New Belmont Forum funded international research projects

New Belmont Forum funded international research projects


New Belmont Forum funded
international research projects:
OCEANS PACT, Coast Card, No Crises

Blog post by Bruce Glavovic, 29 June 2020

Earlier this year, the Belmont Forum, JPI Oceans and Future Earth announced the award of funding from 16 countries totaling €14,250,000, plus in-kind contributions, to 13 international research consortia to investigate ways to accelerate sustainable use of oceans and coasts in the face of global change (

Researchers from the FEC community are playing key roles in at least three of these consortia. After delays due to Covid-19, these projects are now getting underway.

Coastal Ocean Assessment for Sustainability and Transformation (COAST Card) is led by Bill Dennison (USA), member of the FEC Academy, with Heath Kelsey (FEC Executive Committee) and a team of researchers who are world leaders in the development and application of coastal report cards.

Negotiating Ocean Conflicts among RIvals for Sustainable and Equitable Solutions (NO CRISES) is led by Ingrid van Putten (Australia), IMBeR SSC, with a team of researchers that includes Marion Glaser (Germany) who is a member of the FEC Academy, and IMBeR SSC Vice-chair.

Ocean Sustainability Pathways for Achieving Coastal Transformation (OCEANS PACT) is led by Michael Gilek (Sweden), together with Bruce Glavovic (Co-Chair, FEC) and Merle Sowman (FEC Academy), and researchers from Sweden, Norway, India, South Africa, Brazil and the USA.


OCEANS PACT focuses on ways to realize the ‘productive potential’ of ocean conflict. Marine conflicts are pervasive. Unresolved conflicts can have massively destructive consequences that hamper efforts to advance ocean sustainability. Such conflicts are often rooted in struggles over ownership, rights, benefits and human-nature relationships on our Blue Planet. This project aims to deepen understanding about real-world ocean conflicts through collaboration research teams that include stakeholder partners, social and natural scientists, and conflict resolution experts. Case study conflicts traverse the Global North and South, in South Africa, India, Brazil, Norway/Barents Sea, Baltic Sea and United States. A key focus is examining how formal interventions, e.g., law, and informal practices, e.g., negotiation, can be harnessed to unlock the transformative potential of ocean conflict resolution. For more information please go to the project website.

As changes in climate, population, pollution, and consumption patterns place coastal ecosystems and communities at increasing risk, a new set of innovative and transformative tools is needed to lead to coastal and ocean sustainability. UMCES (USA IPO) will be leading a four year international collaboration called “Coastal Ocean Assessment for Sustainability and Transformation (COAST Card),” which will develop report cards in Chesapeake Bay USA, Manila Bay Philippines, Tokyo Bay Japan, and the Goa coast of India. The project is funded through the Belmont Forum, an international partnership that mobilizes funding of transdisciplinary environmental change research from over two dozen counties in an effort to remove critical barriers to sustainability. The diverse team assembled to undertake this project from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (USA), University of the Philippines (Philippines), University of Bergen (Norway), Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan), and National Institute of Oceanography (India) will develop a training program and framework for coastal regions around the world. For more information please go to the project website.

Watch out for updates from the projects on our website, too. We are also going to post about it in our newsletter whenever there is something to report – subscribe here to stay up to date!