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Increasing Capacity for Stewardship of Oceans and Coasts: A Priority for the 21st Century C MAJOR CHANGES IN CAPACITY-BUILDING SINCE 1969 The evolution of international capacity-building for ocean and coastal management can be divided into three periods. The first extends over 22 years, from the release of the “Stratton Commission” report (Commission on Marine Science, Engineering, and Resources, 1969) in the United States in 1969 until the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992 (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, 1992). The second extends over the decade from UNCED to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002 (United Nations, 2002). The third period begins with the WSSD and continues today. THE FIRST PERIOD The first period began in the United States with the release of the seminal report Our Nation and the Sea (Commission on Marine Science, Engineering, and Resources, 1969). That report promoted a forward-looking and comprehensive approach to ocean and coastal management that gave rise in the following decade to federal legislation that redefined research, planning, and decision-making for coastal development and restoration; the management of fisheries; and the allocation of ocean space and resources. The Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, a response to Our Nation and the Sea, launched an innovative program featuring incentives for state-federal partnerships designed to address high-priority issues raised by the intensification of human activity along coastlines and the degraded condition of the Great Lakes and many estuaries. In addition, the Fishery
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Increasing Capacity for Stewardship of Oceans and Coasts: A Priority for the 21st Century Conservation and Management Act1 of 1976 initiated a system for science-based management of marine fisheries in an expanded zone of jurisdiction (3–200 nautical miles) through regional councils that involved state, federal, industry, and other stakeholder representation. During the first period, the Law of the Sea Conferences became a forum for international discussion on how the resources of the oceans should be allocated and their exploitation regulated. The issue of varied claims of territorial waters by different countries (for example, the 3-nautical-mile limit, the 12-nautical-mile territorial limit, and the 200-nautical-mile-limit) was raised in the United Nations, and in 1973 the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea was convened in New York to write a new treaty covering the oceans. The conference concluded in 1982, and over 160 nations participated. In addition to its provisions defining ocean boundaries, the convention established obligations for safeguarding the marine environment and protecting freedom of scientific research on the high seas and created a legal regime for controlling mineral resources exploration in deep seabed areas beyond national jurisdiction. Capacity-building in support of the new approaches to ocean and coastal management was expressed by large investments in research, much of it conducted by universities, and by encouragement and development of new curricula on ocean and coastal management topics. A central feature of the capacity-building movement was the U.S. National Sea Grant College Program, which was modeled on the success of the U.S. Land-Grant University System in transforming U.S. agriculture and land-use practices. The National Sea Grant College Program was designed to build capacity in society to manage and responsibly use the nation’s ocean and coastal resources through university-based programs that combined education, research, and extension in a pragmatic, issue-driven response to issues identified in close consultation with local stakeholders. Among the international multilateral programs, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was one of the first to sponsor workshops and training courses designed primarily to raise awareness of the importance of oceans and coasts and the emerging approaches to their management. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) sponsored workshops and training for enhanced management of the newly expanded zones of extended fisheries jurisdiction throughout the world and set up regional bodies set up for high seas and international fisheries. In the 1970s and 1980s, the United States developed an approach to coastal management that was distinguished by the following characteristics: 1 Fishery Conservation and Management Act 16 USC 1801-1882, April 13, 1976, as amended 1978-1980, 1982-1984, 1986-1990, 1992-1994, 1996, and 2007.
