Social-Ecological Systems and Human Wellbeing

Potential socioeconomic impacts from ocean acidification and climate change effects on Atlantic Canadian fisheries

Wilson TJB, Cooley SR, Tai TC, Cheung WWL, Tyedmers PH. Potential socioeconomic impacts from ocean acidification and climate change effects on Atlantic Canadian fisheries. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2020 ;15(1):e0226544. Available from: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0226544
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Ocean acidification is an emerging consequence of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. The full extent of the biological impacts are currently not entirely defined. However, it is expected that invertebrate species that rely on the mineral calcium carbonate will be directly affected. Despite the limited understanding of the full extent of potential impacts and responses there is a need to identify potential pathways for human societies to be affected by ocean acidification. Research on these social implications is a small but developing field. This research contributes to this field by using an impact assessment framework, informed by a biophysical model of future species distributions, to investigate potential impacts facing Atlantic Canadian society from potential changes in shellfish fisheries driven by ocean acidification and climate change. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are expected to see declines in resource accessibility but are relatively socially insulated from these changes. Conversely, Prince Edward Island, along with Newfoundland and Labrador are more socially vulnerable to potential losses in fisheries, but are expected to experience relatively minor net changes in access.

Potential socioeconomic impacts from ocean acidification and climate change effects on Atlantic Canadian fisheries

Wilson TJB, Cooley SR, Tai TC, Cheung WWL, Tyedmers PH. Potential socioeconomic impacts from ocean acidification and climate change effects on Atlantic Canadian fisheries. PLOS ONE [Internet]. 2020 ;15(1):e0226544. Available from: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0226544
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

Ocean acidification is an emerging consequence of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. The full extent of the biological impacts are currently not entirely defined. However, it is expected that invertebrate species that rely on the mineral calcium carbonate will be directly affected. Despite the limited understanding of the full extent of potential impacts and responses there is a need to identify potential pathways for human societies to be affected by ocean acidification. Research on these social implications is a small but developing field. This research contributes to this field by using an impact assessment framework, informed by a biophysical model of future species distributions, to investigate potential impacts facing Atlantic Canadian society from potential changes in shellfish fisheries driven by ocean acidification and climate change. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are expected to see declines in resource accessibility but are relatively socially insulated from these changes. Conversely, Prince Edward Island, along with Newfoundland and Labrador are more socially vulnerable to potential losses in fisheries, but are expected to experience relatively minor net changes in access.

Socio-ecological vulnerability to tipping points: A review of empirical approaches and their use for marine management

Lauerburg RAM, Diekmann R, Blanz B, Gee K, Held H, Kannen A, Mollmann C, Probst WN, Rambo H, Cormier R, et al. Socio-ecological vulnerability to tipping points: A review of empirical approaches and their use for marine management. Science of The Total Environment [Internet]. In Press :135838. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969719358334
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $41.95
Type: Journal Article

Sustainability in the provision of ecosystem services requires understanding of the vulnerability of social-ecological systems (SES) to tipping points (TPs). Assessing SES vulnerability to abrupt ecosystem state changes remains challenging, however, because frameworks do not operationally link ecological, socio-economic and cultural elements of the SES. We conducted a targeted literature review on empirical assessments of SES and TPs in the marine realm and their use in ecosystem-based management. Our results revealed a plurality of terminologies, definitions and concepts that hampers practical operationalisation of these concepts. Furthermore, we found a striking lack of socio-cultural aspects in SES vulnerability assessments, possibly because of a lack of involvement of stakeholders and interest groups. We propose guiding principles for assessing vulnerability to TPs that build on participative approaches and prioritise the connectivity between SES components by accounting for component linkages, cascading effects and feedback processes.

Development of a Model for Enhancing Justice in MPA Designation and Zoning and its Application to Taiwan’s South Penghu Marine National Park

Chung H-SElly, Gullett W, Rose G. Development of a Model for Enhancing Justice in MPA Designation and Zoning and its Application to Taiwan’s South Penghu Marine National Park. Coastal Management [Internet]. 2019 ;47(6):570 - 593. Available from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08920753.2019.1669101?journalCode=ucmg20
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $50.00
Type: Journal Article

Multi-purpose marine protected areas (MPAs) are prevalent world-wide as institutional mechanisms deployed in the marine environment to manage multiple uses, conserve resources and protect ecosystems. Yet some people may experience disadvantage following the implementation of new MPAs. One understudied aspect of MPAs is the distribution of advantages and disadvantages and how best to address the “justice” concerns that they raise. This article identifies a framework of principles, methods and tools to address these concerns. It devises a “MPA justice model” and demonstrates its applicability to a Taiwanese case study. In 2014, Taiwan proclaimed its first multiple-purpose MPA, the South Penghu Marine National Park and the case study shows ways that the MPA’s socio-economic sustainability could have been better accomplished. The article focuses on future MPA establishment that incorporates distributional fairness and procedural legitimacy into MPA site designation and zoning design - but might also be adapted to use retrospectively in MPA review processes.

