Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 498889
Title The international legal framework for the management of the global oceans social-ecological system
Author(s) Bigagli, E.
Source Marine Policy 68 (2016). - ISSN 0308-597X - p. 155 - 164.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2016.03.005
Department(s) Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) Ecological resilience - International law - Oceans - Social-ecological systems - UNCLOS
Abstract

This paper evaluates the international agreements in place for the protection of the environment and the regulation of human activities taking place in world's oceans and seas. 500 multilateral agreements were reviewed against a framework of reference, grounded on the theoretical approaches of Adaptive Management and Transition Management. According to this framework, oceans complex systems management should: (1) consider the global oceans as a Social-Ecological System (SES); (2) aim to achieve or maintain their ecological resilience; and (3) implement iterative, learning-based management strategies, supported by science-based advice to policy and management. The results show that the present international legal framework for the global oceans does not require countries to adopt an adaptive, complex systems approach for global oceans ecological resilience. Instead, this study supports the perspective of a double fragmentation among international agreements. First, global agreements focus on issue-based objectives for determined human activities, ecological components or anthropogenic pressures. Second, regional agreements have a wider scope, but also a varying level of inclusion of ecological resilience considerations. There is the need to foster the inclusion of such an approach into existing and future international agreements and their implementation, including through soft-law, project-based initiatives at global and regional scales.

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