If Aotearoa’s marine laws are to effectively manage marine environments and resources, they must manage ecosystems in a holistic and inclusive way that stops the degradation of our oceans and restores the health of moana and Māori people. .
New research published in Maritime Development and International Law from the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge reveals critical, time-sensitive opportunities in four policy areas: marine conservation, coastal planning and environmental effects assessment, fisheries regulation, and Māori rights and interests.
With significant legislative and policy changes underway in these areas, there is an opportunity for Ecosystem Based Management (EBM) principles to be adopted to better coordinate the implementation of various policies that affect marine environment in Aotearoa. EBM is a holistic and inclusive approach to managing the competing uses of, and demands on, the marine environment in a way that maintains or improves ecosystem health.
To achieve this, the research highlights the need for fundamental ocean principles to be developed in partnership with Māori and for Aotearoa to create a Ministry for Oceans to drive this transition.
“We join the call for a Ministry for the Ocean that fits the Ministerial portfolio for the oceans, reflecting the complexity of ocean management and moving away from the terrestrial bias of our current laws and institutions. -government approach to lead, manage, coordinate, and align maritime policy consistent with the Tiriti partnership.”
Alignment of law and policy across sectors and scales is particularly important as the New Zealand government moves towards the release of long-awaited climate adaptation legislation.
Elizabeth Macpherson et al, Designing Law and Policy for the Health and Resilience of Marine and Coastal Ecosystems—Lessons From (and for) Aotearoa New Zealand, Maritime Development and International Law (2023). DOI: 10.1080/00908320.2023.2224116
Presented by the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge
Citation: Policy leadership needed for future of Aotearoa’s marine environment, say researchers (2023, July 17) retrieved 17 July 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-07-policy-leadership- future-aotearoa-marine.html
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