Citizen Priorities for Oceans and Human Health

The ocean is under increasing pressure from climate change, biodiversity loss, further degradation through human impacts, and other global changes, resulting in unpredictable, uneven and uncertain outcomes for society including varied risks for human health. In response, the EU Horizon 2020 project SOPHIE (Seas and Oceans for Public Health in Europe) asked European citizens: How do we protect public health and the heath of the marine environment for a more sustainable future? These discussions identified key priorities and actions for OHH that informed the Strategic Research Agenda for Oceans and Human Health (OHH) in Europe.

Following an online, pan-European citizen survey in 14 countries, generating over 14,000 priorities for OHH, a randomly selected sub-sample of 740 priorities were analyzed into 23 priority categories. Next, 14 citizens from 10 European counties participated in a consensus-building workshop around the 23 priority categories, to provide deeper insights into how they perceived the priorities for OHH to be interconnected. This workshop was based on a Collective Intelligence (CI) systems methodology making use of interpretative structural modelling software.

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