"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
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.
In the face of uncertainty, environmental management
decisions should err on the side of caution.
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.
Participation of all stakeholders is vital in the
formulation and successful implementation of decisions concerning
Costanza, R. et al. (1998)
Principles for sustainable governance of the oceans. Science