Lisbon Principles:

Efforts toward "successful and sustainable management of the world's oceans" can be distilled into a series of six principles, according to a paper in the journal Science. The paper, a synthesis of a 1997 conference in Lisbon, Portugal called "Ecological Economics and Sustainable Governance of the Oceans," was co-authored by 15 scientists from the U.S., Sweden, Portugal, and Australia. The six so-called "Lisbon Principles" are:

Fair and responsible: Rights to use our natural resources come with a responsibility to use them efficiently, without depleting them, and in a socially fair way.

Ecological spatial and time frames: Ocean environments and resources should be managed at the spatial scales and time frames most conducive to their sustainability, crossing, if appropriate, political jurisdictions and human generations.

Precautionary: In the face of uncertainty, environmental management decisions should err on the side of caution.

Adaptive: Given that some level of uncertainty always exists. environmental decision-makers should continuously adapt management plans as new, improved insight becomes available.

Full cost allocation: All costs and benefits concerning the use of natural resources should be identified and allocated and economic markets should reflect these costs and benefits.

Inclusive: Participation of all stakeholders is vital in the formulation and successful implementation of decisions concerning environmental resources.

Costanza, R. et al. (1998) Principles for sustainable governance of the oceans. Science 281(5374):198-199.