Gacutan, J. et al., Marine Policy
Ocean decision-makers are tasked with balancing social, economic, and environmental considerations when addressing complex policy challenges and achieving strategic objectives, such as conservation targets, or sustainable and ocean-based economic development agendas. Like many common environmental assets, oceans have been impacted by a history of imperfect governance resulting in substantial negative consequences for these important socio-ecological systems. Aligning and managing multiple trade-offs between policy targets for the management of human activities in the marine domain has been increasingly attempted using Marine Spatial Planning (MSP). More recently, Ocean Accounting (OA) has appeared as a framework that extends national, environmental, and ecosystem accounting, and provides a structure to integrate the information describing ocean ecosystems and their changing relationships with society and the economy. Globally, MSP is therefore employed to prioritise actions towards strategic objectives, while OA is being developed to centralise, standardise, and integrate ocean information.
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