Monday, August 16, 2010

US Commits to Integrated Coastal and Marine Management

The Marine Ecosystems and Management newsletter (Aug 2010) reported that in July, US President Obama, signed an executive order establishing a national ocean policy for the US which is the country’s first comprehensive, integrated policy for stewardship of its oceans and coasts. The policy launches a process of coastal and marine spatial planning for the nation, and coordinates the various ocean-related activities of more than 20 federal agencies under a new and centralized National Ocean Council. The President’s action reflects the recommendations of a federal task force that explored ways to promote long-term conservation and use of ocean resources.

It is therefore noteworthy that in South Africa we have been doing the very opposite and will be (mis) managing our marine and coastal resources in a disintegrated and ad hoc fashion and contrary to all professional and scientific advice provided to government! South Africa's ill-advised mismanagement strategy of our oceans and coast will of course have serious and adverse socio-economic consequences for the sustainability and well-being of coastal communities in the long-term. We wonder who will be blamed and made the scapegoat by government then?

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