Coastlines and oceans are among the world’s most fragile ecosystems, but they also serve as natural assets that can spur growth and build economies. Successfully managing economic and living resources requires a robust framework that protects the public good while acknowledging the importance of sustainable private-sector investment. But as a report from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on the “blue economy” notes, the landscape for investing in oceans is in a state of flux. So too is the environment surrounding coastal governance, where preserving nature can sit uncomfortably next to private-sector efforts to make the most of energy, land, fisheries and other forms of natural capital. In response, governments throughout the world are establishing integrated coastal management practices that take into account the views of the private sector while ensuring sustainable practices.
To understand the state of play in coastal governance, the EIU measured the extent of governmental regulation and management across 20 key ocean economies, selected on the basis of the importance of coastlines to their economies and on data availability. This first-of-its-kind assessment of coastal governance identifies best practices and areas for improvement in two fundamental categories (policy and institutional capacity; the business environment for coastal activities) and four “asset” categories (water quality; minerals and energy; land; and living resources).
The Coastal Governance Index is the first attempt to measure and compare the regulatory environments in these fragile and often-densely populated areas, which are coveted by governments, conservationists and the private sector, launched at the World Ocean Summit 2015 in Portugal.
A research collection "Ocean Prosperity Roadmap: Fisheries and Beyond" is also launched at the World Ocean Summit 2015. The collection is a result of work from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, California Environmental Associates (CEA), the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and the University of Washington (UW).