In this paper we explore the challenges for transforming a wide and fragmented coastal governance system toward an ecosystem-based regime by translating shared values of nature into radically novel territorial development policies at highly disputed seascapes. We report an official coastal management institutional experiment in South Brazil, where direct ecosystem users (fishers, miners, mariculture, tourism and leisure, and aquatic transport agents and researchers) perception and classification of ecosystem services (ES) was assessed during 19 collaborative sectoral workshops held with 178 participants from six coastal cities surrounding Babitonga Bay estuarine and coastal ecosystems (Santa Catarina state, South Brazil). Participants collectively enlisted the benefits, rights and resources (or services) they obtain from these ecosystems, rendering a total of 285 citations coded to conventional ES scientific typologies (127 ES grouped in 5 types and 31 subtypes). We explore patterns in ES classificatory profiles, highlighting ecosystem user’s salient identities and exploring how they shape political actions in relation to the implementation of an ecosystem-based management regime. Food (provisioning service), tourism/leisure, employment, work and income (cultural services) as well as transportation (e.g. vessels, ports and navigation) (cultural/people’s services) are perceived by all user groups, and hence consist the core set of perceived shared values amongst direct ecosystem users to inform future transformation narratives. Differences in perception of values amongst user groups combined with high levels of power asymmetry and fragmentation in decision-making, are steering the analyzed system toward an unsustainable pathway. The governance regime has been largely favoring subsets of services and unfair distribution of benefits, disregarding a more diverse array of real economic interests, and potential ecological knowledge contributions. Our integrative and deliberative ES valuation approach advances understanding of critical features of the scoping phase of ES assessment initiatives in coastal zones. We provide empirically grounded and theoretically informed suggestions for the promotion of local knowledge integration through combination of methods that supports transformational research agendas. This paper establishes new groundwork to fulfilling alternative visions for the regional social-ecological system transformation to a more socially and ecologically coherent and equitable development trajectory.
Governance and Legal Frameworks
Spatial claims concerning the rapidly growing European offshore wind sector give rise to various ideas for the multi-use application of wind farms. Seaweed is considered a promising feedstock for food and feed that could be produced at offshore wind farms. Concerns about risks resulting in liability claims and insurance premiums are often seen as show-stoppers to multi-use at offshore wind farms. In this study, key environmental risks of seaweed cultivation at offshore wind farms, identified through literature review, are characterized based on stakeholder consultation. The current approach to risk governance is evaluated to assess how it can handle the uncertain, complex, and/or ambiguous risks of multi-use. It is concluded that current risk governance for multi-use is poorly equipped to deal with the systemic nature of risks. Risk governance should be a joint effort of governments and private regulators. It can improve if it is based on an adaptive framework for risk assessment that can deal with complex, systemic risks. Furthermore, it should be flexible and inclusive, i.e., open to new incoming information and stakeholder input, and taking into account and communicate about the different stakes and values of the various parties involved. The importance of communication and inclusion must be recognized, which promotes participation of concerned stakeholders.
Water is a renewable resource and is a quintessential need for organisms to survive on earth but only when used sustainably. Water plays an indispensable part in achieving the goals of sustainable development that includes health and social needs and economic growth. Maintaining the quality of water is an essential step towards achieving the goals set for sustainable development. However, some anthropogenic activities are responsible for adding impurities to water through improper industrial and domestic waste disposal. This could be the solid waste or toxins released from these solid wastes. Plastic is a form of solid waste that has become the contributor to the deteriorating quality of water around the world. It has been estimated that nearly 8 million tonnes of plastic end up into the oceans each year (Boucher et al. 2017). It takes approximately 1000 years for a plastic material to decompose completely from its disposal site (The Green Space, 2010). The growing use and inappropriate disposal of plastic products in our everyday life continue to reduce water quality. Marine animals and dead birds containing tiny plastic pieces discovered in their guts are nowadays a common site.
