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Increasing Capacity for Stewardship of Oceans and Coasts: A Priority for the 21st Century 1 INTRODUCTION Communities in both the developed world and the developing world rely on the productivity and diversity of ocean and coastal waters for many necessities and amenities. As populations increase, particularly along the coasts, those waters and the resources they contain become subject to ever greater alteration and exploitation. Climate change will increase the challenges of living and working in coastal areas because of higher sea level, warmer waters, changes in storm intensity, and shifts in the diversity and abundance of marine life. There is an urgent need to educate and advise policy-makers about these challenges so that strategies for adaptation can be developed. Marine ecosystems are important to human well-being, but there is a widespread lack of the tools, knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to manage the oceans and coasts to sustain an equitable suite of benefits for current and future generations. To prevent deterioration and potentially irreversible loss of valued marine resources, communities need to acquire the physical, human, and economic capital necessary to develop a scientific basis of management and to educate and inform decision-makers and citizens so that they become successful stewards of their environment. Developing the capacity for ocean and coastal stewardship is a challenging undertaking. Ocean and coastal stewardship is complicated by many constraints, including (1) the challenges of anticipating and managing unprecedented changes in coastal ecosystems; (2) the difficulty and expense of monitoring marine ecosystems; (3) the legacy of outdated attitudes and knowledge about ocean and coastal ecosystems; (4) the fractured nature of ocean and coastal management; (5) the impacts of land-based activities on coastal resources and ecosystem services; (6) the insufficiency of means of documenting the effectiveness of governance systems; and (7) the relative scarcity of established mechanisms for
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Increasing Capacity for Stewardship of Oceans and Coasts: A Priority for the 21st Century planning and decision-making in the marine realm as opposed to the terrestrial realm, in which property rights and jurisdictional boundaries are more firmly established. In addition, institutional systems are often complex, with overlapping jurisdictions, conflicting responsibilities, and legacies that make stewardship difficult. Those legacies frequently arose from the tradition of “freedom of the seas”, a concept that governed international attitudes to ocean resources beyond the territorial seas and limited management to fragile treaties or voluntary agreements (Young, 1989). Even coastal seas have been treated as part of the public commons and have been subject to overexploitation because the tradition of open access, the dominance of short-term and narrow objectives, and the lack of alternative livelihoods often make it difficult to establish effective regulatory regimes. Conflicts over access and tenure, piracy, illegal and unreported extraction and polluting activities, and tendencies toward overexploitation of shared resources and open-access resources all warrant improved governance. Resolving conflicting societal goals and values is difficult, and the existence of multiple interests and values means that success or failure of stewardship is largely in the eye of the beholder. Thus, capacity-building for stewardship of oceans and coasts in part involves establishing a process for decision-making that is viewed as legitimate by a broad spectrum of stakeholders. This report examines some of the key components of capacity-building programs for strengthening management and conservation of ocean and coastal resources for the sustainability of marine ecosystems worldwide. ORIGIN OF THE STUDY The Ocean Studies Board initiated this undertaking to examine how people and institutions in the United States could work in partnership with other governments, international bodies, and stakeholders to strengthen the ocean and coastal protection and management capacity of coastal nations. In addition, the study examines how capacity-building activities could be translated into sustainable environmental and economic programs. An ad hoc committee of international experts was assembled to review current and past efforts to build the scientific, technological, and institutional capacities and to identify barriers to effective management. The committee’s statement of task is given in Box S.1. This study was funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the President’s Circle of the National Academies, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Marisla Foundation, and the Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation. The findings and recommendations of the committee are based on the shared experience of the committee members, discussions with representatives of the donor and
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Increasing Capacity for Stewardship of Oceans and Coasts: A Priority for the 21st Century academic communities, and selected literature on current efforts in building capacity for sustainable use of oceans and coasts. In addition, the committee benefited from presentations by scientists, engineers, policy-makers, regulators, nongovernmental organizations, and community leaders during its international workshop in Panamá (Appendix B); this workshop enabled the committee to receive input from the international community and to identify case studies that illustrate different approaches to capacity-building. KEY CONCEPTS Capacity-building: Capacity-building is “the sum of efforts needed to nurture, enhance, and utilize the skills and capabilities of people and institutions at all levels” (National Research Council, 2002)—locally, nationally, regionally, and internationally (National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, 1998). Capacity-building increases knowledge, abilities, relationships, and values that enable organizations, groups, and individuals to strengthen the institutions, processes, systems, and rules that influence collective and individual behavior and performance in all endeavors. Capacity-building also enhances people’s ability to make informed choices and