Navigating the implementation impasse - enabling interagency collaboration on cumulative effects (innovation fund)
Managing the cumulative effects from natural events and human activities is one of the most urgent and complex problems facing our coastal and marine ecosystems. The many agencies responsible for managing these spaces are working together to address this challenge.
Project leader: Kate Davies, NIWA
Collaborating to tackle cumulative effects
This project will produce guidelines to monitor and manage cumulative effects (CE) across New Zealand.
This will be a major step forward, because the way we manage CE in Aotearoa’s marine environments is extremely fragmented and inconsistent. This interagency partnership has a ki uta ki tai (mountains to the sea) strategy, which is the only feasible way to properly tackle CE.
Better CE management is essential to:
- Avoid declines in ecosystem health and productivity
- Set appropriate targets and limits for use and extraction of marine resources
- Mitigate the risk of environmental, economic or social decline
New Zealand’s coastal and marine management is covered by 25 statutes governing 14 agencies and operating across 7 geographic jurisdictions. Each deals with CE differently – but human and natural stressors cross these political, jurisdictional, cultural and geographic boundaries so a consistent approach is needed.
The research team represents a diverse range of interests involved in managing CE, including central and regional government, Treaty partners, industry, and research.
So far, the team has:
- Established a shared vision, aspirations and goals
- Taken stock of the current state of CE management
- Identified areas for improvement – these include the need for a shared definition of CE, coordinated monitoring and reporting, understanding of thresholds and tipping points, the capacity to make decisions in the face of uncertainty, and a common understanding of rights and responsibilities in relation to CE management and governance
This research builds on the work of Navigating marine social-ecological systems.
Aquaculture NZ, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Department of Conservation, Environmental Protection Authority, HH & R Mikaere Ltd, Marlborough District Council, Ministry for the Environment, Ministry for Primary Industries, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, NIWA, Te Ohu Kaimoana, Tūtaiao, University of Auckland, and Victoria University.
Latest news and updates
Improving marine management is critical to New Zealand's future health and wealth, but research in isolation is not enough. Excellent engagement with, and participation from, all users and sectors of society is essential.
We therefore invite comment on our draft strategy for Phase II (2019–2024). This strategy has been co-developed with Māori and stakeholders.
During Seaweek, more than 4,600 school pupils joined 6 Sustainable Seas researchers for 3 days of marine science fieldwork in Tasman Bay, as part of the LEARNZ virtual field trip Sustainable seas – essential for New Zealand’s health and wealth.