Old Tools, New Ways of Using Them: Harnessing Expert Opinions to Plan for Surprise in Marine Socio-Ecological Systems

Gladstone-Gallagher RV, Hope JA, Bulmer RH, Clark DE, Stephenson F, Mangan S, Rullens V, Siwicka E, Thomas SF, Pilditch CA, et al. Old Tools, New Ways of Using Them: Harnessing Expert Opinions to Plan for Surprise in Marine Socio-Ecological Systems. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2019 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00696/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

With globally accelerating rates of environmental disturbance, coastal marine ecosystems are increasingly prone to non-linear regime shifts that result in a loss of ecosystem function and services. A lack of early-detection methods, and an over reliance on limits-based approaches means that these tipping points manifest as surprises. Consequently, marine ecosystems are notoriously difficult to manage, and scientists, managers, and policy makers are paralyzed in a spiral of ecosystem degradation. This paralysis is caused by the inherent need to quantify the risk and uncertainty that surrounds every decision. While progress toward forecasting tipping points is ongoing and important, an interim approach is desperately needed to enable scientists to make recommendations that are credible and defensible in the face of deep uncertainty. We discuss how current tools for developing risk assessments and scenario planning, coupled with expert opinions, can be adapted to bridge gaps in quantitative data, enabling scientists and managers to prepare for many plausible futures. We argue that these tools are currently underutilized in a marine cumulative effects context but offer a way to inform decisions in the interim while predictive models and early warning signals remain imperfect. This approach will require redefining the way we think about managing for ecological surprise to include actions that not only limit drivers of tipping points but increase socio-ecological resilience to yield satisfactory outcomes under multiple possible futures that are inherently uncertain.

Implementing a social-ecological systems framework for conservation monitoring: lessons from a multi-country coral reef program

Gurney GG, Darling ES, Jupiter SD, Mangubhai S, McClanahan TR, Lestari P, Pardede S, Campbell SJ, Fox M, Naisilisili W, et al. Implementing a social-ecological systems framework for conservation monitoring: lessons from a multi-country coral reef program. Biological Conservation [Internet]. 2019 ;240:108298. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S000632071931420X
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

Multi-scale social-ecological systems (SES) approaches to conservation and commons management are needed to address the complex challenges of the Anthropocene. Although SES approaches to monitoring and evaluation are advocated in global science and policy arenas, real-world applications remain scarce. Here, we describe the first operationalization and implementation of Ostrom’s influential SES framework for monitoring practice across multiple countries. Designed to inform management aimed at sustaining coral reefs and the people that depend on them, we developed our SES monitoring framework through a transdisciplinary process involving academics and practitioners with expertise in social and ecological sciences. We describe the SES monitroing framework, including how it operationalizes key insights from the SES and program evaluation literatures, and demonstrate how insights from its implementation in more than 85 communities in four countries (Fiji, Indonesia, Kenya and Madagascar) are informing decision-making at multiple levels. Responding to repeated calls for guidance on applying SES approaches to monitoring and management practice, we outline the key steps of the transdisciplinary development of the framework and lessons learnt. Therefore, our work contributes to bridging the gap between SES science and commons management practice through not only providing an SES monitoring framework that can be readily applied to coral reefs and other commons, but also through demonstrating how to operationalize SES approaches for real-world monitoring and management practice.

Contextualizing the social-ecological outcomes of coral reef fisheries management

Johnson SM, Reyuw BM, Yalon A, McLean M, Houk P. Contextualizing the social-ecological outcomes of coral reef fisheries management. Biological Conservation [Internet]. In Press :108288. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006320718311789
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

Marine protected areas (MPAs) have emerged as a valuable tool in biodiversity conservation and fisheries management. However, the effective use of MPAs depends upon the successful integration of social and ecological information. We investigated relationships between the social system structure of coastal communities alongside biological data describing the status and trends in fish communities around Yap, Micronesia. Traditional marine tenure made Yap an ideal place to investigate the underlying principles of social-ecological systems, as communities own and manage spatially-defined coastal resources. Analysis of social survey data revealed three social regimes, which were linked to corresponding gradients of ecological outcomes. Communities with decentralized decision-making and a preference for communal forms of fishing had the greatest ecological outcomes, while communities lacking any form of leadership were linked to poor ecological outcomes. Interestingly, communities with strong top-down leadership were shown to have variable ecological outcomes, depending on the presence of key groups or individuals. We last investigated whether social perception could successfully predict the status of fish assemblages within non-managed reefs. Several biological metrics of fish assemblages within non-managed areas were significantly predicted by a gradient of human access, suggesting social perception could not predict the growing human footprint over the study period. These findings highlight the potentially overlooked role that community-oriented decision-making structures and fishing methods could play in successful conservation efforts, and the limitations of perception data. Policies that promote communal marine resource use offer a novel approach to improve fisheries management and promote social-ecological resilience.

