Capacity Development

Our goal for impact

Ultimately we will be successful over time if the following emerge in the areas where we work:

  • increased conservation and sustainable use of marine resources; and
  • increased human capacity and tools in marine science, conservation and management

So we focus on co-producing research to enable prioritisation of areas to conserve, and on co-developing marine science and management skills to empower locally-led ocean governance.

Capacity development programme

We work for and on behalf of our host countries and develop a close understanding of needs and how we can contribute to meeting those, given our regional scientific aims and our skills and networks.

We co-design and co-produce science working with our host countries, so that we can be confident the research we jointly undertake will be useful and add to existing knowledge.

The key elements of our capacity development programme are:

  • In-country meetings to understand needs and begin to shape how a joint expedition could benefit national priorities
  • Planning workshop in-country with all key local stakeholders, to build a joint science research framework and agree preferred expedition locations, primary scientific questions and roles and responsibilities
  • Nekton grants for local, regional and international scientists to stimulate research questions aligned to the deep sea theme of our expeditions and support analysis and publication (further details below)
  • Expedition participation: local, regional and international scientists participating in Nekton’s field work, including training in the deployment of the latest scientific tools including robotic and human operated vehicles, and working to a new standardised framework for marine research
  • Taxonomic workshops held in host countries post-expedition to accelerate taxonomic identification of collected specimens and provide taxonomic training
  • Visiting fellowships offered to local scientists to conduct research in Oxford alongside Nekton and international scientists and develop relevant skills and new networks
  • Regional ocean ambassadors: outreach training and resources for local scientists to become leading Ambassadors for their region, including public engagement through the media, schools and government
  • Results workshop in-country upon conclusion of the major part of the research activities, to consider findings and their implications for management, agree co-produced papers and tools, learn lessons and make recommendations as appropriate for future research
  • Networks of expertise are developed as part of the activities outlined above to support and sustain local research activities
  • Longer-term collaboration opportunities are also considered, subject to interest and opportunity.

NEKTON GRANT PROGRAMME

In partnership with SeyCCAT (the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust), Nekton created The Deep Blue Grants Fund to enable Seychellois scientists to undertake research connected to the Seychelles expedition’s goals and to participate in the expedition as needed. The joint grant scheme was launched nationally in November 2018 and successful applicants were announced in February 2019. The projects supported are detailed here.

All projects meet at least one SeyCCAT strategic objective:

  • To support new and existing marine and coastal protected areas and sustainable use zones
  • To empower the fisheries sector with robust science and knowhow to improve governance, sustainability, value, and market options

And furthermore meet one or more of the following criteria specified by Nekton:

  • Include a training element to develop capacity in Seychelles for enhanced marine research or monitoring;
  • Include a research question or survey approach which could be applied on a national or regional scale to provide additional data for policy and management decisions;
  • Include collaboration with one or more Seychelles Nekton expedition scientists;
  • Incorporate Nekton approaches or tools, such as GOSSIP (the General Ocean Survey and Sampling Iterative Protocol) and OCTOPUS (the Ocean Tool for Public Understanding and Science).

Please watch this space for further grant opportunities as part of Nekton's Indian Ocean Mission 2018-2022.

If you are able to support any of the current research questions or are interested in supporting our capacity development programme in any other way please contact us at [email protected].