In the collaborative natural resource governance literature, stakeholder participation is most often treated as instrumental to the normative legitimacy and, thus, effectiveness of the environmental state. This study adds a perspective of stakeholder legitimacy as the outcome of competition among groups with differential power operating under the influence of powerful systemic forces. Stakeholders with differential capacities engage in a politics of visibility to determine what is and is not made transparent. What remains invisible is the result of privileged accounts, supported by broader societal values regarding economic development. The research for this paper stems from ethnographic field work of a campaign by conservation and recreational fishing interests to ban the use of commercial gill nets in North Carolina. Conservation and recreational fishing interests gained a greater degree of legitimacy in fishery decision-making processes by utilizing a politics of visibility that reinforced destructive patterns of environmental rights and resource use.
Governance and Legal Frameworks
The proclamation of a marine protected area by David Miliband in the Chagos Archipelago in 2010 triggered a complaint of infringement of sovereignty by Mauritius and a human rights claim by dispossessed Chagossians. It also faced criticism by academia and the UK media. In March 2015, a Tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration investigated the Mauritian claim. In a majority decision, the Tribunal found that Mauritius was legally disabled from pursuing its sovereignty claim but through estoppel the UK Government was required to fulfil its obligations contained in an undertaking given before independence. This included requirements for the return of the Archipelago once it is no longer needed for defence, mineral rights and historic fishing rights. It called for the proclamation to be revoked. The majority of the Tribunal found no link to the exclusion of the Chagossians. It provides useful insight on the development of large marine parks.
The legal establishment of protected areas is often associated with a situation of conflict arising between conservation and other human activities in particular spaces. This is primarily due to the fact that protected areas law requires changes in the behaviour of resource users. Conservation conflicts arising from the establishment of protected areas are well documented in the social science literature and attempts are made to find ways to reduce such conflicts. Yet, what of cases in which the establishment of protected areas serves to officialise existing sustainable practices and may contain an element of future proofing? Do they still generate practices of resistance and conflict? These questions are answered in this paper comparing two case studies where the authors conducted primary qualitative research: the designation of new Marine Conservation Zones under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 in the Isles of Scilly (South West of England) and the designation of a new Special Area of Conservation under Council Directive 92/43/EEC (the Habitats Directive) in Barra (Scottish Outer Hebrides). Both protected areas are highly unlikely to impose changes in local sea-users’ behaviour, as in both cases they validate existing practices and are future proofing, in the sense that they offer tools that can be used to minimize the effects of potential future shocks and stresses, presently unknown. Yet, while in Scilly the new Marine Conservation Zones have been perceived as a positive addition to the seascape, in Barra the Special Area of Conservation has been heavily contested by the local community. The islanders' different perspectives towards protected areas law can be described as divergent ‘legal consciousness’. ‘Legal consciousness’ is a socio-legal concept concerned with the ways in which the law is experienced, interpreted and re-shaped by ordinary people. In our case studies, legal consciousness is a dependent variable, being the product of three main causes: history, power relationships between regulators and regulatees and risk.
In the Arctic region global environmental change creates economic opportunities for various sectors, which is increasing pressure on marine biological resources. Next to state governance arrangements, informational governance instruments deployed by non-state actors, such as private certification schemes, mapping exercises and observation systems, play a progressive role in introducing ecosystem-based approaches for governing the marine environment. In this paper we review recent academic literature to understand the role of environmental information in Arctic marine governance. Our review reveals that environmental information may on one hand enable safe or sustainable operations of actors by creating legitimacy and building trust, while on the other hand the participation and empowerment of some actors may constrain other actors, leading to conflict and controversy. We conclude that the growing importance of environmental information in Arctic marine governance is driven both by state management systems and non-state actors, that currently the enabling role of information dominates the literature, but that the constraining role of information will likely increase in future Arctic marine governance.
Being a large maritime nation, the need to develop sustainable ocean planning and management processes in Portugal has been gaining increased importance in the last decade. After promulgating its first national framework law on maritime spatial planning (MSP), Portugal has recently approved a new MSP Diploma that aims at “developing” (i.e. implementing in detail) the framework law. This paper analyzes and discusses the new Portuguese MSP Diploma by (1) briefly presenting its main specificities; (2) analyzing its contents (and comparing them to the EU MSP Directive contents), namely in what pertains to environmental references; (3) analyzing the link between the EU Marine Strategy Directive (MSFD) and the MSP implementation in Portugal; and (4) discussing the main challenges that the Diploma poses to the long-term sustainability of Portuguese ocean management. Results show that environmental references represent only a small account on the Diploma contents (c. 2% against c. 5% in the EU MSP Directive); main environmental topics addressed include environmental “monitoring” and “evaluation”, “environmental protection”, “sustainability”, and “good (environmental) status”; and the ecosystem-based approach is never referred to. In Portugal the same government entity has responsibility over the implementation of both MSP and the MSFD, and such an institutional framework is expected to promote sustainable maritime uses as well as a true coordination/communication between both processes. The Diploma enshrines several “unusual” aspects that may compromise environmental sustainability. Although the new Portuguese MSP Diploma has been recently approved and promulgated, it may still be amended in the framework of a parliamentary discussion, therefore still having the opportunity to overcome the identified environmental challenges/concerns.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a well-established practice in most developed countries, even though its application to projects in the marine environment is at a much earlier stage of development. We use the Portuguese example to address marine EIA legislation since its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is currently the third largest in the European Union and its EIA legislation does not require various offshore activities with potentially negative environmental impacts to undergo EIA before being licensed. This paper aims to determine whether three types of projects implemented within Portuguese maritime zones – artificial reefs using sunken ships, hydrocarbon prospecting and wave-energy generation – would benefit from application of an appropriately designed EIA. We have conducted a structured review of EIA legal provisions from seven other countries, and considered whether a full EIA was required for each project type. Consequently, 12 Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) have been compared to identify patterns of (dis)similarity across countries and project types. Additionally, we identified key descriptors and predicted impacts for each project type referred to in their EIS. The main conclusion is that ultimately all three projects would benefit from mandatory EIA in Portugal. This paper is relevant for countries with large maritime areas and underdeveloped marine EIA legislation, helping improve international policy-making relating to these three types of marine projects.
