The Deep-cean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) – Recent Highlights

[from Deep-Sea Life Issue 14]

The Deep-cean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) – Recent Highlights

Maria Baker (University of Southampton, UK) & Harriett Harden-Davies (University of Wollongong, Australia)

The funding awards from Arcadia Fund, Benioff, JM Kaplan and others over the past year to the Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative have enabled continued and coordinated involvement of a wide variety of experts, predominantly deep-sea scientists, to engage with national and international policy processes in a way that is unique and essential at this critical time for the future of ocean biodiversity. DOSI continues to expand its network membership, with an increase of 100+ new members in the past year to 715 (from 50 different countries and from a variety of disciplines – with around 70% scientists). Over the past few months, comprehensive terms of reference and guidance documentation have been produced, approved and circulated, our internal and external communications have improved, and our Core Team and an ever-growing number of working group members have been even more engaged in numerous DOSI activities (Box 1).

As a recap, the main thrust of our work concerns advancing science in policy, our current main focus being providing expert input to both the negotiations for a new UN treaty on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdictions (BBNJ) and the International Seabed Authority (ISA) mining regulations. DOSI is now a well-established UN observer and attends many events related to these issues, continuing to coordinate targeted scientific input to aid the formation of these high-level regulations.  DOSI contributions come in the form of policy briefs, peer-reviewed papers, reports, books, meeting and workshop participation, UN and ISA side-events, interventions and presentations. DOSI members continuously work hard to build relationships across disciplines and sectors in order to establish a broad knowledge among all stakeholders of the key science/environmental issues and the latest scientific results that may influence the management of the deep ocean. During the last year, DOSI has also continued to raise awareness of climate change in the deep sea and is planning for and promoting the deep ocean as a key component of the upcoming UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

Again this year, we have been successful in leveraging funds for DOSI activities to organize stakeholder workshops, produce technical reports, and to increase participation (including for developing-nation and early-career scientists) in relevant meetings. Communication of important deep-sea research and stewardship matters across and beyond the network is an integral part of our work and, with a further increase in membership from a variety of stakeholders, and an injection of funding from Synchronicity Earth to improve and develop our communications strategy, we are now reaching further afield. We continue to pay close attention to our policy engagement strategy, to ensure that our activities are policy relevant without being policy prescriptive, and take care not to stray towards advocacy.

They say a picture paints a thousand words…. If you prefer words (7436 of them to be precise), see the full DOSI Annual Report to Arcadia Fund online.  If not, here are a few pictures from some of our DOSI team in action (which maybe preferable):

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