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Increasing Capacity for Stewardship of Oceans and Coasts: A Priority for the 21st Century A governance system that differentiated roles and responsibilities in a tiered system composed of municipal (or county), state, and federal governments. An issue-driven approach that required addressing an expanding list of topics that were found to be in the national interest and issues of concern to individual states or municipalities. A set of rules (different from legislation or policies) for involving the public and all affected parties in the coastal planning and decision-making process. A management system that was based on policies and regulations that defined how specific activities were to be conducted, differentiating where various types of activities were to be permitted through zoning and where development was strictly limited or prohibited through the designation of protected areas. Beginning in 1984, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsored a bilateral international program that worked to adapt what had been learned from the U.S. experience in coastal zone management (CZM) to similar issues in developing nations. In that and later programs and projects, capacity-building to impart the necessary knowledge and skills was a central feature. The USAID-sponsored programs developed many of the first generation of materials designed for use in international coastal management training events to guide the teams charged with developing the methods and institutional frameworks for the management of ocean and coastal space, resources, and activities. In the initial phase, the most developed models for coastal management programs were the U.S. state CZM programs. The CZM model divided the evolution of a management program into two distinct phases: an initial planning phase and, if that was successful, federal approval of a state program that met an explicit set of standards designed to certify that the necessary capacity had been assembled to implement a program that addressed important coastal issues. It soon became apparent that capacity-building designed to replicate that model was often inappropriate in settings where governments are weak and regulatory approaches have little impact. However, the separation of activities into an initial phase devoted largely to issue analysis and planning and a follow-up phase involving the implementation of a formally sanctioned program shaped the investments; most of the effort was directed at the initial phase. THE SECOND PERIOD The second period of capacity-building for ocean and coastal management began with UNCED, held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The so-called Earth Summit put forward integrated coastal management (ICM) as the recommended approach for managing the world’s
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Increasing Capacity for Stewardship of Oceans and Coasts: A Priority for the 21st Century coastal regions. The goal was to have ICM programs in place in every coastal nation by 2000. Chapter 17 of UNCED Agenda 21 (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, 1992) detailed the ICM approach and its defining features.2 The text was influenced by the U.S. experience and by emerging coastal management programs in a number of developing nations, including Sri Lanka, Barbados, Ecuador, and the Philippines. However, unlike the CZM program in the United States, there were no standards for marking the transition between planning and implementation, no incentives for countries to engage, and no explicit agenda or strategy for building the necessary capacity. UNCED triggered major bilateral and multilateral investments in ICM projects. With few exceptions, they were designed as short-term investments to help nations to progress through the initial planning phase of an ICM program under the assumption that individual countries would secure the funds to implement a formally adopted ICM program. Capacity-building was invariably one of the components of each project; however, such capacity-building was designed by international funders to meet the immediate needs of short-term projects with short-term courses, mentoring, and study tours selected to complement the activities undertaken by the project in a given period. Because establishing an ICM program on a national scale in the span of the usual five- to ten-year project was usually judged infeasible, many of the projects opted to focus their efforts on pilot-scale demonstrations. It was expected that the capacity generated through an intensive effort in a constrained area would catalyze other efforts in the same country and that the effects would scale up. During the second period, capacity-building in developing nations was delivered primarily through short-term training and learning-by-doing. By 1993, UNDP had launched its Train-Sea-Coast Program (United Nations, 2006); three years later, the University of Rhode Island was offering its Summer Institute in Coastal Management. Those and other short courses were designed as sets of modules that introduced participants associated with coastal management projects to the fundamental issues and processes of cross-sectoral management. In addition, the International Ocean Institute, based in Malta, established centers at several universities in different world regions and was offering short courses on 2 Other parts of Chapter 17 concern (1) the protection of marine environmental, (2) the sustainable use and conservation of marine living resources both of the high seas and under national jurisdiction, (3) the strengthening of international cooperation and coordination, (4) the sustainable development of small islands, and (5) critical uncertainties in the management of the marine environment and climate change. Those and other provisions of Agenda 21 were presented as a plan to restore heavily depleted stocks by 2015 through a broad approach that included restrictions on fishing, the use of marine protected areas, and stepped-up enforcement (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, 1992).
