Ocean and Coastal Policy Program News

Blending Capital to Fill the Ocean’s Fisheries Finance Gap

How can we help global fisheries recover while providing for the millions dependent on them for survival? In The Economist, the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions John Virdin writes about new ways of bridging the fisheries finance gap.

National Academies’ Gulf Research Program Awards $5.3 Million to Enhance Environmental Restoration Outcomes and Improve Oil Spill Risk Assessment

The Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced grant awards for seven new projects totaling $5.3 million, including an award to a team of researchers led by Lydia Olander of Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Five of the projects involve developing or testing new technologies or methods for monitoring or evaluating environmental restoration projects to improve future restoration efforts.

How Blended Finance Can Help Global Fisheries Recover

There is power in returns, writes Tim Fitzgerald in Forbes. At its core, that’s the notion behind blended finance, or the strategic use of philanthropic funds and development finance to mobilize private capital flows to emerging and frontier markets. Blended finance takes advantage of different types of capital, and their varied structures, risk preferences and desired investment outcomes, to grow the overall size of the pie dedicated towards critical conservation challenges. A new report just released by Environmental Defense Fund’s Fishery Solutions Center and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions asserts that blended capital approaches offer a new opportunity to fill the all-too-common finance gap that has hampered the recovery of many of the world’s fisheries.

Eight Faculty Groups are Awarded 2018 Intellectual Community Planning Grants

Three Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions researchers are among the recipients of Duke University Intellectual Community Planning Grants. This funding will be used by these researchers—Kay Jowers, John Virdin and Steve Roady—to explore environmental and economic justice in rural America as well as governing the oceans for nutrition and food security.

From a Doctor-Turned-Mathematician to an Art Historian Teaching Politics, Meet Some of Duke's Newest Faculty

The Chronicle writes that in the fall semester, Duke welcomed many new faculty members from a number of fields. Among them, Steve Roady, a professor of the practice of law at Duke Law School and a faculty fellow at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. 

Global Alliance Releases New Tools to Guide Evidence-based Solutions Across Health, Development, and Environment

The Bridge Collaborative, a global alliance of 90 organizations from 23 countries, today released two new tools to assist decision-makers solving big challenges facing health, development, and the environment. The Bridge Collaborative Practitioner’s Guide on Principles and Guidance for Cross-sector Action Planning and Evidence Evaluation and the policy-focused Call to Action for Health, Environment, and Development Leaders were developed to accelerate progress toward building a shared, cross-sector evidence base that informs strategies, shapes policies, and directs funding decisions to achieve concrete solutions.

Ocracoke Island by William Britten Photography

The Blue Economy Makes Waves in Policy Circles

The blue economy concept could help policy makers more fully consider the marine environment together with economic growth to help meet the United Nation’s oceans sustainable development goal. John Virdin, director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, is studying how governments in the United States and abroad might apply the blue economy concept to increase rates of economic return without depleting or damaging ocean ecosystems, which would put not only natural resources but also jobs and economic growth at risk. 

Survey Gauges Top Leaders Views of Environmental Policy Landscape

In spring 2017, researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU) and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions set out to determine what and how a broad cross-section of thought leaders at private corporations, nonprofits, government agencies, and universities think about emerging environmental trends, risks, and opportunities. Through the Emerging Environmental Issues Survey, the researchers aimed to assess both the reach and the manageability of environmental change.

Building a Blue Economy in North Carolina

The ocean economy contributed $2.1 billion and 43,385 jobs to North Carolina’s economy in 2013, according to a new report by North Carolina Sea Grant and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Ocean and coastal resources played an even larger role in the state’s coastal counties, providing 6.5 percent of gross domestic product, or GDP, and supporting 13 percent of employment. And according to “North Carolina’s Ocean Economy: A First Assessment and Transitioning to a Blue Economy” report co-author Tibor Vegh, these figures are most likely low. “Our estimates represent a snapshot in time only for the sectors where we could find economic data,” Vegh, a policy analyst with the Nicholas Institute, tells CoastWatch.

Workshop to Share Experiences of Support to Small-Scale Fisheries

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions' Ocean and Coastal Policy Program intern Jill Hamilton writes about a two-day workshop hosted by the Nicholas Institute and the Nicholas School of the Environment that explored global support efforts to small-scale fisheries. The meeting, which gathered practitioners, philanthropists, fishers and scientists from across the globe, examined the Food and Agriculture Organization's voluntary guidelines for securing sustainable small-scale fisheries, the first internationally-agreed-upon tool to address small-scale fisheries, released in 2015