Addressing Challenges of Coastal Communities through Ocean Research for Developing Economies (ACCORD) (2020-2021)

Lead Research Organisation: National Oceanography Centre
Department Name: Science and Technology


For developing coastal nations, the ocean provides food security and opportunities for sustainable economic growth through resource exploitation (e.g. fisheries and mineral extraction) and livelihood diversification (e.g. tourism, aquaculture, and blue carbon initiatives). The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has recently predicted that the ocean economy will reach around $US3 trillion by 2030, based on rapidly expanding new ocean industries combined with growth in traditional industries. Fisheries and aquaculture alone currently contribute US$100 billion per year and create 260 million jobs. These and other sectors of the marine economy are growing faster than the world economy. Coastal nations in south east Asia and the western Indian Ocean are all committed to the Blue Economy at the highest governmental level. At the same time, the ocean is under unprecedented stress from over-exploitation, pollution, declining biodiversity and climate change. It is essential that the realisation of these opportunities is managed sustainably and remains resilient to environmental, economic and climate pressures. The ACCORD programme is providing marine managers and policy-makers in nine developing coastal states with evidence and tools to manage the sustainable development and protection of their ocean assets. These countries are: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Vietnam. The proposed new work will build upon and consolidate previous work in these countries so as to increase the uptake of the scientific data and accelerate its translation into policy. In this new phase of ACCORD there will be an increased focus on stakeholder training and institutional capacity building where that has been identified as a priority by our overseas partners. Specifically, for Bangladesh we will help establish the rate of sedimentation and stability of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta. For Malaysia, we will deliver a complete marine spatial planning system and will improve mangrove management policies. Our work will help achieve sustainable fisheries policies for Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. In Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam we will train local stakeholders in the use of models and environmental data to inform local and national decision making. For all of our overseas partners, the tools, training and evidence resulting from our work will drive the sustainable growth of their marine economies and will promote economic, environmental and climate resilience.

Planned Impact

Since ACCORD is supported by NC-ODA then impact has to be measured in the context of promoting economic development and welfare in our partner countries. Our work will directly benefit nine coastal states on the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list of Official Development Assistance (ODA) recipients: these are Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Vietnam. Three of these countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Tanzania) are in the Least Developed Countries category of the DAC-list. In all our partner countries, coastal communities depend directly on marine sectors for food security, revenue and employment.

The new phase of ACCORD will build on partnerships developed over the past three years to provide the tools, training and evidence needed to assist decision-makers in identifying ways to sustain their marine economies and have them adapt to the next century of environmental and climatic stressors. The primary beneficiaries are policy makers, resource managers and coastal managers tasked with delivering sustainable management of marine living resources and climate adaptation options (including protection from natural hazards). The benefits are an increased knowledge base and local capability to deliver up-to-date relevant environmental and socio-economic information to deliver evidence-based development plans and adaptation planning.

Benefits will be realised via our partnerships with the following agencies and government departments: Bangladesh Water Development Board; Bangladesh Forest Department; Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth; Ocean University of China; Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Tanzanian Fisheries Research Institute; Kenyan Marine Fisheries Research Institute; University of Malaysia Terengganu; Cambodian Ministry of the Environment; Marine Conservation Cambodia; University of Malaya; Badan Meteorologi Klimatologi dan Geofisica (BMKG), Indonesia; Da Nang Office for Natural Resources and Environment; Da Nang Agency for Seas and Islands; University of Da Nang.

The UK joined other United Nations members in 2015 to adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It sets out 17 interlinked Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to support the economic and social progress of humanity and protect the environment. The ocean is central to SDG14 but is also critical to achieving SDGs : End poverty (1); End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition (2); Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (11); Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns (12); Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (13); Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources (14); and, Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development (17). Our work will facilitate our overseas partners to attain these goals.

Furthermore, our work addresses directly two goals of the 2015 UK Aid Strategy (UK aid: tackling global challenges in the national interest): "Strengthening resilience and response to crises", and, "Tackling extreme poverty and helping the world's most vulnerable".


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