IOA News Letters Summary

(Ed. note: This article contains parts of selected paragraphs quoted verbatim from a brochure about the Institute)

The Ocean Polity Institute, established as a new division of the Pacific Forum/CSIS, is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing an international forum for research and analysis of ocean-related scientific and technological knowledge, capabilities, needs, and opportunities as they bear on policy problems and economic, environmental, and political issues. It will endeavor to foster interaction and channel cooperation among ocean-related organizations in order to improve the stewardship and utilization of ocean resources for the mutual advantage for all. Located in Hawaii, the institute is a natural outgrowth of Pacific Forum's mission to serve as a bridge among various countries, disciplines, and perspectives in Asia-Pacific policy studies.

The Need

The use of the world's oceans as a primary resource has grown in importance and complexity as economic interdependence has deepened and as ocean usage has intensifled. Scientific and policy-making communities in a number of countries wrestle with the resulting opportunities and challenges. Attention is now drawn to the need to preserve the ecological integrity of the oceans. Policies need to be developed that adequately take into account scientific and technical studies; national governments need to coordinate in utilizing a resource that in many cases defies national boundaries; and scientific efforts need to be strategically oriented and interpreted to address the society and environmental concerns with which policy makers must deal.

A major institutional effort is needed to help foster interaction and channel cooperation among the various elements concerned in order to improve the overall stewardship and utiliztion of ocean resources to the mutual advantage of all. A new institutional arrangement, with independence and permanence, is needed to integrate repidly developing scientific knowledge and technical capacity with economic and sociopolitical processes amd issues.

The Ocean Policy Institute can fulfill this need; It is the first of its kind in the Asia-Pa-cific region, and is designed to help bring scientific and technical expertise to bear on policy problems, bridging the gaps between the policy and scientific arenas as they related to ocean matters.

Hawaii Headquarters

Hawaii's special assets facilitate the examination of ocean policy issuse of regional and global concern and endow it with a natural comparative advantage to specialize in this field. Hawaii has ideal access to Asian and Pacific Island nations, to the U. S. Mainland and the Americas and, indeed, to all the world. As an island state, with oceanic origin and outlook, whose indigenous culture has long contributed to oceanic expertise, Hawaii has an abiding interest in the global ocean and atmosphere.

International Outreach

The Ocean Policy Institute will have full access to the staff, resources, and extensive international leadership networks of the Pacific Forum/CSIS and of its parent, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D. C.

The Pacific Forum is a policy research institute focused on the Asia-Pacific and dedicate to promoting political, economic, and security cooperation between the U. S. and its allies and friends in the region. Founded in 1975, the forum merged in 1989 with CSIS.

The Institute's Methods

Creative and sound policy approaches to ocean issues, reflecting the kmowledge, experience, and vision of the best minds in the field, are the Institute's aims.

The institute will view policy matters from a variety of perspectives,.... Characteristically, highly qualified study groups of the appropriate size and mix of capabilities will be assembled to deliberate selected areas of attention. Detailed and intensive research needs will be accomplished by staff members or consultants. Over the longer term, it is envisioned that support can be found for a perrmanent group of research associates interested in the application of scientific knowledge and technological capability to teh broad range of ocean policy issues.