Governance and Legal Frameworks

Struggling over shellfish: How diverging perceptions of marine nature distort deliberative governance

de Koning S, Steins NA, Toonen HM. Struggling over shellfish: How diverging perceptions of marine nature distort deliberative governance. Ocean & Coastal Management [Internet]. 2020 ;198:105384. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569120302921?dgcid=raven_sd_search_email
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Deliberative governance is gaining increasing attention in the management of natural resources with conflicting stakes. Although disputed knowledge is known to affect deliberation, the role of perceptions is understudied. Based on a case study in the Dutch Wadden Sea, a marine protected area, we examine the social representations of shellfish fisheries and marine nature of stakeholders within one deliberative governance arrangement, the Mussel Covenant. Our results show that within this covenant there are two opposing social representations of marine nature which both are not in line with the agreed objectives. Instead, governmental policies still form the guidelines to covenant decisions. We conclude that diverging representations and state-influence decrease deliberation. Therefore, we argue that deliberative governance is not possible without explicitly considering the different cognitive, normative and expressive meanings attached to the marine area or issue at stake. To achieve deliberation, values of stakeholders should explicitly be acknowledged and discussed, and state-influence should be kept to a minimum.

Experiences With Governance in Three Marine Conservation Zoning Initiatives: Parameters for Assessment and Pathways Forward

Muhl E-K, Dias ACarolina E, Armitage D. Experiences With Governance in Three Marine Conservation Zoning Initiatives: Parameters for Assessment and Pathways Forward. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00629/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

In this perspective paper, we examine the challenges of governance in three marine conservation settings where rights, access to resources and zoning intersect with changing social and ecological conditions: (1) Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area in South Africa; (2) Marine Protected Area of the Northern Coast of São Paulo (APAMLN) in Brazil; and (3) Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve in Canada. Many MPAs and related zoning initiatives are located adjacent to coastal communities that rely on marine and coastal resources for their livelihoods. Thus, processes of zoning must often address local use of natural resources which can be perceived by decision-makers and regulators as problematic. Our analysis highlights how conservation zoning intersects with the perception of diverse stakeholders regarding a range of governance dimensions, including: (1) levels of participation and compliance; (2) the clarity of zoning and conservation objectives; (3) livelihood impacts and benefits; (4) evidence of ecological and conservation benefits; and (5) the influence on sense of place. Pathways forward to address the challenges of governance associated with zoning include the importance of co-producing knowledge for more robust zoning outcomes, and situating zoning processes in a co-management context in which power and authority are more evenly distributed.

The Melting Snowball Effect: A Heuristic for Sustainable Arctic Governance Under Climate Change

Dankel DJ, Tiller RG, Koelma E, Lam VWY, Liu Y. The Melting Snowball Effect: A Heuristic for Sustainable Arctic Governance Under Climate Change. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00537/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1376892_45_Marine_20200714_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Climate change in the Arctic is occurring at a rapid rate. In Longyearbyen, Svalbard, the world’s northernmost city, deadly avalanches and permafrost thaw-induced architectural destruction has disrupted local governance norms and responsibilities. In the North Atlantic, the warming ocean temperatures have contributed to a rapid expansion of the mackerel stock which has spurred both geo-political tensions but also tensions at the science-policy interface of fish quota setting. These local climate-induced changes have created a domino-like chain reaction that intensifies through time as a warming Arctic penetrates deeper into responsibilities of governing institutions and science institutions. In face with the increasing uncertain futures of climate-induced changes, policy choices also increase revealing a type of “snowballing” of possible futures facing decision-makers. We introduce a portmanteau-inspired concept called “The Melting Snowball Effect” that encompasses the chain reaction (“domino effect”) that increases the number of plausible scenarios (“snowball effect”) with climate change (melting snow, ice and thawing permafrost). We demonstrate the use of “The Melting Snowball Effect” as a heuristic within a Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) framework of anticipation, engagement and reflection. To do this, we developed plausible scenarios based on participatory stakeholder workshops and narratives from in-depth interviews for deliberative discussions among academics, citizens and policymakers, designed for informed decision-making in response to climate change complexities. We observe generational differences in discussing future climate scenarios, particularly that the mixed group where three generations were represented had the most diverse and thorough deliberations.

European policies and legislation targeting ocean acidification in european waters - Current state

Galdies C, Bellerby R, Canu D, Chen W, Garcia-Luque E, Gašparović B, Godrijan J, Lawlor PJ, Maes F, Malej A, et al. European policies and legislation targeting ocean acidification in european waters - Current state. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2020 ;118:103947. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X19309054
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Ocean acidification (OA) is a global problem with profoundly negative environmental, social and economic consequences. From a governance perspective, there is a need to ensure a coordinated effort to directly address it. This study reviews 90 legislative documents from 17 countries from the European Economic Area (EEA) and the UK that primarily border the sea. The primary finding from this study is that the European national policies and legislation addressing OA is at best uncoordinated. Although OA is acknowledged at the higher levels of governance, its status as an environmental challenge is greatly diluted at the European Union Member State level. As a notable exception within the EEA, Norway seems to have a proactive approach towards legislative frameworks and research aimed towards further understanding OA. On the other hand, there was a complete lack of, or inadequate reporting in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive by the majority of the EU Member States, with the exception of Italy and the Netherlands. We argue that the problems associated with OA and the solutions needed to address it are unique and cannot be bundled together with traditional climate change responses and measures. Therefore, European OA-related policy and legislation must reflect this and tailor their actions to mitigate OA to safeguard marine ecosystems and societies. A stronger and more coordinated approach is needed to build environmental, economic and social resilience of the observed and anticipated changes to the coastal marine systems.

