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Coastal & Ocean Initiatives

These coastal and ocean initiatives continue to guide the work that COINAtlantic undertakes. 

International Ocean Institute (IOI) promotes responsible ocean governance and stewardship and sustainable use of ocean resources in Canada and around the world. IOI-Canada is a leading network of IOI centres and focal points. 


Canada’s Ocean Strategy calls for an improved scientific knowledge base for coastal and ocean ecosystems and suggests building co-operation in the monitoring and distribution of information, including Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge, in efforts to benefit a sustainable ocean economy.

Open Government. In 2014, as part of the global open government movement, governments seek to broaden access to data and information, ensure transparency and accountability, and strengthen citizen engagement in the activities of government and in the democratic process. Canada has a longstanding commitment to openness and accountability as a cornerstone of a strong, modern democracy. International leadership on open government is a priority for the Government of Canada. In June 2013, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the other G8 leaders adopted the G8 Open Data Charter, which established open data principles for all member countries, and called for specific commitments to release core public sector data Canada’s 2018-2020 National Action Plan on Open Government. 

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). As of 2016, Canada is a full supporter of the UNDRIP principles. UNDRIP is a political expression of commitment to recognize and respect the rights, co-operation, and partnership with Indigenous peoples in Canada. UNDRIP is not legally binding unlike a treaty. [ii]

The Ocean Frontier Institute, created in 2016, is the North Atlantic region’s first transnational research organization and brings together researchers and institutes from across the globe to understand our changing oceans and create safe, sustainable solutions for ocean development.


In 2018, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster – a joint initiative between the Government of Canada and the private sector - was formally announced; this initiative seeks to accelerate innovation and sustainable economic growth from Canada’s oceans in areas such as marine renewable energy, fisheries, aquaculture, oil and gas, defence, shipbuilding and transportation.

The Canadian Integrated Ocean Observing System (CIOOS) is an online open-access platform designed for sharing reliable and high-quality data and information on the state of our oceans. Launched in 2018, this nationally coordinated system brings together a consortium of partners in the Pacific, St. Lawrence, and Atlantic regions. Regional Associations (RAs) actively support ocean science and management as well as promote collaborative opportunities among ocean sectors across Canada. CIOOS responds to user needs enabling them to share, discover, access, visualize, and download data.


The decadal OceanObs’19 conference held in Hawaii in 2019 featured an Indigenous Ocean Governance Forum for the first time. The Aha Honua, an ocean observing declaration from Coastal Indigenous Peoples, calls on the ocean observing community to “formally recognize the traditional knowledge of Indigenous peoples”, and “to learn and respect each other’s ways of knowing”.

Check out this OceanObs'19 video by Ocean Networks Canada 

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