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The Concept of Ocean Governance: Evolution Toward the 21st Century and the Principle of Sustainable Ocean Use

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Abstract:

The concept of ocean governance encompasses norms, institutional arrangements, and substantive policies. The new ocean regime, for which the Third United Nations Law of the Sea Conference was the midwife, is based on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, but the 1982 convention by itself was clearly insufficient to take the world community into the twenty-first century. It has been supplemented by Agenda 21 of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) of 1992; the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities of 1995; and the United Nations Agreement on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks of 1995. Even with these additions the fabric of the new ocean regime is insufficient to confront the new challenges faced by human use of the marine environment. Present patterns of human utilization of the world ocean are not sustainable over an indefinite future. There is an urgent need to breathe life into the notion of ''sustainability" to make it into a fundamental norm of the new world ocean regime. This article explores what such an effort would require in terms of norms, institutional arrangements, and substantive policies.

Keywords: OCEAN GOVERNANCE NEW OCEAN REGIME 1982 UN CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA SUSTAINABLE USE OF THE WORLD OCEAN

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/089207599263875

Publication date: 1999-01-01

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