More than the plastics scientists and environmentalist around the world are becoming concerned about microplastics. Tons of plastic waste end up into the oceans from dumping sites intentionally or unintentionally, and this plastic waste further breaks down into smaller pieces named microplastics with the help of sun, chemicals, and other microbial activities. If we continue to suffocate our waters like this, the use of plastic cannot be considered sustainable anymore.
Although Canada has already taken up the first steps towards banning microbeads in July 2018, there is still a lot that needs to be done in microplastics. Strengthening the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 could be one of the solutions, where the primary purpose of CEPA is to contribute towards sustainable development and achieving the protection of the environment from toxic substances explicitly mentioned in one of its guiding principles. This paper has attempted to highlight the progress made by the EU to manage their (micro)plastic waste with enhanced recycling methodology along with innovative designs for plastic production. The Canadian government should take an example of such models to strengthen further its efforts towards mitigating the impacts of microplastic pollution and regulating them.
The United States’ sustained economic and geopolitical interest in the Arctic is dependent on Congressional funding and Executive support for icebreaking vessels and improved infrastructure in United States arctic territory. The United States has an interest in the Arctic and it is demonstrated by The Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984 (amended 1990). Through the Act, the United States initiated research and policy development, with the supposition of potential economic benefits in the future. Due to verifiable and anticipated changes in ice density in the Arctic, the region is accessible like never before, and international competition for natural resources and commercial shipping lanes in the Arctic offer enormous economic benefits. The United States is woefully behind its international competitors due to a small and decrepit fleet of icebreaking vessels and crumbling arctic infrastructure. In examining The Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984 and multiple Arctic Strategy Plans that were published by federal agencies operating in the Arctic, it is clear—attention from Congress and the Executive must be redirected towards advancement. The first step to advancing the United States interest in the Arctic is by funding and procuring icebreaking vessels and improving arctic territory infrastructure.
The Law of the Seabed reviews the most pressing legal questions raised by the use and protection of natural resources on and underneath the world’s seabeds.
While barely accessible, the seabed plays a major role in the Earth’s ecological balance. It is both a medium and a resource, and is central to the blue economy. New uses and new knowledge about seabed ecosystems, and the risks of disputes due to competing interests, urge reflection on which regulatory approaches to pursue.
The regulation of ocean activities is essentially sector-based, and the book puts in parallel the international and national regimes for seabed mining, oil and gas, energy generation, bottom fisheries, marine genetic resources, carbon sequestration and maritime security operations, both within and beyond the national jurisdiction.
The book contains seven parts respectively addressing the definition of the seabed from a multidisciplinary perspective, the principles of jurisdiction delimitation under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the regimes for use of non-living, living and marine biodiversity resources, the role of state and non-state actors, the laying and removal of installations, the principles for sustainable and equitable use (common heritage of mankind, precaution, benefit sharing), and management tools to ensure coexistence between activities as well as the protection of the marine environment.
Both Indonesia and the Philippines are located in the same region of Southeast Asia. These countries are facing significant threat related to nation's sovereignty due to overlapping waters to the biggest claimant of PRC (People's Republic of China) by using Nine-dash line claim. After some failure agreements between region organization of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) through DOC (Declaration on the Conduct) in 2002, several strategies are undertaking in soft politics, renaming several portions of waters under political reasons. West Philippines Sea has been used by the Philippines to enhance sense of belonging and nationalism, meanwhile in Indonesia even though was not active claimant in South China Sea conflict, strategies done quietly recent in 2017 by using North Natuna Sea terms to call Indonesian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in northern part of Natuna Island which overlapped to China's claim. Descriptive method through literature study have been used in this research to answer research questions. Some findings in research were even though renaming areas are close related to the political reasons, these actions could uplift capacity in terms of national marine protection, yet Chinese marine surveillance not automatically disappear after renaming those areas respectively. Unending confrontation could hamper bilateral negotiation in the region, meanwhile environmental degradation related to coral ecosystem remain high.
