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Marine biodiversity offsetting: An analysis of the emergence of an environmental governance system in California

Abstract : Most research studies related to biodiversity offsetting have focused on governance systems already in place in the terrestrial realm – these studies tend to rely on an approach of organizational economics, in particular in relation to mitigation banking schemes. In this study, emerging marine offsetting governance systems has been analyzed using the Actor–Network Theory (ANT) with the aim of highlighting the key elements that enable the emergence of marine offsetting tools. The ANT framework has been applied to four case studies in California using data collected in a field study that consisted of interviewing 30 stakeholders working closely with the issue of marine offsetting. Employing ANT allowed to ascertain the role of commonly studied elements such as impacted ecosystems, sizing methodologies and ecological engineering techniques. Further, it highlighted the key role of other critical factors, such as ‘skilled intermediaries’, who succeed in overcoming uncertainties generated by the use of new tools and contribute to leading other stakeholders towards the goal: the offset instrument. These mediators call upon effective translation processes to put forward new arguments: a change in spatial and temporal scales and adaptive solutions. The findings point to a line of approach that encourages reconfiguring environmental governance systems that could benefit from feedbacks from Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) processes, in order to facilitate the development of marine offset schemes.
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Contributor : Séverine Julien Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 5:07:02 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 28, 2022 - 4:20:11 PM

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Céline Jacob, Sébastien Thorin, Sylvain Pioch. Marine biodiversity offsetting: An analysis of the emergence of an environmental governance system in California. Marine Policy, 2018, 93, pp.128-141. ⟨10.1016/j.marpol.2018.04.007⟩. ⟨hal-01939744⟩



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