"States should promote the creation of public awareness of the need for the protection and management of coastal resources and the participation in the management process by those affected." (Article 10.2.1)
45. An adequate public contribution to the decision-making process (e.g., resource-use decisions) ensuring there is broad support for proposed plans, can be facilitated through the institutional process and legal framework. Legislators and planners should be aware that measures which alienate those most affected by them, are unlikely to succeed in the long term.
46. A significant public input is especially important at the local level where the involvement of resource users and other stakeholders in the planning and management process will increase compliance, reduce the risk of errors in decision making and reduce alienation. This input requires the awareness and participation of stakeholders - or consultation with them as is appropriate to national conditions - in the political process at all levels, national, regional and local, to ensure that their interests are properly represented. Typical approaches include the creation of consultative committees, the use of discussion papers, and public meetings prior to legislation, the use of public media and the active role of NGOs.
47. The nature of the fishing activity, however, especially in marine capture fisheries where the hours tend to be long and unsocial, may make it difficult for fishers to participate effectively in the political process and may place them at a disadvantage compared to other coastal resource users who are able to exert more effective pressure in the political process. This difficulty may be met through encouragement by the State of the formation of fishermen's organisations. These would represent the views of fishers and the appropriate legal framework would ensure there was a mechanism to allow these organizations a voice in the decision-making process. The organizations would also provide a means to ensure that fishers are informed of important consultative events and able to attend, or at least have their views represented.
"In order to assist decision-making on the allocation of coastal resources, States should promote the assessment of their respective value, taking into account economic, social and cultural factors." (Article 10.2.2)
48. The current and potential (optimally-managed) economic value of resources should be considered, taking account of the interests of non-users and future generations as well as current user groups. The relevant quantity to be considered is the total economic value. Such a valuation may be derived from the identification within any resource or ecosystem of its use, option and existence values. In order to arrive at such a value it is essential that the different goods and services being provided by the coastal environment be clearly identified. Where there is no market for them, valuation techniques must be used, e.g., contingent valuation and hedonic pricing. Some of the issues relating to resource valuation are referred to in Box 4.
"In setting policies for the management of coastal areas, States should take due account of the risks and uncertainties involved." (Article 10.2.3)
49. In the fisheries sector, it is appropriate that the fisheries authority identify potential threats and ensure that the appropriate action to protect fisheries interests is taken. The appropriate response is to attempt to protect the fisheries sector from damage by pre-emptive action. Where such damage does occur, e.g., resulting from a pollution incident, or where a conscious decision is taken at government level that costs to a fisheries sector are offset by benefits occurring elsewhere, action should be taken to rehabilitate the system and there should be adequate compensation to the stakeholders in the fisheries sector.
50. The term "risk" is often used where the precise outcome of an action is unknown but there is sufficient information to determine the probabilities of the likelihood of different possible outcomes; in this sense, risks, therefore, can generally be covered by insurance.
51. The term "uncertainty" is sometimes used to describe a situation where there is insufficient information for the probabilities within the range of possible outcomes to be calculated; it is not, therefore, insurable. Even within uncertainty, different categories might be distinguished. Pure uncertainty might be said to exist where it is impossible even to identify the range of possible outcomes following some course of action.
52. It is important, however, that despite the difficulties which they may give rise to, risks and uncertainties be taken into account without leading to a paralysis of policy. This may be done through various adaptations of the precautionary approach (See the related fisheries management Guidelines). Underlying and providing the basis for the State's response to risk and uncertainty is the necessity of there being an appropriately flexible legal framework.
Box 4: Valuation of coastal resources
An important element of coastal area management is the need to find some common standard against which to compare the implications of different decisions. Essentially, this involves valuing resources to determine the cost of any impact which will, in turn, enable judgements to be made concerning the best use, possibly for a number of potential uses. The most important thing for rational resource use is that a consistent and objective approach is adopted in making sometimes difficult judgements.
A number of problems may arise in the valuation of coastal resources. First, such resources may be undervalued because the full range of goods and services that they provide is not adequately recognised. Such under valuation typically occurs where some of the goods and services are provided outside the market system. For example, in the case of mangrove, attention may be focused on the value of the site for conversion to shrimp ponds rather than on the mangrove's ecological functions, such as their role in providing a fish habitat or in providing protection against storms and cyclones.
A second difficulty is that the value of coastal resources may be affected by actions in another sector. Such effects are called externalities. These may occur in a positive way, for example a power station emitting clean warm water might have a positive impact on shellfish production in an area. However, generally, the impact is negative, for example pollution may reduce the productivity of coastal resources.
Correct valuation of resource use must take into account all
elements of value, not just those elements for which markets happen to exist.
The fact that a resource is not traded in a market does not mean it is of no
value (consider for instance clean air).
54. This kind of approach recognises risk and uncertainty and uses economic tools so that the appropriate parties have an incentive to reduce any detrimental effects. Its main benefit is that it encourages prevention rather than clean-up, with firms being given a strong incentive to invest in benign technology compatible with the local situation.
