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Women In Marine Governance: Linda Del Savio

#WIMG is a PERMAGOV campaign designed to celebrate the role of women in marine governance. Case studies take the form of short interviews where participants share their background, interests, ideas and recommendations for improving the way in which ocean affairs are managed. Each story is unique. By spotlighting our WIMG stars, we hope that readers from all walks of life will be inspired to make their contribution in support of a sustainable ocean. Featured in this case study is Linda Del Savio, Research Associate at the Research Institute for Sustainability (RIFS) - Helmholtz Centre Potsdam.

Linda Del Savio, Research Associate at Research Institute for Sustainability (RIFS) - Helmholtz Centre Potsdam

Current job

I am a Research Associate with the Ocean Governance Group at the Research Institute for Sustainability – Helmholtz Centre Potsdam (RIFS, former IASS) in Potsdam, Germany. My work focuses on two Horizon Europe projects: SOS-ZEROPOL2030 and Marine SABRES, which are part of the EU project cluster within the RIFS Ocean Governance Group. In SOS-ZEROPOL2030 we look at the governance of marine pollution with the aim to establish a holistic zero pollution framework that can guide the EU towards zero pollution in European Seas by 2030. In Marine SABRES we are interested in accelerating the uptake of ecosystem-based management and focus on three context-diverse Demonstration Areas: the Tuscan Archipelago, the Arctic and the Macaronesia. A typical workday usually includes dedicated time for research activities and meetings with the project team to check in on tasks and discuss the ongoing work.

Study and career path

Prior to joining RIFS, I was a Project and Research Support Fellow at the World Maritime University-Sasakawa-Global Ocean Institute in Malmö, Sweden where I supported the organization and implementation of the International Maritime Organization-World Maritime University London Convention & Stockholm Declaration 50th anniversaries Conference. In my previous role as Carlo Schmid Fellow to the Closing the Circle Programme, which focuses on exploring challenges and advancing potential solutions to marine debris, Sargassum and marine spatial planning (MSP) in the Eastern Caribbean, I worked on ocean governance related aspects, such as the role of trade in governing plastic pollution or the role of cities in sustainable ocean governance. I hold a degree in Political Science from the University of Bonn and a MA in International Politics and International Law from the University of Kiel.

Marine governance

Marine governance encompasses governments, communities, industries and other relevant stakeholders who interact and govern ocean activities through national and international law, custom, tradition and culture, as well as institutions and processes created by them. This definition goes back to Elisabeth Mann Borgese, revealing the importance and complexity of marine governance. As such, an improvement would be to explore ways for improved collaboration, as we often tend to work and think in silos.

Recommendations The field of marine governance provides many opportunities for inter- and transdisclinary collaboration and for approaching the subject from different perspectives. Horizon Europe Projects that allow for stakeholder participation and engagement provide a good example in that regard. Finding a mentor, especially at an early career stage can be very helpful.

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PERMAGOV has received funding from the European Union's Horizon Europe research and innovation programme HORIZON-CL6-2022-GOVERNANCE-01-03 under grant agreement No 101086297, and by UK Research and Innovation under the UK government’s Horizon Europe funding guarantee grant numbers 10045993, 10062097, 101086297.

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