Best Practices in Ecosystem-based Ocean management in the Arctic
Hoel, Alf Håkon
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The objective of the project is to present the concepts and practices the Arctic countries have developed for the application of an ecosystembased approach to oceans management. By way of reviewing how countries actually put to use such concepts and practices, lessons can be drawn on how to effectively do ecosystem-based oceans management. The project addresses both the use and conservation aspects of sustainable development. Two sets of questions here address the substance and process of putting ecosystem-based oceans management to work, respectively: which practices and approaches have proved useful in moving towards effective protection and sustainable use of the Arctic marine environment? What are the main obstacles, and what are the important success elements in moving towards ecosystem-based oceans management? The issue of practices and approaches in ecosystem-based oceans management is addressed on the basis of descriptions provided by the Arctic countries on how they are actually doing this. Among the elements considered are how countries define ecosystem-based oceans management, the types of objectives that are formulated, the choice of policy instruments and organization of the work, for example in terms of how stakeholders are consulted and the geographical context for ecosystem-based oceans management, including existing transboundary agreements relevant to the management of Arctic marine ecosystems. The project is built around seven case studies of how countries develop and implement ecosystem-based oceans management in the Arctic. The seven cases – Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and USA – demonstrate that the Arctic countries indeed are implementing ecosystem approaches to oceans management. In addition, there is a chapter on indigenous issues.