Canada's Ocean Policy: Assessing enabling governance conditions for implementation of a national blue economy strategy
Conrad, Jillian Elizabeth
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The world has reached an international consensus regarding the need for sustainable ocean management practices to ensure the health and wealth of our global ocean. Such practices can be implemented through various marine-based strategies for sustainable development that focus on ecological, social, and economic domain integration, broadly known as Blue Economy development. States such as Seychelles and Australia have existing Blue Economy strategies; however, many maritime nations have yet to develop similar government-supported plans. Canada is in the initial phases of developing a Blue Economy strategy, which will build upon and integrate current marine development programs. These programs are supported by regulatory tools such as legislative and policy instruments; intrinsically, governance capacity for Blue Economy development must be evaluated prior to successful implementation. This study conducts a two-part federal policy and legislative analysis to determine Canada’s regulatory capacity for developing a national Blue Economy strategy. First, a natural resource assessment was conducted across seven Canadian ocean sectors. Second, an analysis of enabling federal governance conditions was conducted based on federal legislation, policies and strategies supporting Blue Economy pillars and respective indicators identified by a Blue Economy Capacity Framework (BECF) (Cisneros-Montemayor et al., 2021). Overall, governance capacity is well-developed across environmental sustainability and economic viability domains, though department-specific regulations are lacking across multiple subsets of social equity. Further development of equitable federal policies and legislation will allow Canada to optimize marine and coastal industry processes and identify new areas for expansion while recognizing diverse coastal needs. Keywords: Blue Economy, governance, policy, Canada, equity, sustainability
Conrad, J., 2021. Canada’s Ocean Policy: Assessing enabling governance conditions for implementation of a national blue economy strategy [graduate project]. Halifax, NS: Dalhousie University.