Social-Ecological Systems and Human Wellbeing

Mapping the Policy Interventions on Marine Social-Ecological Systems: Case Study of Sekisei Lagoon, Southwest Japan

Makino M, Hori M, Nanami A, Hori J, Tajima H. Mapping the Policy Interventions on Marine Social-Ecological Systems: Case Study of Sekisei Lagoon, Southwest Japan. In: Managing Socio-ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes for Sustainable Communities in Asia. Managing Socio-ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes for Sustainable Communities in Asia. Singapore: Springer Singapore; 2020. pp. 11 - 29. Available from: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-15-1133-2_2
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Book Chapter

Using a case of the Sekisei Lagoon, Okinawa Prefecture, the southeastern tip of Japanese archipelago, this chapter discussed the interrelationships among the sectoral policy interventions by various marine-related ministries, and the whole structure of the integrated ocean policy. First, we developed the Social-Ecological Systems (SES) Schematic, which summarized the main ecosystem structures, functions, use types, and the stakeholders relating to the Sekisei Lagoon. Then, sectoral policy interventions by various ministries were overlaid onto the SES schematic to graphically show their interrelationships. We found that the ecosystem structure and functions used by one sector is closely connected to other structures and functions, which are then used by other sectors. In other words, all the stakeholders in the social system are closely interlinked at the ecological system level. Secondly, all in all, sectoral policy interventions by various ministries are covering almost all part of the Sekisei Lagoon SES, and therefore, the total coordination of the sectoral policy interventions and the creation of the synergy effects are required. In this process, the cabinet office and the local government will play the important roles. Finally, this SES schematic can be used as a boundary object to facilitate the knowledge exchanges among various stakeholders including the policy makers, practitioners, and researchers, to share the common understandings of the current situation, and to cocreate the policy interventions for the sustainable uses of Sekisei Lagoon.

Integrated Modeling to Evaluate Climate Change Impacts on Coupled Social-Ecological Systems in Alaska

Hollowed ABabcock, Holsman KKari, Haynie AC, Hermann AJ, Punt AE, Aydin K, Ianelli JN, Kasperski S, Cheng W, Faig A, et al. Integrated Modeling to Evaluate Climate Change Impacts on Coupled Social-Ecological Systems in Alaska. Frontiers in Marine Science [Internet]. 2020 ;6. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2019.00775/full
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article

The Alaska Climate Integrated Modeling (ACLIM) project represents a comprehensive, multi-year, interdisciplinary effort to characterize and project climate-driven changes to the eastern Bering Sea (EBS) ecosystem, from physics to fishing communities. Results from the ACLIM project are being used to understand how different regional fisheries management approaches can help promote adaptation to climate-driven changes to sustain fish and shellfish populations and to inform managers and fishery dependent communities of the risks associated with different future climate scenarios. The project relies on iterative communications and outreaches with managers and fishery-dependent communities that have informed the selection of fishing scenarios. This iterative approach ensures that the research team focuses on policy relevant scenarios that explore realistic adaptation options for managers and communities. Within each iterative cycle, the interdisciplinary research team continues to improve: methods for downscaling climate models, climate-enhanced biological models, socio-economic modeling, and management strategy evaluation (MSE) within a common analytical framework. The evolving nature of the ACLIM framework ensures improved understanding of system responses and feedbacks are considered within the projections and that the fishing scenarios continue to reflect the management objectives of the regional fisheries management bodies. The multi-model approach used for projection of biological responses, facilitates the quantification of the relative contributions of climate forcing scenario, fishing scenario, parameter, and structural uncertainty with and between models. Ensemble means and variance within and between models inform risk assessments under different future scenarios. The first phase of projections of climate conditions to the end of the 21st century is complete, including projections of catch for core species under baseline (status quo) fishing conditions and two alternative fishing scenarios are discussed. The ACLIM modeling framework serves as a guide for multidisciplinary integrated climate impact and adaptation decision making in other large marine ecosystems.

Social network analysis as a tool for marine spatial planning: Impacts of decommissioning on connectivity in the North Sea

Tidbury H, Taylor N, Molen J, Garcia L, Posen P, Gill A, Lincoln S, Judd A, Hyder K. Social network analysis as a tool for marine spatial planning: Impacts of decommissioning on connectivity in the North Sea. Journal of Applied Ecology [Internet]. 2020 . Available from: https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1365-2664.13551
Freely available?: 
Yes
Summary available?: 
No
Type: Journal Article
  1. Connectivity of marine populations and ecosystems is crucial to maintaining and enhancing their structure, distribution, persistence, resilience and productivity. Artificial hard substrate, such as that associated with oil and gas platforms, provides settlement opportunities for species adapted to hard substrates in areas of soft sediment. The contribution of artificial hard substrate and the consequences of its removal (e.g. through decommissioning) to marine connectivity is not clear, yet such information is vital to inform marine spatial planning and future policy decisions on the use and protection of marine resources.
  2. This study demonstrates the application of a social network analysis approach to quantify and describe the ecological connectivity, informed by particle tracking model outputs, of hard substrate marine communities in the North Sea. Through comparison of networks with and without artificial hard substrate, and based on hypothetical decommissioning scenarios, this study provides insight into the contribution of artificial hard substrate, and the consequence of decommissioning, to the structure and function of marine community connectivity.
  3. This study highlights that artificial hard substrate, despite providing only a small proportion of the total area of hard substrate, increases the geographic extent and connectivity of the hard substrate network, bridging gaps, thereby providing ‘stepping stones’ between otherwise disconnected areas of natural hard substrate. Compared to the baseline scenario, a decommissioning scenario with full removal of oil and gas platforms results in a nearly 60% reduction in connectivity. Such reduction in connectivity may have negative implications for species’ distribution, gene flow and resilience following disturbance or exploitation of marine hard substrate communities.
  4. Synthesis and applications. Social network analysis can provide valuable insight into connectivity between marine communities and enable the evaluation of impacts associated with changes to the marine environment. Providing standardized, transparent and robust outputs, such a tool is useful to facilitate understanding across different disciplines, including marine science, marine spatial planning and marine policy. Social network analysis therefore has great potential to address current knowledge gaps with respect to marine connectivity and crucially facilitate assessment of the impacts of changes in offshore substrate as part of the marine spatial planning process, thereby informing policy and marine management decisions.

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.

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