- After almost 10 years of discussions, States finally agreed to launch negotiations for the elaboration of an international legally binding instrument dedicated to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in ABNJ.
- The process will take a two-step approach: (1) a Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) will make recommendations to the UNGA on the elements of a draft text by the end of 2017; (2) the UNGA will then decide on the convening and date of an intergovernmental conference by the end of its 72nd session (i.e. September 2018).
- The historic nature of the decision taken by the States, and the enthusiasm demonstrated by many delegations and observers, does not mean the forthcoming negotiation process will be easy. The road ahead is paved with difficult choices and complex challenges.
Governance and Legal Frameworks
In 2012, with support from NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP), the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) organized the first regional peer-to-peer workshop on ‘Building Compliance and Enhancing Enforcement for Marine Protected Areas in the Caribbean’, hosted by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and facilitated by MPA Enforcement International. Twenty-two MPA managers from fourteen countries and territories attended. In the course of the workshop, the participating MPA managers identified a common need to better understand best practices in MPA legislation. They expressed an interest in comparing MPA legislation across the Caribbean and in promoting the adoption of successful legislative techniques in their home countries so as to help achieve a more uniform approach to MPA enforcement throughout the region. This report seeks to address this need and to inform future efforts by Caribbean MPA managers and policy-makers to strengthen MPA enforcement.
The ambitious Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) has been the focus of much marine research across Europe in the pursuit of achieving Good Environmental Status in the four European Union marine regions; Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and North-east Atlantic. This research addresses the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) of the current European marine governance structures and its relationship to implement the MSFD. Results of the SWOT analysis were acquired through a combination of approaches with MSFD experts and stakeholders including: 30 face-to-face interviews, an online survey with 264 stakeholder respondents and focus groups within each European marine region. The SWOT analysis concurrently identifies common strengths and weakness and key governance issues for implementing the MSFD for European marine regions. This paper forms one assessment within the governance component of the Options for Delivering Ecosystem Based Marine Management (ODEMM) project and presents timely issues that can be of benefit to national and European Union policy makers.
Plastics are the most common form of debris found along the Argentine coastline. The Río de la Plata estuarine area is a relevant case study to describe a situation where ample policy exists against a backdrop of plastics disposed by populated coastal areas, industries, and vessels; with resultant high impacts of plastic pollution on marine turtles and mammals. Policy and institutions are in place but the impact remains due to ineffective waste management, limited public education and awareness, and weaknesses in enforcement of regulations. This context is frequently repeated all over the world. We list possible interventions to increase the effectiveness of policy that require integrating efforts among governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and the inhabitants of coastal cities to reduce the amount of plastics reaching the Río de la Plata and protect threatened marine species. What has been identified for Argentina applies to the region and globally.
One of the challenges of coastal governance is to connect a variety of knowledge systems. The purpose of this paper is to show how a coastal governance practice can emerge and stabilize, such that actors with disparate knowledge systems collaborate towards the shared goal of sustainable resource use. We analyze this stabilization in terms of the coproduction of knowledge and policy. This paper is empirically informed by a case study on the transition towards a sustainable mussel fishery in the Dutch Wadden Sea. Our study illuminates the difficulties of underpinning a coastal governance practice with scientific research, since the relevance, quality, and results of research are interpreted differently from the perspectives of resource users and conservationists. Furthermore, our analysis shows that such a governance practice can stabilize through a combination of rule negotiation, legal, societal, and political pressure, along with collaborative knowledge creation. Based on our analysis, we identify several aspects of collaborative knowledge creation that enable the formation of a shared knowledge base for governance in a context of controversy. These include the shared ownership of research, knowledge creation as an integral part of governance, a focus on data and basic facts, and the close involvement of trusted experts. The findings of this study suggest that a controversial setting strongly structures knowledge creation, while at the same time knowledge creation enables coastal governance as a way of dealing with conflicts.
Activities and resources found in the ocean and coastal realm of Trinidad and Tobago contribute critically to the identity and well-being of the country's citizenry. However, the current governance framework and capacity to manage facets of the coastal zone is proving to be inadequate, with resource mismanagement, degradation and depletion evident. This is compounded by the absence of a co-ordinating mechanism and collaborative process through which stakeholders can seek to cohesively manage the ocean and coastal sphere in order to minimise conflict and maintain its flows of ecosystem goods and services in the long term.
This paper recommends more sustainable, equitable and feasible means to manage the ocean and coastal realm for which Trinidad and Tobago has claimed stewardship. It critically analyses the current governance framework and juxtaposes it against identified theoretical and observed ICZM best practices worldwide. A more co-ordinated, cohesive and collaborative approach to governance is proposed that is participatory and co-operative in nature and underpinned by principles aligned to achieving sustainability in economic, social and ecological realms.
