Ocean and Coastal Policy Program News

Cooperation Aimed at Sustainable Fisheries, Poverty Reduction

The western and central Pacific Ocean is home to the world’s richest tuna stocks. The region is also becoming the meeting place of poverty reduction and natural resource protection efforts by a handful of countries that benefit from control of this rich natural wealth. Although those countries’ returns from tuna fisheries have increased significantly through improved fisheries management, they could be simultaneously bigger and more sustainable. Papua New Guinea and Pacific Island countries supply some 34 percent of the global catch of tuna each year. For these countries, whose economic growth drivers are constrained by their geographic isolation, management of tuna fisheries can make the difference between economic stagnation or a significant rise in per capita gross domestic product (GDP). That management—and more specifically, regional cooperation in it—will heavily influence whether some of the world’s last healthy tuna stocks will be maintained. “The key challenge for Pacific Island countries is to sustainably harness a greater share of the benefits from their tuna fisheries without depleting fish stocks,” said John Virdin, director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. New work by the Nicholas Institute with partners at Duke and the World Bank aims to suggest a pathway to adoption of specific management reforms to meet those twin goals.

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Roady to Join Duke to Identify, Tackle Pressing Environmental Issues

Steve Roady brings a wealth of environmental law and policy experience to his new joint appointment at Duke’s Law School and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. As professor of the practice at the Law School and a faculty fellow at the Nicholas Institute, Roady, who has taught environmental litigation and ocean and coastal law and policy as a senior lecturing fellow at the Law School since 2003, will continue to teach. He will also be charged with creating interdisciplinary teams to examine approaches to large-scale environmental problems.

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Search Begins for Climate and Energy Program Lead

Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions has launched a search for their next Climate and Energy Program director. “We are at an incredibly important point in global climate and energy policy,” said Nicholas Institute Director Profeta. “This opening allows for someone to lead a team that plays a role in critical environmental debates centered around the Clean Power Plan and other environmental regulations, the transition of the future electric grid, and next steps for U.S. climate policy.”

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World Bank says Pacific can Earn Much More from Tuna

A new World Bank report says better management of tuna fisheries can help Pacific countries earn up to $344 million annually and outlines a best-case scenario for the year 2040, where tuna fisheries will play a greater role in the region's economic growth. The report, co-authored by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions' Ocean and Coastal Policy Program director John Virdin,recommends five policy strategies to help the region play a bigger role in economic growth: more regional integration; efficient fishing practices and catch limits; flexible access and eventual output rights for fleets; investment in skills and capacity; and the inclusion of coastal communities in fisheries planning.

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Better Cooperation on Fisheries Could Help the Pacific Net Additional $344 Million Every Year

PORT VILA, May 12, 2016 – A new World Bank report says better management of tuna fisheries can help Pacific Island countries gain as much as US$344 million per year in additional sustainable revenues and create 7,500 to 15,000 jobs by 2040.

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Fisheries Reforms Could Create US $344 Million in Extra Revenue: World Bank

Better management of Pacific tuna fisheries could allow countries to gain as much as $344 million in extra revenue per year, and create up to 15,000 jobs by the year 2040, according to a new World Bank report co-authored by the Nicholas Institute Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions' Ocean and Coastal Policy Program director John Virdin. In an interview with ABC Pacific Beat, Virdin says its important for the region to build on the hard work that's already been done to reform fisheries.

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U.N. Climate Deal: Are we Done?

In the largest ever single-day turn-out for a signing ceremony, more than 170 governments on April 22 signed the Paris Agreement, which has a goal of limiting average surface temperatures to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius. Voice of America asked experts if the agreement solves climate change globally. Brian Murray, director of the Environmental Economics Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, says the real test is “whether the countries will actually take action."In the largest ever single-day turn-out for a signing ceremony, more than 170 governments on April 22 signed the Paris Agreement, which has a goal of limiting average surface temperatures to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius. Voice of America asked experts if the agreement solves climate change globally. Brian Murray, director of the Environmental Economics Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, says the real test is “whether the countries will actually take action."

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Scientists Call for New Strategy to Study Climate Change Impacts on Coral Reefs

An international research team, which includes the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions' Linwood Pendleton, calls for a targeted research strategy to better understand the impact multiple stressors will have on coral reef in the future due to global climate change. The scientists published their new approach to coral reef research in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

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Study Finds Impacts to Coral Reefs Underestimated

In a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science, the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions’ Linwood Pendleton—with co-authors from the University of Miami, the University of Queensland and the University of Brest—report that evidence is stacking up to suggest that impacts to coral reefs may be underestimated. In a Q&A, Pendleton says that’s not all. By themselves, current scientific studies do not fully capture the complexity or number of environmental changes the reefs face.

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Duke Kunshan to Offer New Professional Degree in Environmental Policy

Duke Kunshan University will offer a new international master’s degree in environmental policy (IMEP) beginning in the fall of 2017. The four-semester, 16-course program is designed to meet the growing global need for leaders who are versed in both Chinese and international environmental issues and policies. Billy Pizer of the Sanford School and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutionsis among the faculty members that spearheaded the program’s creation.

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