Principles of ‘good governance’ (WB, 1994) – such as transparency, public participation, accountability, equity, access to justice – are at the heart of current debate on sustainable development strategies. The crucial role played by these principles in fostering the achievement of sustainable development objectives has been recognized in Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals and is increasingly acknowledged in international policies and regulations concerning effective and equitable management of marine and coastal areas and protection of their natural resources.
The main aim of the AMARCOST Project is to analyse the role played by these principles of ‘good governance’ in shaping the regulatory framework, at the international, regional and national levels, and in promoting the attainment of environmental sustainability goals set by the international community. The project focuses on marine and coastal areas, with a view to examine if and to what extent such principles have resulted (are likely to result) in policies, regulations and specific instruments, adopted at the different levels of governance, and to investigate their ability to effectively influence planning and development processes.
The final goal of the research project is to support the development and the implementation of innovative approaches and instruments for environmental governance in marine and coastal areas, in legal and institutional terms (capacity building for public authorities) and in social terms (awareness and empowerment of social actors).
The specific objectives of the AMARCOST Project are to:
Analyse the role of principles of transparency, public participation and access to justice as instruments for environmental governance and as human rights, and contribute to the development of indicators aimed at assessing their implementation.
Analyse models of environmental governance used in the peculiar context of marine protected areas (MPAs), with specific attention to the implementation of principles of transparency, public participation and access to justice.
Support the development of methodologies and instruments aimed at enhancing the role of principles of good governance for sustainable management of natural resources and for management of usage conflicts.
A few project activities are carried out in cooperation with the COST Action CA15121 MarCons – Advancing marine conservation in the European and contiguous seas (www.cost.eu/COST_Actions/ca/CA15121).
Activities of the COST Action MarCons are articulated in the following Working Groups:
In particular, IRISS is involved in activities of Working Group 5 Regional coordination and transboundary conservation focusing on regional policies and regulatory issues and WG 6 Governance of Marine Protected Areas, focusing on public participation and stakeholder involvement in management of MPAs.