DOSI seeks to integrate science, technology, policy, law and economics to advise on ecosystem-based management of resource use in the deep ocean and strategies to maintain the integrity of deep-ocean ecosystems within and beyond national jurisdiction.
Human activities in the deep ocean are accelerating rapidly, mostly out of sight. As climate change reaches into deep waters, pH is dropping and oxygen is declining and the resilience of deep-sea ecosystems and the key services they provide are compromised. Gaps abound in deep-ocean governance: most legal frameworks, both national and international, lack essential mechanisms to manage and protect ocean resources. Many countries with deep-water resources lack the expertise to support sustainable management and protection while in international waters, and there is no consistent application of environmental assessment approaches. There is a real risk that the deep ocean will become industrialized without sufficient environmental planning.
Deep-ocean biodiversity supports key ecosystem functions and services including nutrient regeneration, carbon sequestration and a storehouse – a living library – of genetic resources that may hold benefits to humans and the key to future adaptation. Therefore, it is imperative to manage the deep ocean from a global, multi-sectorial and cross-disciplinary perspective, to safeguard the marine environment while enabling its sustainable use. The Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) is a union of experts from across disciplines and sectors formed to develop new ideas for sustainable use and management of deep-ocean resources. A main objective will be capacity building for developing countries in whose waters many deep-water seabed resources are located. DOSI works by assembling experts to address priority areas, to develop tools, strategies and resources to maintain ecosystem integrity, and to develop programs that promote sustainability and responsible use of the deep ocean. DOSI engages with industry and regulators, scientists and civil society to increase awareness and build capacity for support of initiatives that will lead to sustainable use and management of deep-ocean resources now and for future generations.
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