Maritime Awards Society of Canada

OCN-Canada Policy Briefs Program Invitation »« Conference: Engaging Together in Integrated Resource Management

Environmental Justice Implications of Maritime Spatial Planning in the European Union

Elizabeth De Santo, Assistant Professor
Marine Affairs Program
Dalhousie University

Wednesday October 6, 2010
12:30 – 1:30 PM

Room 3089
Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building
6100 University Avenue, Dalhousie University Campus

This paper examines the implications of environmental justice in the regime for Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) currently developing in the European Union (EU). An ‘ecosystem-based approach’ to marine management is enshrined in the new Integrated Maritime Policy and Marine Strategy Framework Directive and forms the basis of MSP. This concept is intended to encompass all aspects of an ecosystem, including the human element. Yet the modes of including meaningful public participation in the decision-making process for MSP remain undetermined. At the same time, the Aarhus Convention (on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters) empowers non-governmental organisations to hold EU Member States to account. Consequently the issue of transparency will gain increased importance, as will linkages between human and environmental rights. Such public interest-based activism on the part of NGOs has the potential to enforce the developing framework for stakeholder engagement within MSP, but it also has implications worth considering regarding the appropriate role of interest-based organizations in the international political arena. The author’s version of the published paper is available here.

September 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm