In 2018, about one billion people of the Earth’s 7.6 billion lived in marine coastal zones. The people, their property, and the infrastructure that supports them, and a city or national per capita GDP are at risk at multiple levels. These include coastal erosion, high and spring tides that cause lowland flooding, weather-related events (storm surges, flooding, wind, crop loss, unprotected anchorage, stabilization of navigation channels, and rarely, killer tsunamis). These coastal zones now, and more so in the future, are likely to be at high risk because of global warming-driven sea level rise. Human activity inshore can increase the level of risk from the above cited sources, such as flooding by abetting subsidence because of overuse of coastal aquifers for a water supply. Dikes, breakwaters, sea walls, and related structures are designed to thwart for some time (50 years?) damaging, destructive forces that assault coastal regions worldwide. They are costly to build and maintain but in short and long terms present economic benefits that preserve much, much more in capital investment.
Climate change adaptation planning has rapidly expanded to assist with reducing vulnerability to current and projected impacts of climate change. In Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS), planned adaptation is viewed as essential to address their high vulnerability to climate change, and planning has begun in earnest across the region. However, there has been limited analysis of adaptation planning documents in the region to assess their quality and content. This study assesses adaptation planning documents from Caribbean SIDS, focusing on inclusion of key stages of adaptation planning that were identified from international and regionally specific adaptation guidance instruments. Eighty-nine Caribbean adaptation planning documents—including policies, strategies, programs, and projects—were assessed, revealing that they differ considerably from guidance instruments. Key areas for improvement include the need for (i) more direct linkages between identification of adaptation options and assessments of climate hazards, impacts, vulnerability, and risk; (ii) identification and appraisal of a range of adaptation options; and (iii) increased inclusion and usage of quantitative information about hazards and impacts. Addressing these deficiencies may help to improve the status of adaptation planning in the region and ultimately aid in reducing the high vulnerability of these island nations to the impacts of climate change.
Adaptive management of marine protected areas (MPAs) requires developing methods to evaluate whether monitoring data indicate that they are performing as expected. Modeling the expected responses of targeted species to a MPA network, with a clear timeline for those expectations, can aid in the development of a monitoring program that efficiently evaluates expectations over appropriate time frames. Here we describe the expected trajectories in abundance and biomass following MPA implementation for populations of 19 nearshore fishery species in California. To capture the process of filling in the age structure truncated by fishing, we used age‐structured population models with stochastic larval recruitment to predict responses to MPA implementation. We implemented both demographically open (high larval immigration) and closed (high self‐recruitment) populations to model the range of possible trajectories as they depend on recruitment dynamics. From these simulations, we quantified the time scales over which anticipated increases in abundance and biomass inside MPAs would become statistically detectable. Predicted population biomass responses range from little change, for species with low fishing rates, to increasing by a factor of nearly seven, for species with high fishing rates before MPA establishment. Increases in biomass following MPA implementation are usually greater in both magnitude and statistical detectability than increases in abundance. For most species, increases in abundance would not begin to become detectable for at least ten years after implementation. Overall, these results inform potential indicator metrics (biomass), potential indicator species (those with a high fishing:natural mortality ratio), and time frame (>10 years) for MPA monitoring assessment as part of the adaptive management process.
The most recently revised CFP Regulation, adopted in 2013, includes a number of significant changes with the aim to make fisheries more in tune with concept of the ecosystem approach and to avoid unsustainable exploitation of marine biological resources, including fish, as a natural resource. As part of that the CFP Regulation introduced the landing obligation, an obligation to land all catches as opposed to previous praxis where fisheries have been relying on a system of discarding fish and other marine biological resources in order to optimize their catch. One aim with the landing obligation is to push for new adaptive fishing methods and in a way to implement an ecosystem approach since the fishing strategies are meant to be adjusted to ecosystem factors. To be effective, the system for controlling implementation must be adjusted to take different aspects of the ecosystem approach into account. The paper presents some reflections on the required balance between adaptive approaches connected to the ecosystem approach and the strictness established by principles of rule of law in relation to the so called EU CFP landing obligation. It is concluded that the best way to create a control system adjusted to these factors seems to be by giving more influence to the industry itself. Involving those concerned at all levels, and thus applying all aspects of the regulatory governance under an ecosystem approach, would create an effective adaptive system where the rule of law is also safe-guarded.
