Researcher in Profile: Dr. Ratana Chuenpagdee

Ratana Chuenpagdee is Professor in the Department of Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland. From 2006 to 2016, she held the Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Natural Resource Sustainability and Community Development. She is an expert on policy and governance of oceans and coasts, with a focus on fisheries, particularly small-scale fisheries.

She has been instrumental in the development and application of ‘Interactive Governance Theory.’ Her contributions include co-editing three books and writing several peer-reviewed journal articles. Together with students and colleagues, she applies interactive governance to examine fisheries and coastal ecosystems in Canada, Malawi, South Korea, Spain, Tanzania and Thailand. Since 2012, she has directed a major initiative, Too Big To Ignore (TBTI): Global Partnership for Small-Scale Fisheries Research, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Partnership Program.

Through working in collaboration with 15 partner organizations and more than 400 members from around the world, TBTI aims at elevating the profile of small-scale fisheries, rectifying their marginalization in national and international policies, and improving governance for fisheries sustainability worldwide. As part of this partnership, she’s been involved in the development and the implementation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations Voluntary Guidelines on Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries, and co-edited the book, The Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines: Global Implementation (Springer 2017), with Svein Jentoft, María José Barragán-Paladines, and Nicole Franz.

Currently, she is leading the research module Informing Governance Responses in a Changing Ocean for the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI), a collaborative research initiative between Dalhousie University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and the University of Prince Edward Island, in partnership with several organizations including the OceanCanada Partnership. As a collaborator of OceanCanada, and with her work in TBTI and OFI, Ratana’s goal is to support capacity building in transdisciplinary research and governance for global ocean sustainability, as well as the viability of small-scale fisheries and coastal communities around the world.