Transboundary ocean governance is a complex endeavour involving multiple actors, institutions, epistemologies, and spatial and temporal scales. There are various conceptions of ocean governance, as well as a growing range of practical experiences, both of what is and what is not working. This session combines topical conceptual research with practical cases, looking to draw out key challenges and enablers for successful transboundary ocean governance.
Managing coasts and seas, humanity faces complex socio-environmental problems, reaching across administrative, geographical and time-scales (e.g. resource decline, pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss). It is difficult to address these problems through established institutional frameworks operating within administrative borders. To enable transboundary governance with a broader systems perspective, present concepts and boundaries may need rethinking.
Transboundary governance implies a complex endeavour with multiple actors working at various geographical and time-scales, across jurisdictions with varying mandates. Over the last decades, some boundary-crossing approaches have been developed, such as integrative coastal and ocean management, ecosystem-based management, and marine spatial planning. These attempt a more integrative coastal and ocean governance: encompassing strategic planning and operational management while addressing both conservation and the blue economy. National and international institutions are also trying to adapt to calls for a more “reflexive governance", implying inclusiveness and learning.
Experiences so far indicate conceptual and practical challenges to transboundary coastal and ocean science and management, but also successful examples. Cross-border and cross-sector collaboration using common principles and objectives along with mutual trust seem crucial.
This session provides a forum to critically discuss the concept, practice, and outcomes of integrative coastal/marine governance in transboundary contexts. It aims to distil key benefits, enablers, needs, and challenges and how these could be addressed.
Focusing on a more coherent and sustainable governance of coastal and marine areas, we invite theoretical and empirical communications especially along the following lines: