- Progress on spatial conservation efforts in marine environments is often summarized with the simplistic metric of extent. However, targets require a more nuanced view, where ecological effectiveness, biodiversity, representation, connectivity and ecosystem services must all be recognized. Furthermore, these targets must be achieved through equitable processes and produce equitable outcomes.
- This paper calls for a clearer definition of what is to be ‘counted’ in assessing progress in marine conservation, through the use of both traditionally defined marine protected areas and a limited subset of other equivalent areas. It calls for future effort to draw a clear distinction between non-extractive areas such as no-take marine reserves, and the more numerous extractive areas. To be considered protected, sites must be ecologically effective, and be equitably managed to support all stakeholders.
- Spatial extent of coverage is only one constituent part of conservation effort, however, and much greater effort is needed to ensure that sites are selected to achieve optimum conservation outcomes for biodiversity and for ecosystem services. The paper reviews some of the existing views and approaches to defining and delimiting marine protection priorities.
- It recommends that with a clearer set of metrics for defining protection, and for assessing progress and setting future targets, marine conservation will be better placed to achieve lasting outcomes, including halting biodiversity loss and securing or enhancing ecosystem service provision. Protected spaces will continue to play a major role in future oceans, but they also need to be configured within a wider spatial framework.
Ocean warming may well turn out to be the greatest hidden challenge of our generation. This report represents the most comprehensive review to date on ocean warming. To build up the report, leading scientists from around the world were invited to join with colleagues to contribute individual chapters. It contains many recommendations from the scientists on capability gaps and research issues that need to be resolved if we are to tackle the impacts of ocean warming with greater confidence in the future. The focus of the report is on gathering facts and knowledge and communicating this to show what is now happening in and to the ocean. There is purposefully much less focus on political ramifications. We hope that this report will help stimulate further debate and action on such issues.
Harbours are a focus of intensive and diverse activities and thus have a high potential to become centres of conflict between users. Reviewing the multiple uses associated with harbours provides important insights into maritime communities and the management of conflict. In this paper, seven international, multi-disciplinary groups provide their expert synthesis of individual harbours. After a detailed discussion experts from Sydney, Qingdao, Vigo, Auckland, Jakarta, Crete and Plymouth synthesised and shared their harbour’s characteristics, user conflicts and how such conflicts have been researched and managed. The paper addresses an omission of “conflict” in most of the research literature about harbours, and ports and scopes a research agenda that includes integration, risk appreciation and other approaches to these increasingly contentious maritime environments. This process provided an opportunity for global researchers to share the ways harbour conflicts are mitigated and the kinds of adaptations that are possible.
A major challenge for society is to manage the risks posed by the many chemicals continuously emitted to the environment. All chemicals in production and use cannot be monitored and science-based strategies for prioritization are essential. In this study we review available data to investigate which substances are included in environmental monitoring programs and published research studies reporting analyses of chemicals in Baltic Sea fish between 2000 and 2012. Our aim is to contribute to the discussion of priority settings in environmental chemical monitoring and research, which is closely linked to chemical management. In total, 105 different substances or substance groups were analyzed in Baltic Sea fish. Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were the most studied substances or substance groups. The majority, 87%, of all analyses comprised 20% of the substances or substance groups, whereas 46 substance groups (44%) were analyzed only once. Almost three quarters of all analyses regarded a POP-substance (persistent organic pollutant). These results demonstrate that the majority of analyses on environmental contaminants in Baltic Sea fish concern a small number of already regulated chemicals. Legacy pollutants such as POPs pose a high risk to the Baltic Sea due to their hazardous properties. Yet, there may be a risk that prioritizations for chemical analyses are biased based on the knowns of the past. Such biases may lead to society failing in identifying risks posed by yet unknown hazardous chemicals. Alternative and complementary ways to identify priority chemicals are needed. More transparent communication between risk assessments performed as part of the risk assessment process within REACH and monitoring programs, and information on chemicals contained in consumer articles, would offer ways to identify chemicals for environmental analysis.
Similar to several other countries in Europe, a policy debate has emerged in Flanders (Belgium) arguing that flood risks should no longer be tackled by water managers alone but should become a shared responsibility between water managers, other governmental actors and citizens. Hence, a form of ‘co-production’ is advocated, whereby both governmental and non-governmental actors participate in bringing flood risk management into practice. This new approach represents a remarkable break with the past, since flood management in Flanders is traditionally based on flood probability reduction through engineering practices. The intended shift in private-public responsibilities can thus be expected to challenge the existing flood policy arrangement. Based on quantitative and qualitative research, this paper compares the attitudes towards individual responsibilities in flood protection among public officials and residents of flood-affected areas in the flood-prone basin of the river Dender. We find that whereas most public officials are in favour of sharing flood risk responsibilities between authorities and citizens, the majority of residents consider flood protection as an almost exclusive government responsibility. We discuss the challenges this discourse gap presents for the pursuit of a co-produced flood risk management and how these can be addressed. It is argued that a policy of co-production should embrace a co-evolutionary approach in which input, output and throughput legitimacy become intertwined.