Marine protected areas and human well-being – A systematic review and recommendations

A. Rasheed R. Marine protected areas and human well-being – A systematic review and recommendations. Ecosystem Services [Internet]. 2020 ;41:101048. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212041618306120
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

This paper reviews literature relating to Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and human well-being. It finds that explicit studies on human well-being from MPAs are limited and empirical studies quantifying these relationships are rare. Most MPA papers, including those examining MPA effectiveness, focus on just a few aspects of well-being in the context of a sub-set of stakeholders, and consider only a single type of MPA. They mostly focus on conventional objective measures that are not comprehensive or systematically selected. This review argues for a systematic and integrative framework to ensure future MPA assessments are equipped to capture MPAs’ contributions to human well-being more adequately and comprehensively. Such a framework can also allow for cross-MPA comparisons that can capture differences in well-being across different types of MPAs, and information gained can be useful for MPA practitioners and policy makers, particularly in reaching current global targets, such as the CBD, Aichi Target 11.

Conservation, contraception and controversy: Supporting human rights to enable sustainable fisheries in Madagascar

Singleton RL, Allison EH, Gough C, Kamat V, LeBillon P, Robson L, U. Sumaila R. Conservation, contraception and controversy: Supporting human rights to enable sustainable fisheries in Madagascar. Global Environmental Change [Internet]. 2019 ;59:101946. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0959378018306186
Freely available?: 
No
Summary available?: 
No
Approximate cost to purchase or rent this item from the publisher: 
US $35.95
Type: Journal Article

Environmental NGOs are increasingly called upon to respect human rights when undertaking conservation programs. Evaluating a family planning program running alongside marine management measures in Madagascar, we find that family planning services provided by an environmental NGO can support women’s reproductive rights. Family planning services allow the option of smaller families, and give more time to work, increased income and better health. These benefits do not translate into increased support for, or participation in, marine management, however, and women who are able to work more are typically fishing more. We identify patriarchal norms as a key factor preventing the family planning programme from manifesting in improved resource stewardship, limiting opportunities for women to participate fully in resource management meetings and diversify their livelihood outside traditional tasks, including fishing. We propose that a successful human rights-based approach must be more comprehensive, targeting multiple rights and challenging existing institutions and power structures.

Social-ecological trends: managing the vulnerability of coastal fishing communities

Silva MRO, Pennino MG, Lopes PFM. Social-ecological trends: managing the vulnerability of coastal fishing communities. Ecology and Society [Internet]. 2019 ;24(4). Available from: https://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol24/iss4/art4/
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The loss of biodiversity, including the collapse of fish stocks, affects the vulnerability of social-ecological systems (SESs) and threatens local livelihoods. Incorporating community-centered indicators and SES drivers and exposures of change into coastal management can help anticipate and mitigate human and/or coastal vulnerability. We have proposed a new index to measure the social-ecological vulnerability of coastal fishing communities (Index of Coastal Vulnerability [ICV]) based on species, ecosystem, and social indicators. The ICV varies from 0 (no vulnerability) to 1 (very high vulnerability) and is composed of 3 components: species vulnerability, i.e., fish biological traits; ecosystem vulnerability, i.e., environmental indicators of ecosystem health; and adaptive capacity, i.e., human ability to cope with changes. We tested the ICV of Brazil’s 17 coastal states. The average ICV for the Brazilian coast was 0.77, and variation was low among states. More than half of the coastal states revealed very high vulnerability (> 0.8). The ecosystem vulnerability values were worse than the adaptive capacity and species vulnerability values, and the North and Northeast regions were revealed to be vulnerable hot spots. Additionally, we investigated how the ICV related to specific anthropogenic risks, i.e., fish landing richness, fishery instability, market, coastal extension, and coastal population, and found that states with fewer species landings and higher coastal populations presented higher ICVs. At a time when human impacts are overtaking natural processes, understanding how these impacts lead to coastal vulnerability can help improve conservation policies. For this case study, we suggest both fisheries management measures and restoration of sensitive habitats to protect species and decrease vulnerability. The integrated evaluation developed here could be used as a baseline for coastal monitoring and conservation planning and be applied to coastal regions in which governments evaluate both social and biological aspects.

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