Connecting the past and future of ocean policy in Brazil


Between November 7th and 11th, 2022, two researchers from the ERC Tradition project were in Brasília (Federal District), where they co-led the production of an Inter-Coastal and Marine Networks Seminar, along with other PainelMar members. PainelMar is an inter-institutional network that hosted the Brazilian Ocean Horizon (HOB) program between 2018 and 2022 ( On the first day, the participants of the Seminar carried out an evaluation of the actions since 2019, which included the operationalization of 8 thematic action-research teams, with subsequent production of audio-script-visual materials, courses, and collaborative editorial experiments in Educommunication aimed at coastal-marine advocacy with a focus on federal public policies and the mobilization and training of young socio-environmental leaders. This event closes a 4-year research-action program with which the ERC Tradition consortium has been contributing structurally, establishing science-policy connections for the protection of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage that the Oceans and coastal zones represent for humanity.

For example, researcher Dannieli Firme Herbst (ERC Tradition) directly supports the co-production process with HOB’s Sustainable Fishing Research-Action Team since 2021. Currently, the researcher is studying the evolution of coastal-marine socio-ecological systems over the last two hundred years in Brazil, focusing on changes in marine biodiversity and the artisanal fishing system. The data collected by the ERC Tradition has thus contributed to a robust historical contextualization of the actions and strategies of PainelMar with concrete results for the inclusive governance of the Brazilian oceans and coasts. Scientist Leopoldo Cavaleri Gerhardinger (ERC Tradition) is developing, in partnership with Dannieli and other members and collaborators of the ERC Tradition project, a partnership with PainelMar and Instituto Linha D’Água for the development of learning resources to support collective action strategies and sociotechnical networks pursuing Blue Justice outcomes for coastal communities (more here).

Still, on the first day of the Inter-Network Seminar, participants identified the necessary skills, knowledge, and attitudes to improve coastal-marine advocacy in Brazil, considering the themes: Socio-environmental Educommunication Management, Dialogue of Knowledges, Education in Communication, Educommunication Pedagogy, Affective Relationships, Artistic Expression, and Media and Information Technologies. On the second day of the Seminar, participants went to Brazil’s National Congress to launch the final products of the program and consolidate the creation of a Working Group on the Ocean in the Environmentalist Parliamentary Front (GT-Mar in the network diagram below). This WG is, from now on, maintained and facilitated by the Executive Secretariat of PainelMar, which will seek to act actively on issues identified during this WG meeting day. Strategies were identified to resume democratic paths towards inclusive governance of the Brazilian ocean, the mapping of legal gaps and litigation, the implementation of coastal management and marine spatial planning, as well as the relationships between these themes and Artisanal Fishing and Food Security (see more here). On the third and last day of the PainelMar Inter-Network Seminar, participants defined a strategic plan with four main components, including i) the sustainability of PainelMar as an inter-network platform; ii) triggering reforms in PainelMar’s governance to optimize the incidence of networks and institutions; iii) the establishment of an Advocacy Plan focused on the GT-Mar of the National Congress and; iv) the development of a training program in Socio-environmental Educommunication aimed at the emancipation of new leaders for advocacy at the Federal level in coastal and marine public policies.

In the weeks following the Seminar, the Executive Secretariat of PainelMar was invited to contribute to the Fishing Working Group, one of the 30 groups that make up the Federal Government’s transition team. In this sense, the consortium contributed with several propositions in the areas of health, education, security and food sovereignty, territorial rights, and the environmental sustainability of aquatic resources. Brazilians live in a historic moment, and the members of the ERC Tradition project are contributing directly to the resurrection of pathways for strengthening democratic institutions, with hope, memory, science, and technology united towards the sustainability of the ocean and artisanal fisheries.