Changing Currents (2005 - 2007)

The goal of the Changing Currents Series is to define a course of action for the future sustainability of oceans.

August 8 - 10, 2006, Change Islands, Newfoundland





The focus of this workshop was on moving from policy to action. Participants engaged in dialogue to determine:

  • how coastal communities can learn from lessons of others about what are the enablers of positive actions,
  • how to benefit from new coastal and ocean opportunities and
  • how to determine how a more responsive, flexible, cohesive system can be developed given that the current system of governance is complex and lacks clarity.

In 2003 at another workshop on Change Islands, we focused on the vulnerabilities in rural communities and what adaptations were taking place. The next step was to identify and assess realistic actions. This workshop focused on how communities can rebuild their capacity and sustain the livelihoods and communities in which they live.

Associated Resources:

Convenors' Report from The Future of Endangered Communities: Building Capacity for Renewal  prepared by Marueen Woodrow and Patricia Gallaugher 

On-Site Program

Speaker Bio-Sketches

Speaker Slides

Photos from the Workshop - photographer Herb Bown and SFU various


February 23-26, 2005, Centre for Dialogue, SFU Vancouver



The goal of Changing Currents: Charting a Course of Action for the Future of Oceans Dialogue was to define a course of action for the future sustainability of oceans. To achieve this, a highly focused dialogue among invited participants who represented international ocean experts, government managers and policy makers, First Nations, ocean industry, NGOs and coastal communities was held at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, February 23-26, 2005. To encourage mentorship and benefit from the exchange of knowledge and ideas, participants also represented a cross-section of senior, mid-career and early career professionals from all sectors.

The catalysts for the dialogue included several key presentations and case studies that identified challenges and demonstrated how positive change could occur. Discussions examined ocean issues through the lenses of community, institution (governmental organisations), science, industry and civil society. Throughout the meeting the following questions were presented to guide the dialogue:

  1. What changes are needed?
  2. What are the obstacles/resisters and challenges to effecting change?
  3. What are the enablers of change?
  4. What will it take to effect change?
  5. What are feasible timescales for change?

In addition to these questions, other questions were posed that were specific to the lenses of community, institution, science, industry and civil society.

The key points raised during the dialogue are reflected in the summary that follows. At the conclusion of the dialogue participants identified an action plan which is reflected in the Summary Statement from the Changing Currents dialogue and the Blueprint for Action.

Associated Resources:

Summary Statement from Dialogue

Framework for Action, March 2005 (superceded by Blueprint for Action)

Linking Changing Currents with a Blueprint for Action for the Future of Oceans prepared by Patricia Gallaugher, Jackie Alder, Leah Bendell and Sylvie Guenette

On-Site Program

Briefing Materials

Speaker Slides

Message Box ©SeaWeb by Nancy Baron, SeaWeb

Valuing Ocean Ecosystems by Steve Farber (Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania)

Scenarios and Trade-offs by Jackie Alder (Fisheries Centre, UBC)

What goes wrong with ecosystem models as tools for policy design- and what can we do about it? by Carl Walters (Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia)

Negotiating Concerns for Developing Countries in Fisheries Trade: the case of Tanzania by Hugo Cameron

Mobilisation pour la gestion integrée et concertée de la baie de Caraquet dans le sud du Golfe du St.-Laurent: étude de cas by Omer Chouinard and Jean-Paul Vanderlinden (Environmental Studies, Université de Moncton)

MPAs: Understanding the Human Dimensions by Patrick Christie (School of Marine Affairs and Jackson School of Intl. Studies, University of Washington)

L'arrêt de la pêche aux Sélaciens dans le Parc National du Banc d'Arguin (PNBA): Enjeux et défis de la reconversion des acteurs by Mika Samba Diop

The Wadden Sea: A Success Story by Jens Enemark (Secretary General, Common Wadden Sea Secretariat)

Turning the Tide: Addressing the impact of fisheries on the marine environment by Ian Graham-Bryce (Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution)

Addressing Commonalities between Turning the Tide and Defying Ocean’s End by Arlo H. Hemphill (Coordinator of Defying Ocean’s End for Conservation International, Washington, DC)

Transforming Technologies by Philip R. Hill (Natural Resources Canada, Earth Sciences Sector, Geological Survey of Canada)

The Collapse of Northern Cod: Malleable Links Between Science and Policy by Jeffrey Hutchings (Dept. Biology, Dalhousie University Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)

Remote Ocean Observation Systems: Seafloor Mapping with Sound and Light by Rikk Kvitek (CSUMB Seafloor Mapping Lab)

Community-Based Management of Coastal Resources in the Philippines: Developing Indicators of Effectiveness by Marivic Pajaro (Fisheries Centre, The University of British Columbia)

Healthy oceanic ecosystems by Hein Rune Skjoldal) (Institute of Marine Research, Bergen, Norway

Ecologically and economically sustainable use of the waters of Loch Torridon in the North West Highlands of Scotland by Karen Starr

Oil Pollution in Newfoundland: Impacts on Seabirds by Stan Tobin (Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Association)

Small Scale Fisheries: Past, Present and... by Gert van Santen (Former Senior Fisheries Specialist, World Bank)

Impact of Climate Change on Oceans by Ken Denman (Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, Meteorological Service of Canada, University of Victoria)