Marine debris is a pollution problem on a global scale, which causes harm to marine ecosystems and consequently results in profoundly negative influences on mankind. This type of pollution can originate from various activities such as leisure and tourism, fishery, land-based sources, and vessels, etc. In this study, it was found that derelict fishing gear (DFG) produced by oyster farming activities is being dispersed along the southwestern coast of Taiwan, consequently reducing the leisure quality and coastal amenities. In order to understand the current problem of DFG, related stakeholders were invited to undergo qualitative interviews to observe the stakeholders’ perceptions pertaining to DFG pollution and their opinions on subsequent mitigation measures. The results of the interviews were then used to explore management issues pertaining to DFG, as well as the trans-boundary pollution problems caused by DFG based on the theory of environmental resource governance and scales of management jurisdiction. Finally, suggestions were provided to effectively reduce the DFG pollution from oyster farming, including the strengthening of environmental education and propagation, sustaining management and monitoring of marine debris by the government, using policy tools, and applying solid waste management principles.
International agreements and guidelines provide the overall goals of sustainable development and healthy ecosystems, but it is at the national level that these must be implemented while addressing the interests of the nation and its citizens with decisions that affect people as well as the environment. This chapter summarizes the approaches taken by Australia, Norway and Canada during the past 1–2 decades to meet the challenges of ecosystem-based management of fisheries and biodiversity, looking at: developments in legislation and policy, and convergence between fisheries and biodiversity management; methods to address and prioritize issues for ecosystem-based fisheries management; and integrated cross-sectoral management. These three countries have put significant effort into addressing sustainable fishery development and integrated oceans management however, with policies explicitly endorsing ecosystem-based approaches.
Shifting political alliances and new environmental challenges are prompting debate over processes of sub-regionalisation and whether the interplay between multiple scales of governance leads to positive synergistic outcomes or negative institutional disruption. Regional management of tuna fisheries in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean is an example where a web of treaties, conventions and institutional frameworks underlie international cooperation. Through examining the interplay between the regional Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and sub-regional Parties to the Nauru Agreement, this paper explores the extent to which the PNA and WCPFC interact in the management of regional tuna fisheries. The results demonstrate that for contested marine resources such as fisheries, international sub-regions can go beyond functional units to also present wider opportunities to shift power relations in favour of small island states. Additionally, the presence of sub-regional groups like the PNA has served to challenge the performance of the WCPFC, stimulating greater debate and progress within the regional body. The paper concludes that the combined work of the PNA and the WCPFC puts them ahead on many issues and may represent a testing ground for a functional multilateralism utilising both regional and sub-regional governance platforms for the management of shared resources.
Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth – An Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland (IMP) (2012) set out a 'roadmap' to secure the sustainable development of Ireland’s marine resources. This report is part of a suite of research and initiatives to implement Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth. The study reviewed all international, European and national law relevant for the development of a framework for marine spatial planning (MSP) for Irish waters. The development, implementation and practice of MSP for five key jurisdictions were also considered.
This report details the identification of a range of options for MSP for Ireland and the criteria for testing those options. It explains the process of refining and developing both the options and the criteria in conjunction with the Enablers Task Force (ETF) to form preliminary conclusions. The key provisions in the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 and the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 were compared in order to assist with this process. A final recommendation of a framework for MSP has been identified by the research team, with a working title of the minimal parallel system.The forward planning system, however, more accurately describes it.
The forward planning system (minimal parallel system) proposes the introduction of a marine planning system through primary legislation, which would operate in parallel with the existing terrestrial system. While it would be separate from the land based planning system and policies,theMSPsystemwouldbecoordinatedwiththeterrestrialsystem,asrequired. There would be no change to the marine consenting regime, and initially it would have no role in conservationmanagement. Themainfocusofthelegislationwouldbethestatutory requirement for the preparation of a hierarchy of plans, with a statutory role for the plan in thedecisionmaking/licensingprocess. Themarinespatialplanningsystemwouldimmediately abut the terrestrial planning system at the high water mark and would extend to the limit of thecontinentalshelf. ThehierarchywouldconsistofamandatoryNationalMarineSpatial Strategy (NMSS) aligned to the National Spatial Strategy (NSS). There would be mandatory regional sea basin plans for areas of high pressure use and discretionary regional plans for otherareasandintegratedcoastalzonemanagement(ICZM)planswhererequired. An existing body/ government department or key sections of appropriate bodies/ departments, with the appropriate expertise would be responsible for the preparation of the plans, but could coordinate with regional or local authorities as appropriate, particularly for ICZM plans.
This report is supported by extensive Appendices which detail the research and aspects of the research process.