Sewing a blue patchwork: An analysis of marine policies implementation in the Southeast of Brazil
The lack of a strategic planning to order a defined marine territory may result in a patchwork of overlapping policies, sometimes reinforcing the legislation, but sometimes contradicting it. In Brazil, Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) policies have been implemented to marine management, however, in an independent way. This article presents the patchwork of marine policies in the State of São Paulo (Southeast of Brazil) and analyses their implementation process, symmetry and the integration between them. The policies analysed were the State Plan for Coastal Zone Management and the Marine Protected Areas of São Paulo Coast. Four main procedures were conducted: 1) a historical survey of marine policies legal establishment; 2) the analysis of criteria used to determine the marine zonings, 3) the production of maps to identify policies and marine zonings overlaps and; 4) the analysis of the implementation stage of policies by comparing the procedures accomplished by the policies analysed with the procedures proposed by the marine planning, management and conservation (MPMC) frameworks. It was observed that the policies analysed have not fully implemented the management procedures yet, such as the plans of management and monitoring programs, accomplishing only the basic procedures recommended by the MPMC frameworks. Marine zonings' criteria were mainly derived from political-economic interests at the expense of ecological features. Asymmetry and little integration between policies were verified. It resulted in the MPAs being ruled in part by the ICZM policy. A wider Ecosystem-based Marine Spatial Planning strategy (EBM-MSP), supported by a committee of integration, could sew this “blue patchwork”, considering the multiple uses in the territory and fostering policies full implementation. To achieve coherence on this decision-making process, MPMC policies' instruments should be founded on ecosystem-based management and on governance mechanisms with representatives' parity. Future studies should advance in investigating marine policies' symmetry and integration, stakeholders' dynamics and zoning criteria towards the sustainability of ecosystems services.