Rethinking ocean governance in an era of climate urgency: science, impact and the complexities in between

The governance of the ocean is not a novel concept; however, like climate change and energy, its transboundary nature and the involvement of several stakeholders complicate it. This inherent diversity of interests leads to regime complexities and challenges in developing comprehensive regulatory systems. While various laws and treaties ensure peaceful, cooperative, and legally permissible use of the seas and the ocean, these efforts have so far been insufficient and fragmented, resulting in uncoordinated action, limited monitoring and enforcement, and over-exploitation of marine resources. It is, therefore, crucial to advocate for a suitable governance framework and institutional coherence along with science- and technology-driven initiatives to effectively respond to the growing pressures on the ocean. This report is divided into three thematic sections: Science, Impact, and Governance. Section 1 highlights the effect of anthropogenic emissions on ocean warming, acidification, and ocean carbon storage capacity. Section 2 discusses the impact of climate change on the jobs and growth in blue economy sectors and the sustenance of coastal communities. Section 3 examines the regime complex in ocean governance by analysing 62 marine agreements and conventions at the global (19) and regional (43) levels and the supporting governance arrangement of 45 marine institutions to drive collaborative action.