Governance and Legal Frameworks
The Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME) is one of the largest and most important globally. In recent years Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand have come together to build consensus around a Strategic Action Programme (SAP) with the support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) International Waters, Norway, Sweden and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). The Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) process identified a number of key issues including overexploitation of marine living resources, degradation of critical habitats and pollution and water quality. The TDA process identified several key drivers which contribute to these issues. These include socio-economic drivers, institutional, legal and administrative drivers and climate change. The agreed SAP identified four key objectives including that fisheries and other marine living resources are restored and managed sustainably; degraded, vulnerable and critical marine habitats are restored, conserved and maintained; coastal and marine pollution and water quality are controlled to meet agreed standards for human and ecosystem health; and social and economic constraints are addressed, which should lead to increased resilience and empowerment of coastal people. Analysis of the BOBLME SAP shows that just over 70% of the identified activities are being undertaken to some extent by countries already. SAP implementation recognises the importance of approaches such as the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF), Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) and the focus on Small Scale Fisheries. Whilst BOBLME countries vary considerably in their governance arrangements and capacity to implement, they recognise the importance of regional coordination and cooperation to address transboundary issues.
The Ecosystem Approach in Ocean Planning and Governance takes stock of the challenges associated with implementing an ecosystem approach in ocean governance. In addition to theorizing the notion of Ecosystem Approach and its multifaceted implications, the book provides in depth analyses of lessons learned and remaining challenges associated with making the Ecosystem Approach fully relevant and operational in different marine policy fields, including marine spatial planning, fisheries, and biodiversity protection. In doing so, it adds much needed legal and social science perspectives to the existing literature on the Ecosystem Approach in relation to the marine environment. While focusing predominantly on the European context, the perspective is enriched by analyses from other jurisdictions, including the USA.
This chapter examines the multiple factors affecting the status of marine living resources in marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (abnj), focusing on the gaps and deficiencies in the international law framework regulating these resources. The United Nations process to develop an international legally binding instrument (ilbi) for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in abnjrepresents a historic opportunity to lay the foundation for a more integrated and cross-sectoral system of oceans governance in abnj. This chapter explores the potential role of the ilbi in remediating gaps in the international law framework for marine living resources in abnj.
Protected areas (PAs) are a frequently used conservation strategy, yet their socioeconomic impacts on local communities remain contentious. A shift toward increased participation by local communities in PA governance seeks to deliver benefits for human well‐being and biodiversity. Although participation is considered critical to the success of PAs, few researchers have investigated individuals’ decisions to participate and what this means for how local people experience the costs and benefits of conservation. We explored who participates in PA governance associations and why; the perceived benefits and costs to participation; and how costs and benefits are distributed within and between communities. Methods included 3 focus groups, 37 interviews, and 217 questionnaire surveys conducted in 3 communities and other stakeholders (e.g., employees of a nongovernmental organization and government officials) in PA governance in Madagascar. Our study design was grounded in the theory of planned behavior (TPB), the most commonly applied behavior model in social psychology. Participation in PA governance was limited by miscommunication and lack of knowledge about who could get involved and how. Respondents perceived limited benefits and high costs and uneven distribution of these within and between communities. Men, poorer households, and people in remote villages reported the highest costs. Our findings illustrate challenges related to comanagement of PAs: understanding the heterogeneous nature of communities; ensuring all households are represented in governance participation; understanding differences in the meaning of forest protection; and targeting interventions to reach households most in need to avoid elite capture.
Governments are facing mounting pressure to ‘do something on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14’. The SDG 14 comprises targets and indicators for countries to show progress in achieving conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. One novel approach experiencing traction in improving growth performance of marine resource sectors — particularly marine biotechnology and fisheries — is open innovation. This review assesses the potential impacts of using open innovation approaches more widely with good governance principles to promote sustainable management of marine resource use.
