events and workshops that focus on understanding and managing ocean and coastal resources, climate issues and sustainability.
  • Participation by GOF principals and experts in on-campus lectures, webinars, symposiums and other events organized by the UCI. 
  • Engaging in collaborative research and the collection of data to inform international coastal and ocean management and other topics of mutual interest. 

The UCI and GOF will develop an annual work plan to guide their collaborative actions, activities and commitments.