The development of regional governance for the protection of the environment, sustainable use of natural resources and conservation of its biodiversity is unquestionably a cornerstone of international environmental law and policy. With regard to marine and coastal issues, it has mainly been taking place through Regional Seas programmes, Regional Fishery Bodies and Large Marine Ecosystems mechanisms. Based on a similar geographical approach, however, these regional mechanisms raise concerns relating to their coordination and efficiency, and possibly overlap in what they aim to achieve. This paper provides a review of existing regional oceans governance mechanisms, assessing their individual and collective capacities to move towards ecosystem-based management, and highlighting options to make the regional landscape more coherent and effective.
Governance and Legal Frameworks
The governability of small-scale fisheries located adjacent to Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in South Africa has increasingly come under scrutiny as communities, social science researchers, NGOs and human rights activists challenge current governance approaches that disregard the socio-cultural rights and livelihood needs of fishing communities living within or adjacent to MPAs. Drawing on research conducted in seven case studies in South Africa, this chapter explores the current mismatch between the realities facing fishing communities impacted by MPAs and the state-centric and natural science-based approach to governance adopted by South Africa’s fisheries management and conservation authorities. This approach to MPA governance persists despite a suite of policy reforms and political rhetoric that indicates the embrace of a more people-centred approach to natural resource governance. The key focus of this chapter is to gain a deeper understanding as to why this mismatch persists despite almost 20 years of democracy and policy reforms. While the devastating impact of South Africa’s political history is evident in all cases, other factors that inhibit meaningful change and formation of robust governance systems, are highlighted. These include the persistence of a natural-science paradigm; the divergent principles, values, worldviews and images amongst governance actors; institutional shortcomings; failure to recognize and respect local and customary forms of governance; and the lack of attention to implementation mechanisms that are informed by all governance actors.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are promoted as an effective model for the management of marine areas worldwide. They are not only a technical management measure but also a social institution that interacts with existing use rights. In the Canary Islands, several marine reserves have already been created, while others have been proposed. Some of the already created protected areas were promoted and supported by small-scale fisher organizations. Newly proposed areas are to be backed by different institutions and small-scale fishers. For small-scale fishers marine reserves have some advantages in terms of co-governance and increased involvement in rule making and surveillance. However, increasingly, other stakeholders like recreational fishers are demanding inclusion in the governing process. It is recreational fishers who are usually the most unsupportive of MPAs and thus pose governability challenges. Involving them, therefore, in discussion about MPAs may help improve governability although it will require institution building on their side. We conclude that MPAs’ inception processes are both a challenge and an opportunity for governability, as they promote new patterns of interactions between stakeholder groups.
This chapter investigates governing interactions at the Baleia Franca Environmental Protection Area (Santa Catarina state, South Brazil) as an example of new opportunities and challenges to scale-up small-scale fisheries governability through Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Previous studies on MPAs in Brazil highlight the innovative aspects of these governing systems such as their well-functioning, active, and progressive management councils. We describe the increasing response of the governing system to fisheries issues that are largely aligned with governance paradigms of collaboration and social learning. Despite all efforts and some notable accomplishments in responsiveness and performance, we point out the challenges related to the mismatch between the governing system and the systems-to-be-governed that hinders fishers’ political agency and limits small-scale fisheries governability at broader territorial levels. We identify and analyse the wicked problems faced by actors engaged in processes of transformation in coastal-marine governance and provide suggestions for improving governability.
Since 2010, the OECD has provided evidence on the main governance gaps hindering water policy design and implementation, and suggested a set of policy responses and good practices for overcoming them. The “OECD Multi-level Governance Framework: Mind the Gaps, Bridge the Gaps” was developed as an analytical framework and tool for policymakers to identify and bridge governance challenges that affect, to a greater or lesser extent, all countries, regardless of their institutional setting, water availability or degree of decentralisation.
This analytical framework was used to review water governance arrangements in 17 OECD countries (2011) and 13 Latin American countries (2012) as well as to carry out in-depth national multi-stakeholder policy dialogues in support of water reforms in Mexico (2013), Netherlands (2014), Jordan (2014), Tunisia (2014) and Brazil (2015). Thematic knowledge and policy guidance were also developed on stakeholder engagement, urban water management as well as the governance of water regulators (2015).
