Governing Coastal Resources: Implications for a Sustainable Blue Economy

International Resource Panel, Steve Fletcher, Samuel Joseph Winton

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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The report draws together an evidence base that demonstrates beyond question the need for enhanced governance coordination between terrestrial activities and marine resources.

Coastal resources - including fish, minerals and energy - are critical to people, nature and the economy, and are a focus for the emerging sustainable blue economy agenda. It has long been recognized that a particular challenge in coastal areas is the management of land-based activities that generate detrimental impacts on coastal resources in the marine environment. Many of these pressures are negative externalities of land-based human activities that are not taken into account within existing resource-governance frameworks. Therefore, the development of improved approaches to land-sea governance that take account of how land-based activities affect the quality and availability of coastal resources is the focus of this report.

This global study produced by the UNEP/International Resource Panel used a Drivers, Pressures, State, Impact, Response (DPSIR) framework to assess how global scale drivers are pushing the development of land-based activities (pressures), which in turn affect the quality and availability (state) of coastal resources. The impact of changing coastal resources on a selection of sustainable blue economy sectors was then considered. Following a review of existing coastal governance approaches that support land-sea coordination, and a detailed evaluation of the governance arrangements in the extractive and aquaculture sectors, the study presents an analysis of possible governance responses that can better account for, and ideally reduce, the effects of land-based activities on coastal resources and thereby support the transition to a sustainable blue economy.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUnited Nations Environment Programme
Number of pages111
ISBN (Print)9789280738063
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2021


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