Adapting the Legal Framework of Natural Marine Resources Management to Climate Disruption: The Case of Greece
The impacts of climate change on marine resources are well known and demand mitigation and adaptation measures in order to protect the ecosystems. This entails more than simply altering management practices; it requires altering goal setting and managing transitions to new ecosystemic conditions. In the European Union, the main legal tool for protection of the marine environment is the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Greece, as a member state of the European Union, has transposed the Marine Strategy Framework Directive into its national legal order and has developed legal structures to protect its marine resources from various threats, including climate change.
The present paper aims to present the legal and policy management tools in Greece, relevant to implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and climate change adaptation. For methodological reasons, the paper is divided into two parts: The first part deals with those legal tools that apply to an initial assessment of the environmental quality of Greek marine waters, while the second part analyzes legislative activities pertinent to the design and implementation of programs and measures. The aim of the national legislation is to maintain the ecosystemic integrity of the marine waters of Greece and to preserve the unique characteristics of the aquatic environment with respect to present and future generations. However, the analysis shows that a holistic legal framework demands explicit provisions for climate change impacts, while the existing framework focuses primarily on anthropogenic pressures on the marine environment.
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