Participation, Compliance and Enforcement in the Governance of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems

Date of holding: 30/01/2012

Viewed: 4043 times

Professor Olsen explained the vulnerability of coastal ecosystems, which are considered to be the most exposed territory to the impact of human activity. Regarding the primary difficulties of sustainable coastal zone management in Spain and Galicia, Olsen mentioned the lack of long term initiatives: ‘projects are proposed short term, they are not transgenerational, and there is a lack of political commitment’. In addition, the American Professor mentioned the cross-border nature of coastal management, ‘this management transcends borders; for example when a contaminated basin comprises several countries, such as Spain and Portugal’. According to the Professor, the success of an integrated management system ‘is not a matter of governments but of governance’. While management consists of the organization of resources and activities in order to advance towards a clear objective, just as cities or industries do, governance defines where we want to go, and it is the platform upon which management acts. ‘We must face governance issues, not only management issues’, he pointed out and added: ‘Ecosystem Governance is about all of the social processes and it must address issues combining science, technology and values’.

Mr. Stephen Olsen
Director, Coastal Resources Center, University of Rhode Island
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