Ocean Data for Decision-Making

A few small water crafts on calm water during sunlight

The ongoing data revolution has created opportunities for governments and organizations to produce and use data more effectively for environmental policy and decision-making. Simultaneously, this trend has opened up avenues for communities and individuals to engage more meaningfully with decision-making through civic action and dialogue related to environmental protection. Despite this, many groups (e.g. those with lower incomes, indigenous communities) are still unable to fully participate in the processes that generate and transform knowledge into relevant policy and action to address environmental change within their communities and beyond. The voices of these populations remain pervasively underrepresented in decision-making activities; and yet they tend to be the populations most significantly affected by the negative impacts of changes to the marine environment. The reasons for this exclusion are varied and intertwined, including social norms, political considerations, historical research practices, limited appropriate data literacy and research method learning opportunities, and scientists’ own limited understanding of and ability to practice local and indigenous ways of knowing. Effective and equitable environmental policy requires addressing the above barriers to enable deeper involvement of typically marginalized populations in the evolving data-enabled decision-making processes aimed at mitigating or responding to environmental change.

This project draws upon principles of knowledge democracy to develop data for decision-making (D4D) tools and resources that local organizations can use to more effectively work with (and within) their target communities and with scientists and policy makers to generate and use marine data to manage marine resources and ecosystems.

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