Presented by: Radhika Murti and Marcos Valderrábano of IUCN and David Obura of CORDIO East Africa/IUCN Coral Specialist Group
Rapid climate change, increasing risks of disasters, biodiversity loss … where is the world heading to? In this changing world, reliable assessments of ecosystem status serve to raise awareness about threats to ecosystems and the resulting impacts on human well-being, as well as to demonstrate how improved ecosystem management can reduce risks, enhance resilience, and promote adaptation. The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems is a scientifically robust and global standard for how we assess the status of ecosystems while contributing to address current challenges. What differentiates the Red List of Ecosystems from other methods? Join us to learn more about this tool, real cases, and its applications beyond conservation areas.
Ecosystem models can help explore the tradeoffs inherent in natural resource management decisions. However, the complexity that makes the models robust can also limit the ability of many audiences to understand and use the information provided. A new tool Virtual Ecosystem Scenario Viewer (VES-V) helps to address this problem by illustrating the responses of virtual marine ecosystems to a range of living marine resource management scenarios. These visualizations can help diverse audiences see the potential for applying models in their own marine resource management work and can help facilitate stakeholder engagement and input when exploring future tradeoff scenarios in marine resources management decision making. VES-V is designed to handle a wide range of model outputs and data. This webinar will provide an overview of VES-V and provide a forum for discussing a variety of applications for the tool.
Presented by: Isaac Kaplan and Howard Townsend of NOAA
This webinar will explore the environmental, economic, and health implications of plastic production, use, and disposal. Judith Enck of Beyond Plastics will discuss: 1) the nexus of climate change and plastic production and why we can’t recycle our way out of the problem, 2) the potential impacts of the plastics industry’s plans to double production and how the marine debris community can respond to this challenge, 3) the latest plastic reduction laws that are being adopted by local and state governments, and 4) the new federal bill the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act.
Presented by: Charlie Wahle, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, National Marine Protected Areas Center, NOAA
Over the past two decades, marine protected areas (MPAs) in the US have evolved from a poorly understood ocean management measure to a more proven and increasingly common conservation tool to protect the ocean’s most important places and the social and economic benefits they provide. In May 2020, NOAA’s National Marine Protected Areas Center marks 20 years of collaborative work to inform and catalyze that transformation by providing critical information and tools to support and strengthen MPA programs in the United States and internationally. This presentation will discuss the issues that led to Executive Order on Marine Protected Areas in May 2000; highlight key contributions of the MPA Center in the US and globally; and chart the course forward to meet today’s emerging ocean challenges.
Presented by: Ko Barrett, IPCC Vice-Chair, and Shallin Busch, Anne Hollowed, and William Sweet of NOAA
Global warming has already reached 1°C above the pre-industrial level, due to past and current greenhouse gas emissions. There is strong evidence that this is resulting in profound consequences for ecosystems and people. The ocean is warmer, more acidic and less productive. Melting glaciers and ice sheets are causing sea level rise, and coastal extreme events are becoming more severe. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) in September 2019. The SROCC outlines climate-related risks and challenges that people around the world are exposed to today and that future generations will face. It also presents options to adapt to changes that can no longer be avoided, manage related risks, and build resilience for a sustainable future. This webinar will share the findings of the SROCC and allow ample time for Q&A about the IPCC special report with webinar participants. Access the SROCC at https://www.ipcc.ch/srocc.
Presented by: Ellen Pikitch and Christine Santora of Stony Brook University and the Ocean Sanctuary Alliance, and Natasha Gownaris of Gettysburg College
There are numerous ongoing UN and non-governmental initiatives to map important marine areas at the global scale. As countries of the world seek to achieve numerical targets for marine protected areas, scientists must emphasize the "where" and the "how." To help achieve the former, we used GIS to overlay ten global maps, quantify the extent to which they overlap, and then conduct a gap analysis to show areas of importance that are not currently protected by MPAs. We also looked at current protected area coverage in terms of size, biogeographic representativeness, no-take status, and exclusive economic zones. 55% of the ocean is identified as important by one or more of the initiatives. Over 14% of the ocean was identified as important by multiple studies, but nearly 90% of this area is currently unprotected. The largest concentrations of important but unprotected areas are in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Coral Triangle, and around Madagascar. We found a lack of biogeographic and political representativeness in the current coverage of MPAs, representing ample opportunity for action based on current information and evidence. This webinar will present study results as well as a new online version of the map available at https://www.somas.stonybrook.edu/research/global-research/macop
The MSP Challenge uses game technology and role-play to support communication and learning for Marine/Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP). Since 2011, a role-playing game, a board game and a digital interactive simulation platform have been developed. The MSP Challenge editions have been used in workshops, conferences, and education, as well as for real life stakeholder engagement. The digital version (simulation platform) of MSP Challenge will be released open source and for free on the website www.mspchallenge.info later this year. With real geodata as well as shipping, energy, and ecosystem simulations, this platform provides a sea basin (e.g., the North Sea) in which a group of users can collaboratively draw up spatial plans and evaluate their potential consequences. This webinar will provide a brief overview of MSP Challenge’s development over the years and a demonstration of the simulation platform.
Presented by: Harald Warmelink of Breda University of Applied Sciences
This webinar originally aired on 10 March 2020.
Advancements in animal tracking technology are enabling us to collect far more data on the migratory patterns of marine species than ever before. These data are changing the way we think about how the world’s oceans are connected – they are broadening our understanding of the habitats that marine migratory species depend on as well as the pathways between them. However, while the amount of data is growing exponentially, synthesis of and access to information on migratory connectivity to inform management and policy has lagged behind. A new consortium Migratory Connectivity in the Ocean (MiCO) is working to transform these data into actionable knowledge that can be incorporated into international management and policy frameworks to protect and sustainably manage migratory species. MiCO provides a global geospatial knowledge hub on migratory connectivity that is open access and easy to use. This webinar will provide information on how to use this knowledge hub as well as contribute to it. Learn more about MiCO at https://mico.eco.
This webinar originally aired on 5 March 2020.
This webinar features experts from Washington, Oregon, and California highlighting their clean-up, education, and regulatory actions to curtain marine debris. These efforts include: 1) a project to remove over 382 tons of creosoted wood and other marine debris from the shorelines of the Puget Sound; 2) professional development training workshops for teachers to influence marine debris prevention among students and the community; and 3) the world's first disposable-free dining ordinance that requires that all on-site dining use reusable foodware and promotes reusables for take-out dining by charging for disposable cups.
Presented by: Casey Palmer-McGee of the Samish Island Nation, Cait Goodwin and Tracy Cres of Oregon Sea Grant, and Miriam Gordon of UPSTREAM.
Presented by: Jeffrey Peterson, author of A New Coast: Strategies for Responding to Devastating Storms and Rising Seas
Due to climate change, devastating storms and sea level rise will increasingly threaten vibrant communities, critical infrastructure, and vital natural systems. This webinar will present actionable policy guidance for how governments, businesses, and engaged citizens can work together to prepare for a changing coast.
Proposals include gradually phasing out incentives for remaining in areas vulnerable to sea level rise (e.g., coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program), implementing a national permit program to limit building in areas destined to become wetlands or ocean, and a requirement for posting bond to cover costs of removing structures prior to sea level inundation. The final proposal is a comprehensive national program to support an effective response to the short and long-term challenges of worsening storms and sea level rise, as well as an outline of the steps needed to make a national program a reality.