‘Cross-sectoral issues’ refer to marine environmental issues that are not specific to one sector of activity at sea. To be tackled, they therefore require the involvement of all the sectors of activity at sea and relevant stakeholders. They often are also linked to or raise societal issues. ACOPS studies the governance mechanisms applicable to the management of these issues, with a legal and institutional approach and on the basis of sound science available to assess environmental impacts. These studies provide the basis for ACOPS to inform, advise and engage with relevant stakeholders.
Issues of this type that ACOPS follows closely are the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) where uses of the sea are restricted, the impact and regulation of marine litter including marine plastics and the dumping of waste and other matter at sea.
The marine environmental management of a regional sea area such as the Arctic, the North Atlantic, the Mediterranean Sea, the Caribbean Sea or the South China Sea also require a cross-sectoral and integrated approach to all activities at sea within this sea. ACOPS has been involved in the Arctic for decades through the Arctic Council. ACOPS’ Trustees and Friends are also involved through their research in other regional seas. Youna Lyons focuses for example on management and protection of the marine environment in the seas of Southeast Asia.
ACOPS’ activity includes contribution to a number of reports and publications and participation to specialized networks involved with different aspects of the protection of the marine environment and sustainable use of our oceans. They are described in the context of each topic area.