This study analyses community perceptions towards wind power using a case study of an operational wind farm (Roskrow Barton, Cornwall) to test current debates about pre- and post-acceptance opinions of affected stakeholders. Community members and affected stakeholders were interviewed to assess perceptions towards the development before and after the wind farm became operational. The results suggest that community perceptions towards the wind farm were influenced by a range of environmental, socio-economic and socio-political variables, but also that community opinion changes considerably over time. Although negative perceptions can be found both pre- and post-installation, collectively the community have become used to the turbines and that attitudes have generally become more favourable. The outcomes add to existing ‘before and after wind turbine’ studies which show that fears of living near a wind farm at least partly dispel over time, although a more nuanced pathway of acceptance emerges than suggested in other studies who suggested a generalised U-shaped development of attitudes. The results from this study suggest more complex, multi-layered and nuanced community responses to wind farms, with slightly different ‘acceptance curves’ for individual areas of concern including visual intrusion, noise, property price impacts, economic benefits to the community, and environmental impacts.
Effects of sewage sludge disposal on sediments and infauna are presented in a unique long-term (22 years) data set from the Eastern Mediterranean. While organic carbon (Corg) and metals affected sediment quality in an area which size varied seasonally, the infauna exhibited seasonal “boom and bust” cycle. Metal concentrations declined following load reduction. However, Corg did not decrease and infaunal abundance, closely related to Corg, varied with changes in environmental forcing. Mild winters affected the infaunal populations at the heavily impacted stations, due to anoxic conditions. Planned cessation of disposal is estimated to reduce Corg and metal concentrations to pre-discharge levels. Yet the resettling biota is expected to differ significantly from the pre-discharge one and consist in large part of Erythraean non indigenous species.
This paper reviews the current theoretical scholarship on maladaptation and provides some specific case studies—in the Maldives, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Bangladesh—to advance the field by offering an improved conceptual understanding and more practice-oriented insights. It notably highlights four main dimensions to assess the risk of maladaptation, that is, process, multiple drivers, temporal scales, and spatial scales. It also describes three examples of frameworks—the Pathways, the Precautionary, and the Assessment frameworks—that can help capture the risk of maladaptation on the ground. Both these conceptual and practical developments support the need for putting the risk of maladaptation at the top of the planning agenda. The paper argues that starting with the intention to avoid mistakes and not lock-in detrimental effects of adaptation-labeled initiatives is a first, key step to the wider process of adapting to climate variability and change. It thus advocates for the anticipation of the risk of maladaptation to become a priority for decision makers and stakeholders at large, from the international to the local levels. Such an ex ante approach, however, supposes to get a clearer understanding of what maladaptation is. Ultimately, the paper affirms that a challenge for future research consists in developing context-specific guidelines that will allow funding bodies to make the best decisions to support adaptation (i.e., by better capturing the risk of maladaptation) and practitioners to design adaptation initiatives with a low risk of maladaptation
The aim of this study is to assess the financial viability of small-scale fish farmers in central northern Namibia, namely Oshikoto Region, Oshana Region, Omusati Region and Ohangwena region; who receive fingerlings on a continuously basis from the Ministry of Fishery and Marine Resources Ongwediva extension office. Out of the 76 active farmers, two-third (37) farmers were randomly selected and interviewed for this research. The data was analysed using cost benefit analysis and situational analysis. The situational analysis was carried out to assess the farmer’s situation, (that parameters included training opportunity transport and marketing). The cost benefit for this study shows that aquaculture will not be sustainable if not managed and planned well. Therefore, this study is recommended to strengthen the technical and organisational aspect of farmers, and also what is required to support the farmers.
The European Water Framework Directive requires a good ecological potential for heavily modified water bodies. This standard has not been reached for most large estuaries by 2015. Management plans for estuaries fall short in linking implementations between restoration measures and underlying spatial analyses. The distribution of emergent macrophytes – as an indicator of habitat quality – is here used to assess the ecological potential. Emergent macrophytes are capable of settling on gentle tidal flats where hydrodynamic stress is comparatively low. Analyzing their habitats based on spatial data, we set up species distribution models with ‘elevation relative to mean high water’, ‘mean bank slope’, and ‘length of bottom friction’ from shallow water up to the vegetation belt as key predictors representing hydrodynamic stress. Effects of restoration scenarios on habitats were assessed applying these models. Our findings endorse species distribution models as crucial spatial planning tools for implementing restoration measures in modified estuaries.