Maritime Domain Awareness as an Essential Integral System of Governance Capacity Enabling Decision Advantage and Feasible by Developing Coastal Countries

Authors: Thomas Morelli*, Thomas D. Morelli LLC
Topics: Coastal and Marine, Remote Sensing, Development
Keywords: Maritime Domain Awareness, Developing Coastal Countries, Ungoverned Marine Areas, Spatial Data Infrastructure
Session Type: Paper
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The presentation focuses on Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) as an essential integral system of capacity enabling decision advantage for achieving governance outcomes in the national maritime jurisdiction. Decision advantage derives from information confidence in the supporting resources, and is a qualitative measure of an effective MDA system for enabling evidence-based decision making processes. The primary application of MDA is for achieving the fundamental governance outcomes to control, secure, develop, and manage the national maritime jurisdiction across social, economic, and environmental dimensions. An MDA system is required, for example, to minimize ungoverned marine areas and emergent places harboring informal markets in contraband trade; conditions that instigate vulnerabilities to criminal exploitation, and potential civil disenfranchisement of affected places and populations. The presentation outlines the features of an MDA system which is feasible and sustainable by developing coastal countries; that contains a rudimentary ocean surveillance information system provided of coordinated decisionmaking structures and functions enabling actionable responsiveness to operational situations. Architectural attributes of this MDA system include a spatial data infrastructure framed by geography’s foundational interdisciplinary thematic categories of Location; Place; Human-Environment Interactions; Movement; and Region. The collection methods presented for this MDA system range in scope from human participant observation of insitu local/traditional ecological knowledge, to remote sensing technologies of small unmanned aircraft and marine systems. Conclusions recognize MDA system capacity as: (1) essential to effective governance of the national maritime jurisdiction, (2) feasible and sustainable by developing coastal countries, and therefore (3) a rational approach to their resource limitations.

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