The Ocean Governance Regime: Politics and Policy for Threatened Seas

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Climate Change and Ocean Governance - edited by Paul G. Harris February 2019

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... Regarding implementation, the specific integrative capacity depends on various national and local contextual features, e.g., types of knowledge that are being incorporated in marine spatial planning processes (Said & Trouillet, 2020), the functioning of informational flows (Toonen & van Tatenhove, 2020), and the role of non-state actor participation (Karnad & St. Martin, 2020). Yet several issues have received too little attention, such as environmental challenges in land-sea interactions such as acidification (Mendenhall, 2019). ...
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In this article, we demonstrate that the ocean is a space of politics and explore the what, who, and how of ocean governance. We first sketch the governance architecture and examine challenges and shortcomings concerning political authority. Starting from a definition of “ocean governance,” we highlight that two fundamentally different regulatory approaches are applied to the ocean: a spatial ordering on the one hand and a sectoral segmentation on the other. States are the central actors regulating the use and protection of marine areas, but state sovereignty is stratified, with diminishing degrees of authority farther from the shoreline. As vast marine spaces are beyond the exclusive control of any given territorial state, political authority beyond areas of national jurisdiction must first be created to enable collective decision-making. Consequently, a multitude of authorities regulate human activities in the ocean, producing overlaps, conflicting policies, and gaps. Based on recent contributions to the fast-growing ocean governance research field, we provide a thematic overview structured along the dimensions of maritime security, protection of the marine environment, and economics to unveil patterns of authority in ocean governance.
... A second and related stream has explored growing governance complexity. In ocean governance, the multitude of partially overlapping global and regional regimes constitutes a heavy and somewhat lethargic architecture (Mendenhall, 2019). Mushrooming nonstate initiatives add further complexity. ...
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The objectives and challenges of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development stress the need to generate new knowledge about ocean problems, involve multiple stakeholders, and develop solutions for sustainable ocean development. In this perspective article, I argue that Earth System Governance (ESG) research could contribute significantly to addressing these needs. First, it can identify salient frames for ocean problems that trigger policy action. Second, it can inform stakeholder involvement by mapping powerful and marginalized interests and suggesting pathways towards more inclusive participation. Third, it can support viable and effective ocean solutions based on insights into political support coalitions and governance design. To make these contributions , ESG needs to be mainstreamed into ocean science. Governance researchers can facilitate main-streaming by (i) greater knowledge cumulation around ocean issues, (ii) stronger engagement with frameworks of actionable knowledge production, and (iii) proactive integration into inter-and transdisciplinary ocean research.
... UNCLOS extended state control over territorial waters to 12 nautical miles, created an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for state control of marine resources up to 200 nautical miles from shore, and provided for control of continental shelf resources out to 200 nautical miles with a potential extension to 350 nautical miles. This new political geography can be understood as a compromise between the principle of Mare Clausum (closed zones of national control) and Mare Liberum (open access free seas) (Mendenhall, 2019). ...
Marine genetic resources (MGR) are a new issue in high seas management. Discussion on how to best manage these resources is currently ongoing at the United Nations, within the context of a proposed treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of marine 'Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction' (BBNJ), which is expected to be completed in 2020.But how accurately can states measure the potential economic value of resources that still do not have a clear market application? Developing states in particular already suffer from wealth blindness, where they lack the capacity to properly evaluate the economic value or market potential of their marine resources. This article explores the extent to which wealth blindness forms the backdrop to the current debates over the potential for profitably exploiting marine genetic resources, as well as how this relates to demands for capacity building and technology transfer in the BBNJ treaty negotiation process.
... The main regime for this area ultimately reflects the overarching "freedom of the seas" principle enshrined in centuries of customary international law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The overall result is a complex, loosely coordinated, and generally permissive regime for governing ABNJ [10]. ...
The United Nations is halfway through the scheduled negotiations for a new legally binding instrument to govern biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ). This paper discusses the results of the second intergovernmental BBNJ conference, which took place March 25 - April 5, 2019, and analyzes the trends, variables, and obstacles shaping the emerging agreement. The paper considers the discussion surrounding each of the four elements of the BBNJ agenda in turn: area based management tools including marine protected areas, environmental impact assessments, marine genetic resources and access and benefit sharing, and capacity building and technology transfer. At the second session of negotiations, progress towards consensus on the four major elements of the BBNJ package was limited and uneven. Drawing on close observations, interviews with a variety of participants, and document analysis, we conclude that the dictum that the new BBNJ agreement “should not undermine” existing elements of the ocean governance regime serves to inhibit movement towards a consensual and effective instrument.
