Administering Marine Spaces: International Issues

A publication of FIG Commissions 4 & 7 Working Group 4.3

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Table of Contents



Issues in the Governance of Marine Spaces
Michael Sutherland and Sue Nichols

Marine Administration Research Activities within Asia and the Pacific Region – Towards a Seamless Land-Sea Interface
Abbas Rajabifard, Ian Williamson and Andrew Binns

Resolving Spatial Uncertainty in the Tidal Interface
Philip Collier and Nathan Daw Quadros

A National Geocentric Datum and the Administration of Marine Spaces in Malaysia
Teo CheeHai and Ahmad Fauzi

Governing the North Sea in the Netherlands
Michael Barry, Ina Elema and Paul van der Molen

Using Canadian MPAs to Highlight the Need for Improved Tenure Information Management
Sam Ng’ang’a

Institutional Frameworks in the Administration of Coastal and Marine Space in Africa
Isaac Boateng

Impacts and Management of Oil Spill Pollution along the Nigerian Coastal Areas
Peter C. Nwilo and Olusegun T. Badejo

The Douala Coastal Lagoon Complex, Cameroon: Environmental Issues
Chebo K. Asangwe

The Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of Ghana
Daniel S. Amlalo

A Note on Marine Administration in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
David Neale


Orders of the printed copies


The coastal zone is a complex and finely balanced ecosystem contained within a relatively narrow band of land and sea. Many coastal marine ecosystems are among the most productive in the world. They provide food and livelihood for millions of people. Coral reefs are home to more than a million species. Coastal zones are economically, politically and socially critical to many nations. Coasts are used by millions of people for recreation. Major transport hubs are situated in or near the coastal zone where ports and harbours are vital to commerce and trade.

This narrow band of land and sea occupies only 20 per cent of the world’s land area. Half the world’s population, some 3,000 million people, live within 200 km of the coast and it is estimated that by 2025 this figure may double. Our cities use some 75 per cent of the world’s resources and discharge similar amounts of waste.

It is hardly surprising then that this marine space is under serious threat from a myriad of overlapping and conflicting interests. The evidence of change is compelling and manifest. It is therefore imperative to manage, administer and govern the coastal zone in a considered, sustainable and structured manner; to protect and nurture the environment we live in. Failure to do so may have disastrous consequences for future generations.

FIG, through the work of this joint workgroup, has been active in the areas of Coastal Zone Management, Marine Cadastre and Marine Governance since 2002. This has included an international workshop, published papers, presentations and attendance at FIG and other International fora. During this time the workgroup has encouraged research and discussion on issues related to administering marine spaces and this publication is the culmination of that work.

The publication comprises a number of papers that focus on issues related to the administration of marine spaces from regional perspectives. Its purpose is to stimulate further discussion and research in this most important subject area. Whilst it is not possible to deal with all issues, it does underscore the international importance of administering marine spaces.

I would like to thank the authors for their hard work, dedication and passion in contributing to this publication.

Adam Greenland
Chair of FIG Commission 4
Prof. Paul van der Molen
Chair of FIG Commission 7


Working Group 4.3 (WG4.3) is a joint working group of the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) that since 2002 is concerned with issues related to marine cadastre, coastal zone management and ocean governance. It is made up of members from Commission 4 (Hydrography) and Commission 7 (Cadastre and Land Management). Both Commissions share interests in management and administration issues related to tenure and property rights, and together cover land, coastal, and marine environments.

By 2001 it was obvious to those presenting papers at international conferences and participating in international and regional initiatives that administering rights in marine spaces was of global interest. This is not surprising since a significant number of the world’s population lives on or close to coasts. This global interest generated many academic papers and international meetings supported by academe, government organizations, and professional organizations. International professional organizations such as FIG and regional bodies such as the Permanent Committee on GIS Infrastructure for Asia and the Pacific (PCGIAP) witnessed significant increases in activities related to the administration of marine spaces. This is the environment in which WG4.3 operated over the past four years and led to the realization of this publication.

Generally, issues related to the administration of marine spaces may be categorized as stakeholder issues, technical issues, and legal issues. Many of these issues are common across international jurisdictions but, obviously, there are issues peculiar to specific jurisdictions. This publication (Administering Marine Spaces: International issues) as a product of the FIG, is designed to give a sample of international issues related to administering marine spaces since it is improbable that one document can address all issues for every international jurisdiction.

Authors have contributed papers on topics related to Africa, North America, Europe, Australia, Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, and small island states such as the Caribbean. All papers, regardless of focus, present material that directly or indirectly impact upon the administration of human rights, responsibilities, and restrictions in marine spaces. The first paper provides an overview discussion of issues relevant to administering marine spaces while the other presentations focus on national or regional issues sampled from the international realm. It is hoped that this publication will edify readers and stimulate further discussions and research on relevant topics.

Michael Sutherland, Ph.D.
Chair, Working Group 4.3
Commission 4
International Federation of Surveyors
July 2006


Administering Marine Spaces: International Issues

A publication of FIG Commissions 4 & 7 Working Group 4.3

Published by The International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)
ISBN: 87-90907-55-8, September 2006, Frederiksberg, Denmark

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FIG Office, Kalvebod Brygge 31-33, DK-1780 Copenhagen V, DENMARK,
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