Reform Regional Ocean Management Organisations


© Ifermer/Michael Gouillou
Oceanographers launch the remotely operated vehicle Victor 6000 to help them study the biodiversity of life on the Mediterranean seafloor.

Effective ocean management requires multilateral and regional management frameworks. Many regional marine institutions exist to this end, often with a sectoral mandate. While certain of these institutions have made progress within their specific sector, efficiency gains could be reached by improving coordination and cooperation among the different regional sectoral institutions, and/or strengthening individual ones. For regional management organisations that deal with ABNJ, this is even more important. There is a need to assess whether existing institutional structures are prepared to face future challenges.

Regional marine organisations should be able to effectively manage marine areas and provide guidance on the coordination and implementation of international commitments. Operational ability and flexibility to implement and enforce management measures through regional cooperation must be reflected in appropriate mandates and effective institutions.

Guidance on how to coordinate, integrate, or implement these various international commitments and demands should be developed. There is an urgent need to reform regional ocean governance, in order to ensure that either existing organisations meet the new challenges or new organisations are put in place that have the mandate, operational ability and flexibility to implement and enforce reforms.

Main objectives of the Proposal

1. Improve coordination and cooperation among the different regional marine organisations and strengthen the individual ones to ensure effective management, including conservation and sustainable use of the marine environment through ecosystem-based approaches.

2. Regional organisations with a sectoral mandate should increase cooperation with other regional marine organisations to ensure a broad ecosystem focus.

3. Implementation of ‘better practice’ with assistance to and through cooperation among Regional Fisheries Management Organisations and Arrangements (RFMO/As).

4. Where appropriate, consideration should be given to creation of ocean management organisations with a broad ecosystem focus such as those being advanced through the GEF LME Program in areas such as the Benguela Current and Guinea Current LME.

Expected results

Stronger regional institutional capacity, across a range of issues rather than a single-sector focus, will bridge the gap that currently exists between international and national bodies, and will provide the framework for implementing global and regional agreements in an ecosystem-based way that is tailored for each regional context. Stronger regional institutional cooperation and coordination across a range of issues, will ensure effective implementation global and regional agreements in a way that is tailored for each regional context.

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