This volume explores options for a sustainable maritime domain, including maritime transportation, such as, Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP), maritime education and training, maritime traffic and advisory systems, maritime security. Other activities in the maritime domain covered in the book include small-scale fisheries and sustainable fisheries, and greening the blue economy. The book aims to provide the building blocks needed for a framework for good ocean governance; a framework that will serve through the next decade and, and hopefully, well beyond the 2030 milepost of the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development. In short, this book brings together the problems of the current world and sustainable solutions that are in the development process and will eventually materialize in the not so distant future. Additionally, the book presents a trans-disciplinary analysis of integral sustainable maritime transportation solutions and crucial issues relevant to good ocean governance that have recently been discussed at different national, regional and international fora, highlighting ongoing work to develop and support governance systems that facilitate industry requirements, and meet the needs of coastal states and indigenous peoples, of researchers, of spatial planners, and of other sectors dependent on the oceans. The book will be of interest to researchers across many disciplines, especially those that are engaged in cross-sectoral research and developments in the maritime transport sector and across the wider maritime domain. To this end, the book covers areas including natural and social sciences, geographical studies, spatial planning, maritime security and gender studies, as they relate to transport and the wider maritime sector. In addition, the book explores frameworks for sustainable ocean governance being developed under the UN’s Agenda for Sustainable Development to 2030. It will also look beyond the 2030 milepost under that Agenda, and will be of use to national and international policymakers and practitioners, government actors at the EU and other regional and national levels and to researchers of ocean governance, sustainability and management, and maritime transport.
The impact of human activities on the marine environment has been well known for decades if not centuries. Man has polluted as long as he has used the seas, whether caused by discarded nets in which marine mammals get tangled, sewage, plastics, or other waste thrown overboard during long voyages, releases of oil and other chemicals from ships and oil production platforms, or plastics and microplastics floating in the sea consumed by organisms within the food chain. These are all visible impacts of man on the sea. However, other impacts are not as visible—the noise from a ship cannot be seen but can have detrimental impacts on sea life; atmospheric pollution such as greenhouse gases are not visible but contribute significantly to ocean acidification and global warming. This introductory chapter provides context for the complete volume. It introduces the concepts of sustainability, sustainable development, and delineates the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It also defines the maritime domain as all human activities on and beneath the sea. This volume includes chapters from a wide spectrum of sources—academia, non-governmental organisations, security/port practitioners, and shipping industry experts, among others. Each chapter analyses an issue of concern within the maritime domain, presents key aspects of those areas of concern, and then sets them within the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Current problems are both detailed—and potential future solutions identified. Each chapter is summarised in the following introduction from the perspectives of the authors and co-editors of the volume.
The chapter analyses the readiness and preparedness of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) located in the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR), in terms of climate adaptation to fight against global warming and climate change that affects maritime ecosystems and the indigenous communities’ livelihood. The increased threats posed by marine pollution due to anthropogenic sources not only affects marine ecosystems and marine biodiversity, but it also intensifies adverse weather phenomena including sea-level rise. At the outset, the aforementioned issues are considered to be interrelated and have raised concerns of the international community and can only be solved through specific policy measures and multilateral governance. International efforts to comply with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the implementation of global and regional instruments, serve as the guiding thread throughout the chapter, considering the impact of the rise of the sea level, the economic and social implications for coastal communities, as well as the coordinated mechanisms to assist the Caribbean SIDS in fighting climate change. Knowledge exchange, capacity building through training and deploying the necessary means in such endeavour serve the purpose of ensuring the Caribbean SIDS’ population’s well-being and preserving the natural resources for generations to come.
