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Vanuatu's National Ocean Policy

legislation type Executive
Passed in 2016
The purpose of the National Ocean Policy is to achieve an ocean governance framework that supports traditional marine resource management practices and knowledge and manages all line agencies with responsibility for maritime and ocean affairs, and harmonizes national actions in relation to the marine resources of the Republic of Vanuatu.

This policy builds upon and complements important sectoral-level management plans, policies and strategies. It introduces a new coordination mechanism to assist departments, Ministries, users and communities to better work together and synergise, versus contradict, each other’s efforts.

Achieving the Ocean Policy vision and purpose will help Vanuatu to build resilience in its marine ecosystems to climate change and disasters.

One of the Policy's action areas is climate change and disaster risk reduction, as Vanuatu is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change and disaster risks.  It experiences cyclones, storm surges, landslides, flooding and droughts, which may become more intense as a result of climate change. Vanuatu is also highly exposed to geophysical threats from volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis, as well as human, animal and plant disease, and man-made disasters. The quality and status of the marine environment has a significant impact on both the effects of climate change upon coastal communities and the resilience of communities to that impact. This Policy provides a framework through which risks arising from and associated with the marine environment can be identified, assessed, reduced and managed. 

The goal for the Climate Change sector with regard to Oceans is to conserve, manage and develop the Ocean to help Vanuatu have resilient communities, environment and economy for the long term.

The Strategic objectives for the Climate Change Sector with regard to the ocean are to:

  • Promote and support efficient, effective Climate Change & Disaster Risk Reduction efforts using Ecosystem-based Approaches;
  • Facilitate and enhance appropriate measures to manage Climate Change & Disaster Risk Reduction knowledge & information; 
  • Promote and support an efficient, effective Low Carbon & Mitigation Approaches & Strategies to ensure safety, security and protection of the marine environment. 


from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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