55. Another way of dealing with this problem is to take into account the benefits which would be foregone by a development intervention. Suppose that an activity is proposed that will destroy an area of mangrove. The cost of not proceeding with the activity, in terms of the benefits foregone, gives an indication of how great the current use benefits of the mangrove would have to be in order to offset the benefits of the proposed activity. In many cases, it will be shown that the values of such activities are quite low, supporting the intuitive case against destructive development. If, however, this is judged insufficient evidence, then the total economic value - the sum of the use, option and existence values - of the mangrove would have to be calculated.
56. In the absence of such measures, the full costs of environmental use will likely continue to be left out of production costs and represent a subsidy from society to those who benefit in the short term from an activity which results in environmental degradation.
57. If the outcome of an activity is totally uncertain in the sense that even the range of possible outcomes is unknown, the guiding rule should be to avoid activities that might have irreversible consequences since their potential costs are incalculable.
"States, in accordance with their capacities, should establish or promote the establishment of systems to monitor the coastal environment, as part of the coastal management process, using physical, chemical, biological, economic and social parameters." (Article 10.2.4)
58. Given the risks and uncertainties involved in management decisions, States will recognize the need to establish monitoring systems for the coastal environment. The goal should be to identify environmental degradation from all sources as early as possible; the policy objective should be prevention, rather than clean-up.
59. Monitoring is necessary to identify the impact of different activities. The fisheries authorities should be involved in monitoring aspects of interest to the fisheries sector, such as habitat and water quality. Such monitoring requires, first the identification of appropriate indicators, second, the establishment of adequate institutional capacity to carry through the monitoring process and third, the analytical capacity to interpret the trends, e.g., differentiating between environmentally-driven and anthropogenic changes.
60. It may not be necessary for the fisheries authorities to undertake the actual monitoring process, although they will be in a stronger position if they do carry out these tasks. Whatever institutional arrangements are chosen, however, States must have the capacity to monitor the coastal environment and fisheries authorities must have access to the information in such a form as to enable them to identify impacts on the fisheries sector as well as from the fisheries/aquaculture sector.
61. Some of the parameters for monitoring which are of special interest to fisheries authorities are referred to in Box 5.
62. For there to be effective monitoring, it is essential that there exists the appropriate institutional capacity. Such capacity might relate to the legal framework for monitoring activities, and, in particular, fisheries. It may also require measures to be implemented to create and expand at the national level (government, private sector, university), the capacity to develop and use the necessary tools, e.g., environmental impact assessment, cross-sectoral policy analysis, environmental economics techniques, landscape/seascape analysis, environmental capacity assessment, geographical information systems (GIS), etc. Their development requires supporting research and interaction between researchers within and between countries, e.g., at a sub-regional or regional level.
Box 5: Parameters relating to the integration of fisheries into coastal management planning
There is a need to identify those indicators that must be monitored. The range will depend on particular circumstances (the nature of the problem, the budget available) but might include:
physical parameters: e.g., mapping of land-use, area of reclamation and drainage, changes in beaches, virgin land/developed land ratios;
biological and chemical parameters: e.g., water transparency and seabed integrity, extent of seaweed and seagrass beds, biodiversity indices, persistent organic pollutants (POPS) of aquatic production, red tide occurrences, degree of habitat protection;
economic and social parameters: e.g., population
density, employment and unemployment, income levels, regional GDP, barriers to
entry and exit of main occupations, resource allocation systems, occurrence of
social conflict, levels of subsidy in different sectors.
63. Research into the interaction between the environmental and economic systems should be encouraged because of the risks and uncertainties in coastal management.
64. There will be a need to prioritize research needs. In this regard, the fisheries authority should direct its attention to cross-sectoral issues and to economic and socio-economic issues relating to the fisheries sector, in addition to traditional sectoral research concerns which typically have focused on fish stock assessment and biology. Some possible topics are noted in Box 6.
65. The fisheries authorities do not have to ensure that all such research is carried out by its scientists. They might, however, be required to promote easy communication between the fisheries policy makers and scientists to ensure that research institutions address the key issues in the proper integration of fisheries in coastal management planning. In setting research priorities, fisheries authorities need to establish that the priorities match the available funding (making the case for increased funding when appropriate), and ensure also that funding is directed to the identified priorities. Also, while the fisheries authorities may not be directly responsible for all relevant research, they should make provision that their scientists are aware of such research.
Box 6: Possible research topics for fisheries authorities relevant to the integration of fisheries into coastal area management
Ecological functions: these need to be understood to assess the impact of proposed projects on different users of the coastal area, including fishers; and will include, e.g., studies of overall carrying capacity, impact reversibility, etc.;
resource dynamics: this includes research to distinguish between the natural variability of resources and human impact, and to predict long-term trends resulting from management action and/or climate change;
applied research: e.g., to study sectoral dynamics, to develop cheap and simple ecological monitoring schemes based on appropriate environmental hazard assessment and prediction methods;
socio-economics: to identify the factors underlying the economic activities in the coastal area and impinging upon it;
economics: application of valuation techniques, design and impact of economic incentive systems;
institutional issues: e.g., the legal and property
rights framework needed to allow market pricing; organizational arrangements for
local level management by communities and for developing co-management over