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John Virdin Portrait

Top Fisheries Report Mentions Forthcoming Study by Duke, Others

The latest edition of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) report—the bi-annual flagship publication of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department—was released today. Circulated for the first time at the Committee on Fisheries, a meeting of the world's top fisheries officials, it highlights the importance of fishing and fish farming to people's livelihoods and discusses a 2020 study by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions' John Virdin, Nicholas School of the Environment’s Xavier Basurto, and partners at The WorldFish Center, and the FAO.

Duke Researchers Help Organize UN Event on Small-Scale Fisheries

Researchers from Duke University, including our Ocean and Coastal Policy Program director John Virdin, are playing a role in organizing an international symposium, July 9 in Rome, Italy, on small-scale fisheries’ contributions to sustainable development and food security.

nuclear plant

New Nuclear Tech Won’t Help U.S. Avoid ‘Profound’ Climate Problem

Bloomberg BNA reports that nuclear power, one of the largest sources of low-carbon energy, is fading quickly in the U.S. About 20 percent of U.S. electricity comes from nuclear power plants, but electric utilities are closing plants across the country as companies turn to less-costly natural gas and renewable energy. Five nuclear power plants have closed since 2012, with nine more slated for closure through 2025. “Right now, the cost of generating electricity from newly constructed nuclear plants is almost double the cost for power from a new natural gas combined-cycle plant,” Etan Gumerman, senior policy associate at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, told the paper.

Foundations Support Internet of Water Launch

The Internet of Water, a new project to improve our nation’s water data infrastructure, has been awarded start-up support by six foundations.

The S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Kingfisher Foundation, The Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation, the Pisces Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and the Water Funder Initiative collectively awarded Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions $1 million in grant funding.

Tracing America’s Complicated Relationship With Our Rivers

In his new book “The Source: How Rivers Made America and America Remade Its Rivers,” Martin Doyle, director of the Water Policy Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, traces the nation’s complicated relationship with its waterways. Listen to Doyle speak with NPR's The State of Things host Frank Stasio about his book and about the many people he met whose lives are inextricably tied to their rivers.

Have 101 Utilities Cut their Rates Thanks to the GOP Tax Bill?

PolitiFact unpacks a tweet by President Donald Trump that indicated “101 utilities cut rates, credit GOP tax cuts.” They report that his statement, while mostly true, glosses over the role of energy regulations that mandate that utility savings be passed along to customers. It quotes Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions faculty fellow Billy Pizer: “Rates are set by public utility commissions through rate-making processes that would clearly identify the reasons for the rate change, up or down.”

Experts Gather At The Fisheries Meeting

Small–Scale Fisheries: Measuring Contributions to Catch and Culture

The Nereus Program quotes John Virdin, Ocean and Coastal Policy Program director at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, in an article about an expert workshop they hosted to plan and map out next steps of a global study of small-scale fisheries. It aims to fill the knowledge gaps that policymakers often overlook related to the nuanced social, cultural, nutritional and economic contributions to people and communities that small-scale fisheries support. 

Voices from World Ocean Summit: An interview with John Virdin

At the most recent World Ocean Summit in Cancun, the Economist's World Ocean Initiative team interviewed John Virdin, the director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Virdin, who has been working on fisheries and financing for a number of years, discussed opportunities to structure investment in fisheries and connect capital to policy. 

Catalyst Program Funding will Advance Five Duke Research Projects

Catalyst Program Funding will Advance Five Duke Research Projects

Five projects received funding in the second year of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions’ Catalyst Program.

The program aims to build on the Nicholas Institute’s mission by increasing engagement with Duke University faculty to incubate and advance new partnerships, enhance policy-relevant knowledge, and create innovative policy solutions based on new creative synergies. Funded in the program’s second year:

Duke Infrastructure Course

Rethinking How Fisheries Contribute to Global Food Needs

It’s often said that one in 10 people on the planet is hungry, and that number is on the rise. For Policy 360, Abigail Bennett, lead author of a new report on the contribution of fisheries to food and nutrition security, talks with Kelly Brownell, dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. The report, which aims to provide a foundation of knowledge to inform research and policy on the role of capture fisheries in achieving sustainable development goals to end poverty and hunger, partners experts from the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Environmental Defense Fund, World Bank, Duke Marine Lab, and Duke University's World Food Policy Center.