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Law and Governance

The UN Oceans Conference and Sustainable Development Goals: Are partnerships providing the way forward?

The global oceans provide hundreds of millions of people with livelihoods, food and nutritional security, and are crucial for employment, economic development, and export earnings in many countries and coastal communities around the world. The status of these important ecosystems and its fisheries resources are however rapidly declining, following decades of unsustainable exploitation patterns, overcapacity, and unsuccessful governance interventions.

Regulating New Fisheries: Emerging Rules for Emerging Stocks

By Richard Caddell, Nereus Program Fellow at Utrecht University

It is increasingly evident that profound changes will be necessary to current fishing practices in order to meet future global demand for seafood. Many fisheries are already operating at or beyond their ecological and economic capacity, while climate change and associated processes are projected to have significant impacts upon the future distribution of fish stocks.

Scenarios for investigating the future of Canada’s oceans and marine fisheries under environmental and socioeconomic change

Fisheries Economics Research Unit (UBC) Research Associate Louise Teh, Nereus Director of Science William Cheung, and OceanCanada Director and Nereus Research Associate (Honourary) Rashid Sumaila recently had a paper (“Scenarios for investigating the future of Canada’s oceans and marine fisheries under environmental and socioeconomic change“) published in Regional Environmental Change, wherein they review existing methods of scenario analysis (preparing for future response based on multiple potential outcomes) in the marine conservation and fisheries sectors in Canada.

A case study for conservation: Wilderness protection in Estonia

In his newly published chapter “Wilderness protection in Estonia“, Richard Caddell, Nereus Fellow at Utrecht University, uses Estonia as a case study for European wilderness management. Estonia, Caddell writes, “has proved to be a nature conservation actor of understated significance”. Since the 13th century, Estonia has created protected wildlife areas, with little human intrusion, and has some of the most stringent legal controls over these areas in the EU.

IPBES Report: Methodological Assessment of Scenarios and Models of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released their Methodological Assessment of Scenarios & Models of Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services, for which Nereus Director of Science William Cheung was a coordinating lead author, as well as a contributing author for Chapter 5 “Modelling consequences of change in biodiversity for nature’s benefits to people” (200-243).

POLICY BRIEF: Satellite tracking to monitor area-based management tools & identify governance gaps in fisheries beyond national jurisdiction

A new source of publicly accessible data on fishing vessel activity is providing unprecedented insight into the scope of fishing in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) and governance gaps therein. This emerging source of ocean ‘big data’ can help quantify who is fishing where in ABNJ, can enhance cooperation between competent authorities, and can help States and competent organizations implement policies and management measures related to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction.

POLICY BRIEF: Technology Transfer

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Part XIV provides for State cooperation with the view to promoting the development and transfer of marine science and technology. In addition, Article 202 refers to the provision of scientific and technical assistance to developing States for the protection and preservation of the marine environment. UNCLOS Part XIV and XIII refer to various forms of technology transfer including training, access to information, international scientific research cooperation and establishing national and regional marine science and technology centres.

Instability in the South China Sea: Ecosystem challenges and political complexities

One of the most significant – and increasingly bitter – international disputes of recent years has engaged legal claims over maritime territory in the South China Sea. Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 (UNCLOS), to which the main protagonists are parties, states are entitled to claim an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) conferring sovereign rights and jurisdiction up to 200 nautical miles of maritime space from their coasts. In the South China Sea, however, this position has been complicated by historical claims over a series of small islands and reefs within the southern section of this area.