The history of commercial exploitation of fish stocks is replete with instances of over-exploitation and stock collapse. Particularly in situations where little is known about a species or a particular fish stock, unregulated expansion into new fisheries may effectively wipe out a species or stock before its existence is even formally recognised or understood. Globally, there has been a strong interest in ensuring that such a fate does not befall any fish stocks that either exist in or may migrate in future into the high seas portion of the Central Arctic Ocean. The Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean establishes a framework for the acquisition of science upon which precautionary, ecosystem-based management measures can be based, if and when they become necessary in the future. This article examines the role of international law in facilitating both the adoption of the Agreement and the adaptive management of fisheries in the high seas portion of the Central Arctic Ocean. It will be shown that the Agreement provides the initial framework for precautionary, ecosystem-based, adaptive and environmentally sound decision making regarding potential future fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) remain central to the conservation of marine biodiversity, but enhancing their resilience under climate change require that organizations managing them are able to adapt. Social factors like institutions can affect organizational capacities to adapt to climate change. Yet our knowledge about how different institutional designs for protected areas affect management adaptive capacity is limited. We address this gap by comparing how two models of MPA governance - centralized and collaborative (co-management) - influence the adaptive capacities of public organizations managing MPAs in East Africa. Social network analysis is used to examine external relations of MPA organizations which are interpreted through the lens of social capital theory to explain the acquisition of information and knowledge that support adaptive capacity. We find differences in the ways focal MPA organizations in the centralized and co-managed MPA systems are connected to their external partners. In the centralized system, the focal MPA organization operates in a less connected network rich in opportunities to bridge disconnected groups that can be a source of novel and diverse information. Conversely, the focal MPA organization in the co-managed system operates in a dense network of interconnected organizations that are likely to have similar information, therefore providing redundant information benefits. The composition of partners around focal MPA organizations which determines information quality is not affected by MPA governance context. We conclude that institutional context affects the relational dimensions of adaptive capacity, by giving greater or fewer opportunities for the development of either bridging or bonding social capital.
Low-Elevation Coastal Zones in Central and South America are exposed to climate-related hazards (sea-level rise, climate variability and storms) which threaten the assets (people, resources, ecosystems, infrastructure, and the services they provide), and are expected to increase due to climate change. A non-systematic review is presented focusing on vulnerability elements, impacts, constraints to adaptation, and their possible strategies. The analysis emphasises the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Reasons for Concern (e.g., threatened systems, extreme events, aggregated impacts, and critical thresholds), particularly on sea-level rise, degradation of mangroves, and invasive alien species in Central and South America focusing on case studies from Uruguay and Venezuela. Despite recent advances in coastal adaptation planning in Central and South America, there is an adaptation deficit in the implementation of measures and strategies against climate-related hazards, such as sea-level rise. Adaptation constraints are linked with poverty, resource allocation, lack of political will, and lack of early warning systems for climate-related hazards. Non-structural adaptation measures such as community-based adaptation and ecosystem-based adaptation are not fully mainstreamed into national plans yet. Government-level initiatives (e.g. National Adaptation Programmes of Action) are being developed, but a few are already implemented. In addition to specific thematic measures, the implementation of non-structural approaches, National Adaptation Programmes of Action and early warning systems, based on the reasons for concern, should foster adaptive capacity in coastal areas.
This article reviews the state of coral reefs in French Pacific territories in the context of global change (especially threats linked to climate change). We first outline the specific local characteristics, vulnerabilities, and threats faced by the coral reefs of New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna. We also emphasize local and other human communities’ economic and cultural reliance on coral reefs. Secondly, we discuss the natural and anthropogenic threats facing coral reefs in French Pacific territories, and current ecological responses such as mitigation and adaptation strategies. We conclude by proposing socio-economic solutions for the Pacific region across varying scales, with a special focus on enforcement measures and socio-political issues.
Important intertidal coastal habitats – particularly mangroves, saltmarshes and beaches – are particularly threatened by the impacts of climate change-driven sea-level rise. Coastal development and coastal armoring present physical barriers for the natural inland migration of coastal habitats, and changes in hydrological connectivity reduce sediment inputs and the potential for vertical accretion. We identify mechanisms and enabling conditions to accommodate migration of these habitats in Australia and the United States. A range of financial, policy, planning and on-the-ground management tools in both countries that already exist, often for a different purpose, can be implemented or modified to also enable inland habitat migration. Awareness of approaches/solutions can assist land managers and policy makers to accommodate migration of habitats as a necessary component of coastal management in an era of increasing rates of sea level rise.
The “open ocean” has become a highly contested space as coastal populations and maritime uses soared in abundance and intensity over the last decades. Changing marine utilization patterns represent a considerable challenge to society and governments. Maritime spatial planning has emerged as one tool to manage conflicts between users and achieve societal goals for the use of marine space; however, single-sector management approaches are too often still the norm. The last decades have seen the rise of a new ocean use concept: the joint “multi-use” of ocean space. This paper aims to explain and refine the concept of ocean multi-use of space by reviewing the development and state of the art of multi-use in Europe and presenting a clear definition and a comprehensive typology for existing multi-use combinations. It builds on the connectivity of uses and users in spatial, temporal, provisional, and functional dimensions as the underlying key characteristic of multi-use dimensions. Combinations of these dimensions yield four distinct types of multi-use with little overlap between them. The diversity of types demonstrates that there is no one-size-fits-all management approach, but rather that adaptive management plans are needed, focusing on achieving the highest societal benefit while minimizing conflicts. This work will help to sharpen, refine and advance the public and academic discourse over marine spatial planning by offering a common framework to planners, researchers and users alike, when discussing multi-use and its management implications.