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Australian Ocean Governance: Initiatives, Challenges and Opportunities


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Haward, M and Vince, J 2006 , 'Australian Ocean Governance: Initiatives, Challenges and Opportunities', paper presented at the 2006 Australasian Political Studies Association Conference, 25-27 September 2006, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

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The last decade has seen increasing attention to institutional arrangements and policy outcomes affecting the governance of the world's seas and oceans. Governance is linked to institutional capacity and to effectiveness of public organisations drawing attention to tools and approaches underpinning effective and efficient institutional arrangements. Australia has over 100 laws and policy instruments addressing aspects of the management of the marine environment. Many of these instruments incorporate post UNCED principles as well as reflecting a broader government reform agenda that saw government moving to more market and or collaborative oriented forms of governance. Australia has taken a high profile lead in oceans governance in these areas, developing marine protected area management in the 1970s, supporting stronger initiatives against marine pollution in the 1980s, and taking significant action against illegal, unreported or unregulated (IUU) fishing in the 1990s. Australia's international actions have been matched by the development of a number of oceans governance initiatives including a national Oceans Policy implemented by the Commonwealth and applied to Commonwealth jurisdiction. This paper outlines Australia's approach to ocean governance, highlighting the challenges of 'offshore federalism', and assesses the effectiveness of current governance arrangements integral to the Oceans Policy. This asssessment draws on the insights of Arild Underdal, where effectiveness is related to components such as the 'stringency and inclusiveness' of management provisions, 'level of compliance' and the impact of 'side effects' produced by the instrument.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Authors/Creators:Haward, M and Vince, J
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