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 Making Oceans Plastic Free - Project tackles the problem of plastic pollution in the oceans
31.05.2017 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

nachricht Nitrogen Oxides Emissions: Traffic Dramatically Underestimated as Major Polluter
31.05.2017 | Universität Innsbruck

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: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>