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Increasing Capacity for Stewardship of Oceans and Coasts: A Priority for the 21st Century ocean law and ocean management. In the same period, the University of Newcastle in England launched its master’s degree program in tropical coastal management. Most projects elected to invest in short-term training rather than degree programs because the years of absence of a person moving toward a degree incurred substantial costs with little immediate benefit to the project. The absence of one or more of the most gifted members of a project team could be a major detriment to a short-term project. Those who did attend degree programs were self-funded or assisted by their home country governments. The practice of building capacity through short-term courses and on-the-job training proved to have several weaknesses. For the trainee, the multiple, widely advertised training courses available resulted in ad hoc and fragmented infusions with little coherence and often little direct relevance to the trainee’s high-priority needs and interests. At the same time, the focus of many courses was on single aspects of the technical parts of management, such as geographic information systems or impact assessment, or on a single topic, such as public education or coastal erosion. There was little if any sequencing of courses. Concurrently, the personnel who attended training courses were mostly middle-level professionals; those responsible for the overall direction of a program could rarely find the time to attend, and there was little incentive for them to do so, inasmuch as the technical nature of the material presented was often not relevant to their needs and interests. The central features of ICM, the ability to link across sectors and the negotiation of a program of policies and actions involving several competing agencies of government or sectors, could be addressed only in the longer, two- to four-week courses. The emphasis of training during the second period was on the planning phase of coastal management—selecting issues, setting boundaries, building constituencies for a program, and selecting management instruments. The broader challenges of program implementation and sustained funding were not focused on.3 From the perspective of an emerging professional, participation in a series of disconnected training courses delivered in a variety of pedagogic styles without an overarching design or set of standards provided an awareness of some—primarily technical—aspects of ocean and coastal management practice but not a coherent foundation of its defining features. Toward the end of the second period, surveys of program participants and needs assessments revealed the need to strengthen the skills of professionals in such topics as 3 One survey of the “flurry of activity in training and teaching” in coastal and ocean management triggered by UNCED (Cicin-Sain and Knecht, 1998) concludes that “a growing segment of these opportunities are ad hoc in nature, not part of a larger, more coherent whole. We suggest that efforts be made to focus training opportunities at regional centers and to create networks among training institutions. Greater use of joint programs should be encouraged.”
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Increasing Capacity for Stewardship of Oceans and Coasts: A Priority for the 21st Century proposal preparation, making presentations, and conflict management, and those have become the focus of capacity-building efforts. THE THIRD PERIOD The third, and current, period began with the 2002 Johannesburg WSSD (United Nations, 2002). It was designed to take stock of the progress that had been made in the decade after UNCED and to define global priorities through Millennium Development Goals (United Nations, 2005) with specific targets and timetables; the United Nations Division for Sustainable Development is scheduled to review progress on the goals by 2014–2015. The modest progress in establishing permanent and effective ICM programs was noted at WSSD; because the condition of ocean and coastal resources continued to decline, the scale of integrating forms of management had to be increased. The ecosystem approach to management and the need to develop links between planning and decision-making in watersheds and planning and decision-making along coastlines and in large marine ecosystems were recognized. WSSD emphasized capacity-building, particularly in Chapter 37 of Agenda 21 (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, 1992), which focused on national mechanisms and international cooperation in developing countries as necessary means of attaining desired outcomes. Importance was attached to defining country needs and priorities in sustainable development through a continuing participatory process and thereby strengthening human-resources and institutional capabilities (United Nations Division for Sustainable Development, 2005). In many newly independent former colonies, efforts were made to support and enhance existing national and regional marine-science institutions and to facilitate marine resources development through a regional approach. That approach was difficult to sustain in many areas. In East Africa, for example, the East African Community breakup in 1977 forced capacity-building to the national level, including the Institute for Marine Sciences in Zanzibar. However, this period saw a decline in marine science and fisheries research, which coincided with evidence of decline in ocean and coastal ecosystems and intensified human activities. The situation eventually led to focused efforts by the Swedish development-assistance agency, the Swedish Agency for International Development Cooperation, in marine-science training, and by USAID through the Coastal Resources Center of the University of Rhode Island to create the capacity and political will for coastal management. In the current period, an initial threshold of capacity and experience in ocean and coastal management is present in each region. Many professionals have participated in
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Increasing Capacity for Stewardship of Oceans and Coasts: A Priority for the 21st Century one or more projects, and the Internet has greatly facilitated access to materials and communication between interested parties. Regionally, universities are developing courses and degree programs in integrated forms of management. Programs are now attracting more students from Europe and North America than from developing countries; an example is the master’s degree program in tropical coastal management at the University of Newcastle. Furthermore, students who a decade ago would have had to move to Europe or North America to earn an advanced degree in coastal management or marine affairs can now select from a number of programs in their home regions. This emerging capacity to educate professionals for careers in integrated management, combined with the presence of a growing cadre of experienced professionals in each region, offers important opportunities to rethink how the increasingly urgent need to build capacity to manage oceans and coasts can be met in coming decades.