Options to Improve Transparency of Environmental Monitoring Governance for Polymetallic Nodule Mining in the Area

Komaki K, Fluharty D. Options to Improve Transparency of Environmental Monitoring Governance for Polymetallic Nodule Mining in the Area. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.00247/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1320398_45_Marine_20200505_arts_A
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

This paper proposes institutional innovations to advance a transparent monitoring system for the environmental impacts from mineral development on the deep seabed beyond national jurisdictions managed by the International Seabed Authority (ISA). Using a literature review, ISA’s regulations, and five cases of other environmental monitoring of the deep sea, this study observes that ISA’s environmental monitoring system for exploration and exploitation currently lacks critical elements to facilitate transparency. Insufficient compliance reporting and review systems, as well as limited access to information by stakeholders, lower the system’s effectiveness. ISA has not developed adequate mechanisms to support effective multinational collaboration in monitoring. The ISA monitoring system without these characteristics may not be sufficiently adaptive to allow detection and management of environmental changes in the deep seabed. This study suggests 15 institutional recommendations to ISA in order to enhance transparency for monitoring nodule mining in the Central Pacific deep seabed. Principal recommendations include establishing compliance review committees independent of ISA governing bodies, implementing collective monitoring and reporting by adjacent contractors, and reconsidering the centralized decision-making authority by the Secretary-General to improve confidentiality.

European policies and legislation targeting ocean acidification in european waters - Current state

Galdies C, Bellerby R, Canu D, Chen W, Garcia-Luque E, Gašparović B, Godrijan J, Lawlor PJ, Maes F, Malej A, et al. European policies and legislation targeting ocean acidification in european waters - Current state. Marine Policy [Internet]. 2020 ;118:103947. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X19309054
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Ocean acidification (OA) is a global problem with profoundly negative environmental, social and economic consequences. From a governance perspective, there is a need to ensure a coordinated effort to directly address it. This study reviews 90 legislative documents from 17 countries from the European Economic Area (EEA) and the UK that primarily border the sea. The primary finding from this study is that the European national policies and legislation addressing OA is at best uncoordinated. Although OA is acknowledged at the higher levels of governance, its status as an environmental challenge is greatly diluted at the European Union Member State level. As a notable exception within the EEA, Norway seems to have a proactive approach towards legislative frameworks and research aimed towards further understanding OA. On the other hand, there was a complete lack of, or inadequate reporting in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive by the majority of the EU Member States, with the exception of Italy and the Netherlands. We argue that the problems associated with OA and the solutions needed to address it are unique and cannot be bundled together with traditional climate change responses and measures. Therefore, European OA-related policy and legislation must reflect this and tailor their actions to mitigate OA to safeguard marine ecosystems and societies. A stronger and more coordinated approach is needed to build environmental, economic and social resilience of the observed and anticipated changes to the coastal marine systems.

A framework for selecting and designing policies to reduce marine plastic pollution in developing countries

Alpizar F, Carlsson F, Lanza G, Carney B, Daniels RC, Jaime M, Ho T, Nie Z, Salazar C, Tibesigwa B, et al. A framework for selecting and designing policies to reduce marine plastic pollution in developing countries. Environmental Science & Policy [Internet]. 2020 ;109:25 - 35. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462901120301489
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The polluting of marine ecosystems with plastics is both a global and a local problem with potentially severe consequences for wildlife, economic activity, and human health. It is a problem that originates in countries’ inability to adequately manage the growing flow of waste. We use an impact pathway framework to trace the flow of plastics through the socio-ecological system and identify the role of specific policy instruments in achieving behavioral changes to reduce marine plastic waste. We produce a toolbox for finding a policy that is suitable for different countries. We use the impact pathway and toolbox to make country-specific recommendations that reflect the reality in each of the selected countries.

Linking User-Perception Diversity on Ecosystems Services to the Inception of Coastal Governance Regime Transformation

Herbst DF, Gerhardinger LCavaleri, Hanazaki N. Linking User-Perception Diversity on Ecosystems Services to the Inception of Coastal Governance Regime Transformation. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmars.2020.00083/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

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.

Governing Risks of Multi-Use: Seaweed Aquaculture at Offshore Wind Farms

van den Burg SWK, Röckmann C, Banach JL, van Hoof L. Governing Risks of Multi-Use: Seaweed Aquaculture at Offshore Wind Farms. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;7. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmars.2020.00060/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

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.

Review of federal policy to mitigate the impact of microplastics: A comparative study of European Commission’s Plastic Directive Vs Canada-wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste by CCME

Chhabra S. Review of federal policy to mitigate the impact of microplastics: A comparative study of European Commission’s Plastic Directive Vs Canada-wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste by CCME. Toronto: York University; 2019. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/36979
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Thesis

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.

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