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role of law in the management of the Baltic Sea, with focus on eutrophication. It aims to identify legal instruments or structures realizing an ecosystem approach. This also includes a discussion of the prerequisites of law as contributor to ecosystem-based management (EBM), as well as evaluation of current legal instruments. While ecosystem approach to environmental management is central to contemporary environmental management policy, it is still unclear what such an approach entails in concrete legal terms. The scope of the analysis stretches from international and EU legal regimes, to implementation and regulation within the national legal systems. A conclusion is that the management structures need further development to properly realize EBM, for example, through concretization of management measures, and clarification of duties and responsibilities for their realization.
The offshore oil and gas industry is facing the prospect of de-commissioning thousands of installations in the coming decades. In some parts of the world the issue is already pressing. The financial cost of complete removal is significant, and therefore the prospect of leaving part of the installation in situ is attractive. The way forward, though, is not clear. Despite the success of rigs-to-reef projects in the US it is unclear whether such initiatives are transferable to other contexts given very different physical and jurisdictional contexts. This paper explores current legal frameworks including international law and the state of play in Australia compared with that in the US and UK. Tentative recommendations are made for future developments in this area.
The procedure for designating and establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPA) has changed profoundly since the 1990s, as a consequence of global changes and new dictates related to biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Far beyond protection of flagship species such as marine turtles and large marine mammals, the goal is now to conserve and even increase the services associated with coastal ecosystems to the benefit of all stakeholders. References to community management of resources, territorial solidarity, or environmental justice have become common. The political processes undertaken have nevertheless taken a range of different trajectories, since the stakeholders (private, public, NGOs, local collectives) have different interests; their standards and rules are often incompatible; the efficacy of the negotiation process is debatable. In this article, after questioning the legitimacy of MPA (to what extent are they useful tools ? —in responding to what aims?), the difficulties of putting into practice this new paradigm of participative governance is analysed and illustrated using three case studies of coastal Senegalese MPAs and the consequences of local intervention: the Saint Louis MPA, the Bamboung Community-Managed MPA in the Saloum Delta, and the Mangagoulack ICCA (Indigenous and Community Conserved Area) in Casamance. In conclusion, the principal lessons and perspectives of these approaches are presented.
The management of marine resources is a politically and culturally driven process, shaped by human livelihoods and perceptions, where notions of both space and place shape policies and decision-making in fundamental ways. An emerging sub-field within geography critically explores geographic aspects of marine resource management. However, there has been little work to fully articulate this field and to describe the contributions of geographic methodologies and lenses to understanding marine resource management processes. This special issue provides one of the first collections of geographic papers focused on the socio-cultural and socio-spatial dimensions of marine resource management, emphasizing research that has or can be applied to management and policy discussions. The papers in this issue cover critical topics within this emerging field, examining the combined influences of social, ecological, cultural, political, economic, historical, and geographic factors on how marine spaces and resources are used, perceived, and managed. Important themes include: emerging spatial approaches to marine resource management, human dimensions of marine protected areas, the roles of mapping and GIS, the integration of quantitative and qualitative data, and the varying ways in which marine spaces and places are conceptualized by marine resource users and managers. Issues of marine resource governance, community engagement, and vulnerability also play key roles in the future of marine resource management. The papers in this issue shed light on space, place, and human-environment interactions in coastal marine systems, making it clear that questions about stakeholder inclusion and representation, particularly in spatial forms, will continue to dominate the field for some time to come. Future research in this field will be fruitfully informed by core geographical heuristics of space, place, and human-environment dynamics.
Protected areas play an important role in the preservation and implementation of bold environmental agreements, among which the 20 Aichi Targets (Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020, COP 10), with their focus on effective management systems supporting the conservation of biodiversity and eco-system services (Aichi Biodiversity Target 11). The aim of this paper is to illustrate the MEVAP (Monitoring and EValuation of Protected Areas) methodology, Italy's contribution to the topic of evaluating the effectiveness of protected areas within the international landscape (WDPA–IUCN, World Database on Protected Areas – Union for Conservation of Nature). The purpose of MEVAP is to provide a periodical review procedure as part of the process to improve the management of protected areas. Its starting point is the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data pertinent to the environmental, social and economic aspects of protected areas and to their governance.
This paper illustrates the results obtained using the MEVAP method and its application to several clusters of Italian national parks. While highlighting the potential of this method, the document also proposes an initial assessment of the environmental, social and economical performance of protected areas and how performance is connected to its governance.
Underpinning the study is the need to expand the use of evaluation practices and to spur scientific debate in the direction of widely spread adaptive management methods, with a view to optimising policies and management procedures and, therefore, achieving the protection targets that must be met by protected areas through their institutions.