Regional Ecosystem-Based Imperatives Within Global Ocean Governance

Authored by: Lee A. Kimball

Routledge Handbook of Ocean Resources and Management

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415531757
eBook ISBN: 9780203115398
Adobe ISBN: 9781136294822


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The purpose of this chapter is to revisit the rationales for and pathways toward effective regional ocean governance. It argues that the fundamental imperative for regional approaches is to strengthen ecosystem approaches to ocean assessment and management, including social and economic dimensions. Part 3 of this handbook covers in more detail developments in several ocean regions. This chapter provides background and context for evolving ocean regionalization more generally and ruminations over future directions and opportunities. It takes stock of the merits of regional approaches and then considers the implications of the following developments:

changing ecological knowledge, including –

a shift in international political support for ecosystem approaches to ocean management, and

improved methods and tools for ecosystem approaches;

greater international attention on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ);

new challenges and opportunities, including the effects of climate change; and

growing appreciation of the need for focused analysis of international institutions, including –

how to “promote the science/policy interface through inclusive, evidence-based and transparent scientific assessments”, as called for in the Rio+20 outcome document (UN 2012), and

how to “manage” the interplay between regional and global bodies as they continue to multiply and intersect.

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