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The Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter 1972 (the London Convention, or LC) established a global regime for the protection of the marine environment from pollution caused by ocean dumping and incineration at sea. In 1996, at the Special Meeting of the LC, the Contracting Parties to the LC adopted the 1996 Protocol to the London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Waste and Other Matter 1972 (the London Protocol, or LP), which updates and improves the LC and should eventually supersede it. On March 24, 2006, 10 years after its adoption, the LP entered into force. Not all of the LC Parties have ratified the LP; many countries are still working towards accession, and some countries not Party to either regime are still ratifying the Convention instead of the Protocol. The LP Parties have striven to develop a well-functioning compliance mechanism and at the same time address newly emerging issues threatening the marine environment. Conversely, the LC Parties have agreed not to amend the LC further. This tension makes it increasingly uncomfortable to continue to hold the meetings of the two governing bodies concurrently, as is now done to maximize organizational efficiency. This paper attempts to remove some of the confusion caused by the existence of these two seemingly identical but in fact distinct global marine environment treaties. It further proposes some transitional measures to merge the LC into the LP to form a single global dumping treaty to protect the marine environment in the 21st century.
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This article presents the outcome of research aimed at assisting governments in meeting their commitments and legal obligations for sustainable fisheries, based on increasing evidence that global fisheries are in crisis. The article assesses the effectiveness of the existing legal and institutional framework for high seas living resources. It focuses on: (1) the role of regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs); (2) tools for compliance and enforcement to stem illegal fishing; and (3) mechanisms for habitat protection. The article further highlights a variety of options for addressing key weaknesses and gaps in current ocean governance, including United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions, reforms at the regional level, as well as a possible new legal instrument, with a view to informing international discussions on ways to ensure the sustainable use of high seas resources without compromising the health of the marine environment.
Human activities have taken place in the world's oceans and seas for most of human history. With such a vast number of ways in which the oceans can be used for trade, exploited for natural resources and fishing, as well as concerns over maritime security, the legal systems regulating the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world's oceans have long been a crucial part of international law. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea comprehensively defined the parameters of the law of the sea in 1982, and since the Convention was concluded it has seen considerable development. This book provides an analysis of its current debates and controversies, both theoretical and practical. It consists of forty chapters divided into six parts. First, it explains the origins and evolution of the law of the sea, with a particular focus upon the role of key publicists such as Hugo Grotius and John Selden, the gradual development of state practice, and the creation of the 1982 UN Convention. It then reviews the components which comprise the maritime domain, assessing their definition, assertion, and recognition. It also analyzes the ways in which coastal states or the international community can assert control over areas of the sea, and the management and regulation of each of the maritime zones. This includes investigating the development of the mechanisms for maritime boundary delimitation, and the decisions of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. The book also discusses the actors and intuitions that impact on the law of the sea, considering their particular rights and interests, in particular those of state actors and the principle law of the sea institutions. Then it focuses on operational issues, investigating longstanding matters of resource management and the integrated oceans framework. This includes a discussion and assessment of the broad and increasingly influential integrated oceans management governance framework that interacts with the traditional law of the sea. It considers six distinctive regions that have been pivotal to the development of the law of the sea, before finally providing a detailed analysis of the critical contemporary issues facing the law of the sea. These include threatened species, climate change, bioprospecting, and piracy.
The law of the sea, one of the oldest and most highly developed areas of international law, has changed significantly in the past fifty years in response to rapid scientific and technological advances coupled with an increased population and the need for additional resources. Ann Hollick documents these changes and examines the evolution of U.S. ocean policy in the larger contexts of American foreign policy and of international law and politics. Originally published in. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
The United States and other international actors have relied without much success on traditional approaches to contain environmental damage done to our oceans by Russian dumping of nuclear waste. Arms control experience suggests that on-site inspection is successful in situations where there is a lack of information or a lack of trust. Using on-site inspection to gather information and bolster trust could ameliorate the problem of Russian dumping of radioactive wastes into the ocean. -from Author
For more than twenty years, Global Environmental Politics has provided an up-to-date, accurate, and unbiased introduction to the world’s most pressing environmental issues. This new edition continues this tradition while covering critical new developments in the field. Through case studies on key issues such as climate change, toxic chemicals, and biodiversity loss, the authors detail the development of major environmental regimes. With new material on the adoption of global Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; the December 2015 Paris Climate Change conference; and recent meetings of major conventions on desertification, biological diversity, and more; the authors present a comprehensive overview of contemporary international environmental politics. Global Environmental Politics is vital reading for any student wishing to understand the current state of the field and to make informed decisions about which policies might best safeguard our environment for the future.