Indonesia is one of the world's largest tuna producing countries, yet regulatory oversight remains weak and management is poor. Incentive-based approaches are a way to improve state-based resource management, but they often require strong government regulation. In this paper, we use principal–agent theory and the notion of the ‘incentive gap’ to explore how incentives could be brought to bear in Indonesia through a combination of private and public actors. With a shared fish stock like tuna, we argue that a double principal–agent problem emerges, where information, asymmetries between various players complicate management. We focus on the problems of adverse selection and moral hazard in three different tuna fisheries in Indonesia to identify the nature of the incentive gap, and comment on the mix of public and private actors currently engaged in tuna fishery governance towards reducing the gap. The double principal–agent problem is a useful yet underutilized framework to understand the dynamics of shared stocks management. In this first application to a developing country fishery, we conclude that information asymmetries cannot be overcome without the involvement of private actors, who are increasingly becoming important in aligning regional and global objectives with those of fishers themselves.
Business-to-business traceability has historically played an important role in coordinating value chain activities and helping businesses to manage reputational risk. Its use and value, however, have recently extended beyond industry value chain actors alone, and traceability information may now contribute to improving government regulation, and via consumer-facing traceability (CFT) systems to sustainable seafood governance. Implementing traceability can be costly and requires coordination, consequently most systems utilized till date have been in the global North. Yet seafood value chains remain incredibly complex, and the majority of seafood is sourced from the South. This paper synthesizes the traceability literature through an informational governance perspective, analyzing if and how information can transform production practices while at the same time empowering producing nations. Traceability has gone beyond simply facilitating improved recall coordination, but the future value of traceability lies in how to design and organize systems in such a way that information flows can be harnessed to improve global seafood governance.
For many species of marine megafauna, strandings remain the most important source of biological samples. Because of their opportunistic nature however, strandings data have long been under- or misused in the assessment of population conservation status. Even if many national and international regulations promote the use of strandings in monitoring strategies, the interpretation of strandings remains controversial. The aim of this study is to provide a context for the interpretation of marine megafauna stranding data, in order to assess the achievement of specific objectives against Good Environmental Status criteria in the context of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive or other regional agreements. The first step is to construct an a priori spatial distribution under a null hypothesis H0. The a priori spatial distribution of theoretical dead animals can either be set uniformly, consistent with current knowledge on abundance of marine vertebrates, or based on management objectives. The drift prediction of these theoretical carcasses would provide a time series of strandings expected under the null hypothesis. The reverse drift of observed strandings would highlight mortality areas of stranded animals. The correction of these areas by the probability of getting stranded according to drift conditions would provide an estimated distribution of dead animals inferred from strandings. The differences between expected and observed situations constitute anomalies and highlight cases where inferred distribution departs from the a priori spatial distribution. This work proposes several population indicators that can be used anywhere in the world and can be applied for all large marine vertebrates found stranded. The integration of these indicators in MSFD and various regional agreements could provide cost-effective and relevant information on protected species. In the context of impaired ecological situations, the complementary use of several population indicators could strengthen the diagnosis made regarding conservation status and hence conservation strategies.
The Coastal Governance Index is an Economist Intelligence Unit report, commissioned by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and California Environmental Associates. Hilary Steiner and Jimena Serrano were the project managers.
The quantitative index underlying this report measures the extent of government regulation and management across 20 key ocean economies to assess the state of play in the environment for effective coastal governance. It is based on wide-ranging desk research and comprised of 24 indicators and 43 sub-indicators across six thematic categories: policy and institutional capacity; business environment for coastal activities; water quality; minerals and energy; land; and living resources. The categories, and the individual criteria within them, are weighted according to neutral weights reflecting our assumption that countries should do well across all criteria in order to have the foundation for successful coastal governance. The methodology and all indicators are discussed in detail in the methodology chapter of this report.
The Economist Intelligence Unit bears sole responsibility for the content of this report. The findings do not necessarily reflect the views of the commissioning organisations.
For further information about the research, please contact: The Economist Intelligence Unit [email protected]
The complete index, as well as the detailed scoring for each country, can be viewed at: http://www.economistinsights.com/analysis/coastal-governance-index