Ocean Action Hub

15 Feb 2019 - Governance reform is about instituting and practicing new ways of operation and interaction. It is no linear process but rather a whole-of-society transition that negotiates among varied interests and challenges towards changing entrenched practices.

Embarking on the present review, and in the interest of harvesting practical lessons from UNDP’s Water & Ocean Governance (WOGP) portfolio, the exploration was focused on “What works in water/ocean governance?” The report aims to unveil the most critical steps or factors that made these generally successful water and/or ocean governance projects reach their objectives.

The report therefore puts a selected set of projects of the WOGP under the spotlight. Whereas the achievements are often of a very different nature, they all tackle complex, cross-sectoral water or ocean issues that none of the actors involved could have managed on their own. This illustrates the important difference between management – addressing matters that are principally tackled by one actor, often within the purview of one organization – and governance, which relates to the broader relations and rules that regulate the way a whole sector or society acts jointly.

Examples include advancing the ecosystem-based management approach in the Humboldt Current Large Marine Ecosystem in Peru and Chile to combat habitat destruction and and overfishing to preserve marine ecological integrity, which was achieved through establishing and strengthening of Marine Protected Areas and improving access to fishery resources and markets, in the context of changing climatic, economic and social pressures. This case study demonstrates the incremental nature and long-term engagement process of good governance reform.

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Ocean governance