What is FOA
FOA is a not-for-profit, neutral and independent association that creates a global alliance of organizations and individuals seeking to address the concerns of researchers, governmental and non-governmental decision-makers. Our constituency is dedicated to integrating the best practices of governance processes via its knowledge sharing network. It will seek to do so at the earliest stages of decision-making, and at all scales, to enhance the sustainable development of the ocean from the local to the global levels, inclusive of local communities.

Our vision
An open and transparent community of producers and users of knowledge at all levels dedicated to ensuring good governance and peaceful sustainable human uses of marine systems: One world ocean - one ocean community.

Our mission
Promoting the co-production and delivery of integrated actionable knowledge among ocean communities and building an inclusive ocean community with the support of innovative informatics —a global ocean knowledge network and sharing platform—able to identify gaps, needs, and address emerging ocean governance issues promptly, efficiently, and fairly.

What motivates us is what makes us different:
Transforming fragmentation and competition into connectivity, synergy, integration, and synthesis
Ocean governance and knowledge are fragmented and so very often isolated in silos: institutions, communities of practice, disciplines, and technical jargon. Access to information, knowledge, and even ocean expertise is fragmented and scattered – in terms of territory and discipline. This fragmentation is a challenge to the research community in finding and synthesizing the necessary knowledge to address ecosystem based management and complex socio-ecological issues. While addressing ocean management and searching for solutions, the following questions are often asked: Who is doing what, where, when, and how? And what for?

To mainstream an ocean agenda geared towards delivering actionable solutions and mindful of the interactions between all natural, social and political components within marine ecosystems, the added value of research needs to be questioned by producers and users of knowledge:
How should research and its results be framed and shared so that they deliver societal-benefits?,
What are the policy and ocean management implications of a particular piece of research or knowledge?, What are the gaps and needs in ocean knowledge and governance?

To frame research questions towards actionable solutions in the context of ecosystem based management, the above questions point a process of integration across:
  • Disciplines, for integrated research
  • Scales, because the ocean has no political boundaries
  • Ocean actors, as identifying problems and delivering solutions   derives from a dialogue where all actors bring knowledge and contribute for implementation.

Integration calls for processes of collaboration and co-production among research communities - across disciplines and scales- and in dialogue with the decision-making communities to elicit needs and gaps, to tailor research and management.

FOA
is a response to the expressed need by the international community for a coordination mechanism that helps formal institutions and communities of practice adapting to new and emergent needs in ocean management and knowledge and delivering solutions for a healthy sustainable ocean.  We aim to transform fragmentation, overlaps and competition into synergies, connectivity, and co-production for integration of institutions, of knowledge, and of ocean actors.

Our goals are to:
1. Create a single and inclusive ocean community, connected across governance levels and disciplines, that engages proactively in ecosystem-based management by producing and integrating actionable knowledge into governance processes
2. Catalyze a constant dialogue between producers and users of knowledge so that the appropriate questions are formulated in guiding research, hence producing actionable results
3. Deliver solutions based on the best available knowledge in support of informed decision-making and ocean governance in a targeted, timely and cost-efficient manner, hence with societal benefits
Subpages (1): Internal Governance