Recent research filled the gap in creating a quantitative marine open innovation measure to monitor and manage marine sector innovation process. Prior 2018, formulation of marine policies — aimed at building economic prosperity from sustainable use of marine environments — were constrained by the absence of a tool to provide an index to compare marine sectors’ innovation performance. This review highlights a need to broaden the measures used to determine marine management effectiveness especially in the context of achieving the SDGs. Governments are urged to pay more attention to new governance tools including open innovation when formulating new policy aimed at building future scenarios of economic resilience involving marine resource use.
To cope with fisheries unsustainability, the Mexican government has recently promoted strategies of public participation to support decision making. This type of strategy is important in the Huave Lagunar System (HLS) in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, where fishers have historically maintained close ethnobiological interactions with their natural resources. This chapter describes the pre-Hispanic fishery system of San Francisco del Mar Pueblo Viejo under the premise that self-government practices in HLS favor the pursuit of social resilience, the ability of a self-organizing system to return to its original state after being disturbed by extreme events. The design of a Fisheries and Climate Planning Agenda that includes strategies considering key aspects of social diversity presents itself as an opportunity to facilitate the reach of social support for decision making, an essential step toward supporting a realistic panorama of sustainability for the sector.
In most coastal communities throughout the South Pacific customary rights to regulate access to vital and scarce resources evolved a long time ago. In many places, these systems have formed the basis of community-based marine management efforts. At the same time, national (fisheries and environmental) legislation regulates various aspects regarding the marine realm. The result is a legal pluralist situation – a circumstance that can affect the governability of coastal fisheries. This study draws on data from Fiji and Solomon Islands to examine how the national marine governance frameworks and customary/community-based marine resource management interact. Fiji has a centralized government and customary governance structures are fairly well defined. Various mechanisms exist that link the national and customary systems. In Solomon Islands customary systems and national governance authority are more dispersed and the latter is partly delegated to provincial governments. Here, partner organizations that engage in local marine management can play a vital role in bridging local and (sub-) national levels. The analysis of the two countries reveals that legal pluralist patterns can play out and be addressed differently. A deeper understanding of the interactions between national and customary marine governance systems can help to design procedures or legal mechanisms which optimize relations across levels and systems, and thus contribute to improving governance outcomes.
Change, adaptation, and resilience have emerged as central concerns in the study of natural resource governance. The mobility of fisheries makes them particularly dynamic and susceptible to long term drivers of movement, such as changing climatic conditions and human pressures. To explore how movement impacts resource systems, this paper presents a mixed-method empirical analysis of long-term geographic shifts and social response in the Northeast U.S. summer flounder fishery from 1996 to 2014. First, the paper describes changes in the distribution of summer flounder and the catch location of commercial fishing trips landing summer flounder. This is followed by a description of the institutional context of summer flounder fishery management and a narrative policy analysis of the ongoing regulatory process. Results indicate significant northward movement of both resource and resource users. Fisheries movement patterns are a result of both ecological change, and an institutional context that allows for some types of fishery mobility while constraining others. Significant conflict has emerged over the distribution of resource access and benefits as these fishery shifts occur within a spatially allocative, and relatively static management context. The analysis identifies competing policy narratives that have emerged to advocate for different forms of adaptation. Narratives offer contesting constructions of the nature and extent of locational shifts, and the fundamental goals of allocation. The differences in these narratives highlight how policy history shapes contemporary disagreements about appropriate response. This fishery serves as a case study for exploring human response to large scale, long-term movements of a natural resource.
In this article, we track a relatively new term in global environmental governance: “blue economy.” Analyzing preparatory documentation and data collected at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (i.e., Rio + 20), we show how the term entered into use and how it was articulated within four competing discourses regarding human–ocean relations: (a) oceans as natural capital, (b) oceans as good business, (c) oceans as integral to Pacific Small Island Developing States, and (d) oceans as small-scale fisheries livelihoods. Blue economy was consistently invoked to connect oceans with Rio + 20’s “green economy” theme; however, different actors worked to further define the term in ways that prioritized particular oceans problems, solutions, and participants. It is not clear whether blue economy will eventually be understood singularly or as the domain of a particular actor or discourse. We explore possibilities as well as discuss discourse in global environmental governance as powerful and precarious.