Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New governance thinking efficient cure for global coral crisis

08.07.2008
A new and alternative management of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park has been hailed as a groundbreaking international model for better managing the oceans, in a leading US scientific publication.

In a study published July 7 in the prestigious Proceedings of the US National Academy of Science, Per Olsson and Carl Folke of the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University and Terry Hughes of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Australia have identified the keys to successful marine ecosystem-based management.

Their findings were revealed today at the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where the world’s leading coral reef scientists and managers have gathered.

“The core issue is that the global ‘coral crisis’ is really a crisis of governance,” says Prof. Terry Hughes. “Round the world, people are struggling with the difficulties of managing these sensitive coral ecosystems in the face of all the human and natural pressures they are subject to.”

“Many people have tried to protect marine environments but as soon as some form of governance was put in place and everyone relaxed, it was overtaken by events – either human or natural”, Hughes says.

According to co-writer Per Olsson, the critical realization in the case of the Great Barrier Reef was that its management had to be flexible and adaptive, based on continual scientific monitoring of what is going on.

“This flexibility was important in order to deal with change, and to navigate the transition to an improved system of governance. It enabled new interactions and ways of working together with the authorities. Such flexibility is fundamental for bureaucratic organizations”, Dr. Olsson says.

The paper highlights the role of leadership and consensus-building, and credits the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and its Chair, Virginia Chadwick, with having sought and gained the support of the public, industry and governments at all levels for putting the management of the world’s largest coral reef system onto an ecological footing.

“Our study shows the importance of leadership and strategies for responding to signals of change before ecosystem collapse occurs”, Dr. Olsson says.

A critical step in the process was to convince local communities that the reef was facing many threats, and to enlist public support for managing it more flexibly. This was accomplished through a major “Reef Under Pressure” community consultation campaign.

“Combined with the declines in populations of dugongs, turtles, sharks and other fish, polluted runoff from the land and global warming impacts, it became clear to everyone that the original management system was becoming less and less adequate as the pressures on the reef grew.” Prof. Hughes says.

One of the most visible and controversial initiatives under the new regime was to extend the area closed to all forms of fishing from 6 to 33 per cent of the total reef area – creating the largest no-take zone in the world.

“The Barrier Reef example illustrates a shift in thinking to an integrated view of humans and nature, based on active stewardship of marine ecosystems for human well-being” Dr. Olsson says.

Backing all of this was the necessary legislation and regulatory powers and also having a sufficient flow of good science to inform the management process constantly. The study underscores the particular importance of integrating good science with good policy.

The report concludes that laws alone cannot bring about the changes necessary to protect the world’s ocean ecosystems – good science and public participation, understanding and support are also vital.

“In contrast to the GBR case, marine zoning in some countries has been severely constrained because of poverty, inflexible institutions, lack of public support, difficulties developing acceptable legislation, and failures to achieve desired results even after zoning is established. These are the critical barriers that we must urgently address and overcome” Professor Hughes said.

“Understanding successes and failures in marine governance systems is a first step in improving their adaptive capacity to secure ecosystem services in the face of uncertainty and rapid change,” Prof. Folke says.

Jonas Åblad | alfa
Further information:
http://www.kommunikation.su.se
http:// www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/0706905105v1

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

NIST puts the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>