ICES/UNECE working meeting

Theme session C

The role of governance, policy and stakeholders in establishing the risk management context and risk tolerances for technical measures in regulatory approaches to achieve SDG 14 targets

​​Session chairs:
Andrew Minkiewicz (USA)
Lorenza Jachia (Switzerland)
Paul Taylor 

Session C focusses on governance aspects(policy, regulation, stakeholder engagement) and addresses how governance arrangements and regulatory processes can act as barriers to progressing towards goal 14 targets, or examples of good practice, which if followed could improve effectiveness.​

Marine planning and oceans management have long relied on governance processes and stakeholder participation to develop plans and identify objectives. Marine spatial planning has taken a more predominant role in the spatial management of human activities and the conservation of marine ecosystem. A cross-sectoral planning approach is considered to provide assurance that the development of management strategies will be based on policy consensus of stakeholders that represent a broad base of interests and concerns.

Ecosystem and environmental sciences generate knowledge to inform managers and stakeholders in such processes. However, policies are implemented through programs, measures, controls, and procedures to “carry into effect” the policy objectives. At implementation, the coherent application of risk management to regulatory work  is intended to develop a well-balanced system, as opposed to one that veers between two extremes:

  • Excessive or over-regulation, i.e., regulations that are too stringent with respect to the risk they set out to address, and
  • Insufficient regulations, which fail to address risk and unnecessarily or inordinately expose citizens and economic operators.

Respecting this principle ensures that risk management is not just applied within one regulatory authority or business process but is a central process underlying all regulatory activity.

The processes involved in the development of regulations require substantial technical advice regarding the specifications needed for the effectiveness of a given technical measure and the practical considerations needed to implement such measures in the daily operations of sector specific activities. Although stakeholders that represent a broad base of interests and concerns are still part of such processes, regulators and stakeholders that would be involved in the development and implementation of such technical measures would need technical advice as to the best practices that can be integrated in their daily operations.

Questions to be considered in this session:

What changes in current governance approaches and stakeholder participation used in marine planning and oceans management would be needed to include regulatory frameworks and technical measures development processes?

How best could we reconcile the perceptions of risk from the stakeholders with the tolerance of risk needed to develop a well-balanced management system of technical measures within a regulatory framework to avoid the two extremes of excessive or over-regulation and insufficient regulations?

What institutional governance structure would be needed to address the trans-boundary and international context of marine environmental management in the development of regulatory frameworks and their technical measures?

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Theme session C

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