International,regional and national commitments meet local implementation : a case study of marine conservation in Northern Ireland

Yates, K L ORCID:, Payo Payo, A and Schoeman, DS 2012, 'International,regional and national commitments meet local implementation : a case study of marine conservation in Northern Ireland' , Marine Policy, 38 , pp. 140-150.

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It is increasingly accepted that humanity’s unsustainable use of the marine environment is causing the degradation of the very marine ecosystems it relies upon. This awareness had led to the generation of a significant number of international agreements and conventions aimed at improving marine management and conserving marine ecosystems. In the European Union, this has resulted in the evolution of an extensive array of environmental legislation and policy. In addition, the United Kingdom and its devolved regions have been developing their own policies and legislative tools to advance marine conservation and management. Party to all of these tiers of governance, Northern Ireland has made numerous international, regional and national commitments to protecting and restoring marine ecosystems. Here those commitments are explored in terms of the local political, administrative and governance reality in Northern Ireland. We show that a complex governance structure and lack of interdepartmental co-operation severely hinder Northern Ireland’s ability to meet stated commitments. Underfunding and lack of political will also seriously hamper conservation efforts. We suggest that the integration of all marine management functions into a single marine management organisation would greatly facilitate Northern Ireland’s progress and that the development of an ecologically coherent network of marine protected areas would go a long way towards fulfilling its conservation commitments.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Policy
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0308-597X
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Dr K Yates
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2016 16:27
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 17:34

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