There has been a concurrent growth in interest in the institutions that deal with global environmental issues. A vast number of international organizations address these matters; this volume provides an overview of the major global institutions attempting to protect the natural environment. It first considers the United Nations Environment Programme and the other entities within the United Nations that play important roles in global environmental governance. It then examines institutions clustered by issue area, introducing institutions that focus on protecting endangered species and biodiversity, those that govern the ocean environment, those focusing on the atmosphere, and a recent set of institutions that regulate the transboundary movement of hazardous substances. It concludes with current debates on financing international environmental action, gaining widespread participation by states, and the question of whether the institutional structure of global environmental governance can, and should, be fundamentally reformed. The volume as a whole focuses on: • the underlying causes of global environmental problems • the creation of global environmental institutions • the effectiveness of action undertaken by these institutions. Written by an acknowledged expert in the field, Global Environmental Institutions is essential reading for students of environmental politics and international organizations.
The historical development of tonnage, ship registration, classification societies and national and international law for flag State responsibility is recounted, along with the large increase in numbers of non-traditional flag States and classification societies over the past fifty years. The Law of the Sea Convention provides for a State to grant its nationality to ships, for those ships to be surveyed before registration, and for a flag State to effectively exercise its jurisdiction and control in administrative, technical and social matters over ships flying its flag. A State has the sovereign right to determine conditions for grant of its nationality and this can lead to derogation of flag State responsibility with implications for safety of ships. These issues are analysed and remedies proposed for effective flag State implementation of mandatory instruments. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009, All rights are reserved.
The law of the sea is an important area of international law which must be able to adapt to the changing needs of the international community. Making the Law of the Sea examines how various international organisations have contributed to the development of this law and what kinds of instruments and law-making techniques have been used. Each chapter considers a different international institution — including the International Maritime Organization and the United Nations — and analyses its functions and powers. Important questions are posed about the law-making process, including what actors are involved and what procedures are followed. Potential problems for the development of the law of the sea are considered and solutions are proposed. In particular, James Harrison explores and evaluates the current methods employed by international institutions to coordinate their law-making activities in order to overcome fragmentation of the law-making process.
Poison in the Wellprovides a balanced look at the policy decisions, scientific conflicts, public relations strategies, and the myriad mishaps and subsequent cover-ups that were born out of the dilemma of where to house deadly nuclear materials. Jacob Darwin Hamblin traces the development of the issue in Western countries from the end of World War II to the blossoming of the environmental movement in the early 1970s.
Over the years a large set of international conventions have been adopted under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization for prevention of vessel-source marine pollution. However, most of developing countries failed to effectively implement these conventions. Against this backdrop, this article aims to assess the inherent suitability of the MARPOL Convention for implementation in developing countries. It also examines the role of global community for effective implementation of the MARPOL Convention and identifies the legal and institutional bottlenecks in the current implementation regime.
Although the Fish Stocks Agreement was adopted by consensus after around only 2.5 years of negotiation, the final text did not fully resolve all significant differences of view. As it was feared that participation in the Fish Stocks Agreement would remain as troublesome as in the 1958 Geneva Fisheries Convention, considerable efforts have been made to promote wider participation since the Agreement’s entry into force in 2001. On 22 November 2010 there were 78 parties to the Fish Stocks Agreement and 161 to the Law of the Sea Convention. This article examines the current status and reasons for non-participation in the Fish Stocks Agreement by, inter alia, categorizing non-participation, appraising participation in light of the current participation in the Law of the Sea Convention and examining the relationship between the Agreement and regional fisheries management organizations.
A performance assessment was conducted of regional fisheries management organi-zations' (RFMOs') bycatch governance, one element of an ecosystem approach to fisheries management. Obtaining a mean score of 25%, with a 64% CV, collectively the RFMOs have large governance deficits. Individually, there has been mixed pro-gress, with some RFMOs having made substantial progress for some governance elements. There has been nominal progress in gradually transitioning to ecosys-tem-based fisheries management: controls largely do not account for broad or mul-tispecies effects of fishing, and cross-sectoral marine spatial planning is limited. Regional observers collect half of minimum information needed to assess the effi-cacy of bycatch measures. Over two-thirds of RFMO-managed fisheries lack regio-nal observer coverage. International exchange of observers occurs in one-third of programmes. There is no open access to research-grade regional observer data. Ecological risk assessments focus on effects of bycatch removals on vulnerable spe-cies groups and effects of fishing on vulnerable benthic marine ecosystems. RFMOs largely do not assess or manage cryptic, generally undetectable sources of fishing mortality. Binding measures address about one-third of bycatch problems. Eighty per cent of measures lack explicit performance standards against which to assess efficacy. Measures are piecemeal, developed without considering potential conflicts across vulnerable groups. RFMOs employ 60% of surveillance methods required to assess compliance. A lack of transparency and limited reporting of inspection effort, identified infractions, enforcement actions and outcomes further limits the ability to assess compliance. Augmented harmonization could help to fill identified deficits.
Regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) collectively manage the largest distinct area of the world, the high seas, but their effectiveness in conserving the fish stocks therein has been questioned lately, as many stocks have declined. This study quantitatively assesses the effectiveness of the world's 18 RFMOs, based on a two-tiered approach, concentrating first on their performance ‘on paper’ and secondly, in practice. The former was determined by assessing how well RFMOs scored against 26 criteria that together reflect current RFMO best practices. The latter assessment referenced the current state of the stocks RFMOs manage, through biomass and fishing mortality reference points and biomass trends through time. Results show low performance of RFMOs for both assessments, i.e., average scores of 57% and 49%, respectively. The latter result is emphasized by findings that reflect two-thirds of stocks fished on the high seas and under RFMO management are either depleted or overexploited. Findings also indicate that there is no connection between the two sets of scores, suggesting a disparity between organization intent and action.
The paper highlights current developments within the International Maritime Organisation and elsewhere in the UN system on a number of issues on which corresponding requirements may be found in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982, at the same time questioning as to whether Parties to the latter fully realise that they have an obligation under several articles of the convention to adopt laws and regulations which "shall at least have the same effect as that of generally accepted rules and standards established through the competent international organisation or general diplomatic conference". The first issue highlighted in the paper, is the action taken by IMO to extend Port State Control to operational requirements under the SOLAS 1974 and Marpol 73/78 Conventions, together with the steps taken to clarify and consolidate Port State Control procedures as contained in IMO Assembly resolution A.787(19) adopted in November 1995. The second issue highlighted, concerns current consideration, in particular within IMO and the 1972 London Convention, relating to Article 208 of the UN Convention that calls for the establishment, inter alia, of global rules, etc, to prevent, reduce and control pollution arising from sea-bed activities subject to national jurisdiction. Thirdly, the paper refers to the Washington Declaration and Global Programme of Action adopted by the Intergovernmental Conference convened by UNEP in Washington DC in October/November 1995, particularly the intention of government representatives present at the conference to develop a global, legally binding instrument in respect of persistent organic pollutants identified in decision 18/32 of the Governing Council of UNEP, this being relevant to Article 207(4) of the UN Convention relating to land-based sources of marine pollution.
This book traces the emergence of the environment as a subject of international policy and action and formulates guidelines for narrowing the gap between present perceptions of the environment and new policies for protecting it. In the last decade numerous books dealt with the environment as a scholarly discipline, as the basis of a social movement, and as a major policy concern for government, nongovernmental groups, and private institutions. Most of these studies, however, concentrated on environmental issues and related policy on a national level, ignoring the scope of the contrasting international environmental movements and avoiding authoritative formulation of global policy in relation to recent developments and problems on the national level. This book comprehensively surveys the global, international movement for protection of the human environment. It is a history of international cooperation on environmental issues, describing the expanding dimensions of international environmental policy and its status at present and providing a permanent record of historical events of continuing policy and historical significance.
Postwar management of whaling was marked by two major policy changes: the 1974 adoption of a more restrictive set of management procedures and the 1982 adoption of a moratorium on commercial whaling. In both cases, U.S. government efforts to ensure compliance with the International Whaling Commission (IWC) decisions were central to the outcome. Yet no government's choices can be understood without examining how decision makers were influenced by three nongovernmental groups—an economic interest group of whaling industry managers, an expert epistemic community of cetologists, and an issue-oriented lobbying coalition of environmentalists—which vied for influence nationally and transnationally. The epistemic community of cetologists shaped particular policy choices only in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Earlier, it was eclipsed by the industry managers and, later, by the environmentalists. However, it had sufficient continuing influence to limit the range of policy options and thereby prevent the adoption of the most consumptionist alternatives in the 1940s and 1950s and of the most preservationist ones in recent years.
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Discusses the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. This article intends to bring the reader up to date on the status of this convention. New developments and current debates on the convention are also covered. The author also considers the usefulness of the convention in mobilizing the world community to address real world problems that impact upon America
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