The Contribution of Integrated Marine Policies to Marine Environmental Protection: The Case of Norway

In: The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law
Lena Schøning UIT Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea, Faculty of Law, UIT The Arctic University of Norway Tromsø Norway

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This article investigates the contribution of the Norwegian integrated marine management (IMM) plans to marine environmental protection and conservation. These plans have been described as international best practice, and the government’s goal is ‘for Norway to be a pioneer in developing an integrated ecosystem-based management regime for marine areas’. The plans pursue other objectives, including sustainable use and value creation, but this article focuses on their contribution to environmental objectives. By means of a problem analysis, the article outlines three approaches to ‘marine environmental protection and conservation’ that contribute thereto in profoundly different ways. The contribution of the IMM plans to each of these approaches is examined, leading to the conclusion that two are embedded in the plans, which therefore primarily contribute to some reduced harm, as opposed to contributing to long-term marine environmental protection. This suggests that integrated marine plans and policies are relevant for more restricted environmental objectives.

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