News - John Virdin

Duke researchers set out to determine how governments around the world are responding to oceanic plastic pollution. Their search led them to compile and analyze an inventory of nearly 300 policies instituted between 2000 and mid-2019 to address the issue.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted momentum for government action to address plastic pollution. The authors of a global review of government responses over the last 20 years have observed complex impacts from the pandemic on international and national efforts. However, it seems local governments have pushed the pause button, particularly in the case of single-use plastics in the United States.

Governments at every level have taken steps over the last decade to reduce the flow of plastic pollution into the world’s oceans, according to a Duke University policy analysis published today. The analysis finds, however, that the vast majority of new policies have focused specifically on plastic shopping bags. More study needs to be done to determine whether they have worked.

The balance between protecting ocean resources and still relying on them for livelihoods is at the heart of what is known as the blue economy. Duke Stories explores how scholars across Duke, including at the Nicholas Institute, are working to expand humanity’s understanding of the ocean, consistent with the university's mission to seek solutions to the world's most pressing problems.

The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions is giving Duke University students a workout—for their environmental policy knowledge.

More than 40 students crammed into the fifth-floor boardroom of Grainger Hall on a Friday afternoon to get answers to their questions about the inner workings of Congress. The session was the first in a series of Policy Boot Camps that will feature Nicholas Institute professionals sharing their expertise engaging directly with decision-making institutions. 

Push-ups are being replaced by policy at the Nicholas Institute’s boot camps. 

Aimed at increasing student fluency in engaging with policy making institutions, the boot camps will draw from the experience of four policy experts and cover ways to engage with Congress, federal agencies and international institutions, reports The Chronicle.

Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, kicked off the first boot camp Oct. 25 to focus on the workings of Congress.

Small-scale fisheries are central to solving many problems in the oceans, such as overfishing or loss of natural habitats, as well as on land by addressing poverty and hunger in places where jobs and quality nutrition are limited, write John Virdin and Xavier Basurto.

The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University has awarded funding to six research projects for Fiscal Year 2019–20 through the institute's Catalyst Program.

Now in its third year, the Catalyst Program aims to build on the Nicholas Institute’s mission by increasing engagement with Duke faculty to incubate and advance new partnerships, enhance policy-relevant knowledge, and create innovative policy solutions based on new creative synergies.

Pacific Catalyst, a partnership of fishery management experts in collaboration with the University of the South Pacific (USP), today announced their official launch and described several projects they have underway. They also introduced their new website at PacificCatalyst.org.

The Illuminating Hidden Harvests study will provide critical knowledge and information on small-scale fisheries globally, informing the way forward for sustainable development of the sector.