fosters their willingness to play new developmental roles and adapt to new challenges (United Nations Environment Programme, 2004). Capacity is about more than potential; it harnesses potential through robust programs to make progress in addressing societal needs. Examples of capacity-building activities are described in Chapter 3. Ecosystem-based management: Ecosystem-based management, or the ecosystem approach, applies current scientific understanding of ecosystem structure and processes to achieve more coordinated and effective management of society’s multiple uses of and interests in the services provided by the ecosystem. Ecosystem-based management does not prescribe a particular outcome; instead, it acknowledges that changing the ecosystem can also change the services it provides. To sustain the ecosystem services that people want and need, an ecosystem-based approach incorporates diverse stakeholder perspectives and balances conflicting objectives to develop an integrated approach to management. The greatest depth of knowledge of human activities and ecosystem responses has thus far come from studies focused on particular sectors. Hence, ecosystem-based management incorporates past and current experience with sectoral management into the evolving analysis of ecosystem dynamics and incorporates new ventures into broader-based management. The evolution toward ecosystem-based management is under way. Managers are beginning to make better use of existing knowledge, and adapting approaches based on
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Increasing Capacity for Stewardship of Oceans and Coasts: A Priority for the 21st Century experience with various management measures. As experience and the knowledge base increase and governance structures evolve to consider diverse interests in oceans and coasts and to foster discussion among sectors, management will become more attuned to ecosystem responses and limits. Those changes are taking place in developed and developing countries, and some developing countries are helping to lead the way. Stewardship: Whether personal or institutional, stewardship commonly refers to a community1 ethic adopted to ensure that natural resources are sustainably used and managed for maintaining quality of life of current and future generations. In the context of capacity-building for ocean and coastal management, the ethic of stewardship promotes sustainable use and conservation to maintain the health of ecosystems through knowledge-based systems of ocean and coastal management. Governance: Governance is the societal structure, going beyond formal systems of government, that encompasses the values, mores, policies, laws, and institutions by which a society addresses a set of issues. It includes the fundamental goals, institutional processes, and structures that create the basis of planning and decision-making (Olsen, 2003). It encompasses the formal and informal arrangements, institutions, and values (Olsen et al., 2006a) that influence: How a resource or an environment is used. How problems and opportunities are evaluated and analyzed. What behavior is deemed acceptable or forbidden. What rules and sanctions are applied to direct how natural resources are allocated and used. The processes of governance are expressed through the institutions and arrangements of markets, government, and civil society (Juda, 1999; Juda and Hennessey, 2001). Those entities interact with one another in complex and dynamic ways—from profit-seeking associated with markets to the laws, regulations, and taxation policies imposed by governments and the preferences and actions of civil society. Doers and Donors: Doers and donors are the people and organizations involved in growing capacity for stewardship of oceans and coasts. Doers are the individuals or organizations that share their tools, knowledge, skills, and attitudes through direct engagement 1 A community consists of a coalition of individuals that interact with each other and with other groups and individuals. A community may consist of families, neighborhoods, local advocacy groups, churches, nongovernmental organizations, and local governments.
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Increasing Capacity for Stewardship of Oceans and Coasts: A Priority for the 21st Century with the people who stand to benefit from enhanced capacity. Donors, who may also be doers, contribute monetary support and physical assets to capacity-building. Practitioners: Practitioners are the people who apply the knowledge gained from capacity-building efforts to accomplish the management goals of the community. They may also be involved in capacity-building efforts—in which case they would also be considered doers. REPORT ORGANIZATION This report is organized to review the challenges, constraints, and lessons learned from experience with capacity-building efforts. Throughout, the committee refers to particular projects and programs to illustrate points that are being made. It should be noted that the committee recognizes that there are many good examples that are not discussed in the report, so the inclusion of a particular program should be construed not as an endorsement but as an example that illustrates a particular aspect of capacity-building. Chapter 2 describes the special challenges of achieving sustainable use of oceans and coasts. Chapter 3 analyzes the evolution and limitations of past and current capacity-building efforts to achieve that sustainable use and to promote stewardship of oceans and coasts. Chapter 4 identifies the barriers to and constraints on effective capacity-building. The remaining three chapters summarize the committee’s view of the way forward in capacity-building for effective governance and stewardship. Chapter 5 focuses on aspects of capacity-building that are currently underemphasized—aspects that have typically received less attention than the more science-based analysis of ecosystem change in existing capacity-building programs. Chapter 6 discusses ways to make capacity-building efforts more effective. Chapter 7 summarizes the committee’s recommendations and presents a vision for future capacity-building efforts. Appendix A contains committee and staff biographies, Appendix B presents the agenda of the committee’s workshop in Panamá, Appendix C summarizes the history of capacity-building, and Appendix D contains a list of acronyms used in the report.