Deeper economic integration within the Caribbean has been a regional policy priority since the establishment of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the decision to create the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME). Implementation of integration initiatives has, however, been slow, despite the stated commitment of political leaders. The “implementation deficit” has led to skepticism about completing the CSME and controversy regarding its benefits. This paper analyzes how Caribbean integration has evolved, discusses the obstacles to progress, and explores the potential benefits from greater integration. It argues that further economic integration through liberalization of trade and labor mobility can generate significant macroeconomic benefits, but slow progress in completing the institutional arrangements has hindered implementation of the essential components of the CSME and progress in economic integration. Advancing institutional integration through harmonization and rationalization of key institutions and processes can reduce the fixed costs of institutions, providing the needed scale and boost to regional integration. Greater cooperation in several functional policy areas where the region is facing common challenges can also provide low-hanging fruit, creating momentum toward full integration as the Community continues to address the obstacles to full economic integration.
Boundary spanning – the practice of facilitating knowledge exchange to address complex sustainability challenges – has the potential to align research and policymaking and increase the uptake of research in decision making. But the goals, methods, and outcomes of boundary-spanning activities in the environment sector can be difficult to describe, missing an opportunity to share lessons learned and improve as a community of practice. This paper describes boundary-spanning activities to integrate research about environmental sustainability with federal ocean policy dialogues in the U.S. We describe the process of organizing, facilitating, and learning from a series of meetings in which five interdisciplinary researchers engaged with federal ocean policy audiences. While the longer-term impacts of the activities associated with these meetings are subtle and remain difficult to detect, more immediate outcomes are observable. These include new professional relationships among researchers and policy staff, reported relevance of the research to general policy discourse, and a narrative that frames the opportunity for policymakers to learn from past industrialization on land as they manage an emerging industrial revolution in the ocean. By presenting the process and outcomes of our boundary-spanning activities, we aim to stimulate timely debate within ocean policy, management, and research communities about the importance of multiple benefits provided by healthy and intact ocean ecosystems and how to protect them in the face of the expanding industrialization of the ocean.
Bigi Pan Multiple Use Management Area (MUMA, IUCN category VI) is a coastal protected area situated in the Northwest Suriname between the Atlantic Ocean and the Nickerie River. The area is characterized by wetlands with mangrove forests, contains high biodiversity, and is of socio-economic, ecological and ornithological importance. However, the MUMA is overexploited and subject to competition between various income generating activities, including uncontrolled fisheries and unregulated tourism combined. Insufficient capacity of government agencies for enforcement and policy implementation and lack of communication between relevant government agencies has further contributed to unsustainable practices that diverge from ‘wise use’ and conservation. This article analyses the case of Bigi Pan MUMA from the perspective of collaborative governance. It explores how local communities address the conflicts, user pressure, and implementation gaps that lead to unsustainable practices in Bigi Pan MUMA. In addition, it explores the potential of stakeholder engagement with the local community and key user groups to provide meaningful and regular opportunities to actively participate in decision-making structures and to deliberate on management actions. The conclusion finally presents arguments on how collaborative governance can become more effective by including local communities and by strengthening local decision-making and management.
The health of the ocean, central to human well-being, has now reached a critical point. Most fish stocks are overexploited, climate change and increased dissolved carbon dioxide are changing ocean chemistry and disrupting species throughout food webs, and the fundamental capacity of the ocean to regulate the climate has been altered. However, key technical, organizational, and conceptual scientific barriers have prevented the identification of policy levers for sustainability and transformative action. Here, we recommend key strategies to address these challenges, including (1) stronger integration of sciences and (2) ocean-observing systems, (3) improved science-policy interfaces, (4) new partnerships supported by (5) a new ocean-climate finance system, and (6) improved ocean literacy and education to modify social norms and behaviors. Adopting these strategies could help establish ocean science as a key foundation of broader sustainability transformations.