Emerging environmental threats often lack sufficient governance to address the full extent of the problem. An example is ocean acidification which is a growing concern in fishing and aquaculture economies worldwide, but has remained a footnote in environmental policy at all governance levels. However, existing legal jurisdictions do account for some aspects of the system relating to ocean acidification and these may be leveraged to support adapting to and mitigating ocean acidification. We refine and apply a methodological framework that helps objectively evaluate governance, from a social-ecological systems perspective. We assess how well a set of extant US institutions fits with the social-ecological interactions pertinent to ocean acidification. The assessment points to measured legal gaps, for which we evaluate the government authorities most appropriate to help fill these gaps. The analysis is conducted on United State federal statutes and regulations. Results show quantitative improvement of institutional fit over time (2006 to 2013), but a substantial number of measured legal gaps persist especially around acknowledging local sources of acidification and adaptation strategies to deal with or avoid impacts. We demonstrate the utility of this framework to evaluate the governance surrounding any emerging environmental threat as a first step to guiding the development of jurisdictionally realistic solutions.
Research news | 2018-03-20
A final reply to Montoya et. al's criticism of the planetary boundaries framework
General news | 2018-03-19
In 2017, we surpassed one thousand published articles in peer-reviewed journals and we hosted the fourth international conference on resilience and sustainability science. Another year to be proud of, we think
Research news | 2018-03-14
Amid an increase in megacities, changes in ecosystems far away can affect local access to freshwater
Research news | 2018-03-12
Ten essentials for guiding action-oriented research on energy transformation and climate change
Research news | 2018-03-09
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we have been highlighting some of our women researchers at the centre. In our final profile this week, we showcase associate professor Beatrice Crona, whose work spans from small-scale fisheries governance to global drivers of change.
Research news | 2018-03-08
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we are highlighting some of our women researchers. We would now like to showcase Jennifer Hinton, a PhD candidate studying the social dynamics of a sustainable biophysical resource economy