New Article: “Democracy and the Environment Revised: The Case of African Fisheries”

Sjöstedt, M. & Jagers, S.C. (2013). Democracy and the Environment Revised: The Case of African Fisheries. Marine Policy. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2013.05.007i.

Abstract: This article develops and test three hypotheses concerning the effects of levels of democracy on levels of overfishing in Sub-Saharan Africa. The results show that the more democratic a country is, the more successful it is in protecting marine environments. However, this effect disappears during turbulent times and periods of rapid political change. The analysis also shows that democracy has a stronger effect on environmental performance than do levels of corruption and government effectiveness.

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New Article: “Securing Ocean Benefits for Society in the Face of Climate Change”

Ruckelshaus. M. et al. (2013). Securing Ocean Benefits for Society in the Face of Climate Change. Marine Policy. 40: 154-159.

Abstract: Benefits humans rely on from the ocean – marine ecosystem services – are increasingly vulnerable under future climate. This paper reviews how three valued services have, and will continue to, shift under climate change: (1) capture fisheries, (2) food from aquaculture, and (3) protection from coastal hazards such as storms and sea-level rise. Climate adaptation planning is just beginning for fisheries, aquaculture production, and risk mitigation for coastal erosion and inundation. A few examples are highlighted, showing the promise of considering multiple ecosystem services in developing approaches to adapt to sea-level rise, ocean acidification, and rising sea temperatures.

Ecosystem-based adaptation in fisheries and along coastlines and changes in aquaculture practices can improve resilience of species and habitats to future environmental challenges. Opportunities to use market incentives – such as compensation for services or nutrient trading schemes – are relatively untested in marine systems. Relocation of communities in response to rising sea levels illustrates the urgent need to manage human activities and investments in ecosystems to provide a sustainable flow of benefits in the face of future climate change.

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New Article: “Fishing in Muddy Waters: Exploring the Conditions for Effective Governance of Fisheries and Aquaculture”

Kalfagianni, A & Pattberg, P. (2013). Fishing in Muddy Waters: Exploring the Conditions for Effective Governance of Fisheries and Aquaculture. Marine Policy. 38: 124-132.

Abstract: Over the past fifteen years a number of transnational certification and labeling schemes have emerged with the aim to foster sustainable fisheries and aquaculture practices worldwide. Despite notable successes in the uptake and implementation of these standards, few measurable environmental improvements have been achieved on a global scale to date. This paper explores the conditions for effective governance taking into account external and internal attributes of the relevant rule-setting organizations. The analysis provided in this paper is situated in a broader debate regarding the effectiveness of transnational forms of governance and thereby contributes to recent efforts to build clearer theoretical propositions on the basis of more nuanced theoretically and empirically informed analyses.

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New Article: ‘Emergence of Global Adaptive Governance for Stewardship of Regional Marine Resources’

Österblom, H. and Folke, C. (2013). Emergence of Global Adaptive Governance for Stewardship of Regional Marine Resources. Ecology and Society. 18(2): 1-13.

Abstract: Overfishing has historically caused widespread stock collapses in the Southern Ocean. Until recently, illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing threatened to result in the collapse of some of the few remaining valuable fish stocks in the region and vulnerable seabird populations. Currently, this unsustainable fishing has been reduced to less than 10% of former levels. We describe and analyze the emergence of the social-ecological governance system that made it possible to curb the fisheries crisis. For this purpose, we investigated the interplay between actors, social networks, organizations, and institutions in relation to environmental outcomes. We drew on a diversity of methods, including qualitative interviews, quantitative social network and survey data, and literature reviews. We found that the crisis triggered action of an informal group of actors over time, which led to a new organization (ISOFISH) that connected two independent networks (nongovermental organizations and the fishing industry), and later (COLTO) linked to an international body and convention (CCAMLR). The emergence of the global adaptive governance systems for stewardship of a regional marine resource took place over a 15-year period. We describe in detail the emergence process and illustrate the usefulness of analyzing four features of governance and understanding socialecological processes, thereby describing structures and functions, and their link to tangible environmental outcomes.

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New Article: ‘Crises in the South African Abalone and Chilean Loco Fisheries: Shared Challenges and Prospects’

Hauck, M., & Gallardo-Fernández, G.L. (2013). Crises in the South African Abalone and Chilean Loco Fisheries: Shared Challenges and Prospects. Maritime Studies. 12 (3); 1 -20.

Abstract: Worldwide there is an increasing realisation that there is an inextricable link between the natural and human systems, and there is a need to integrate these into the governance of small-scale fisheries. The critical importance of adopting such an approach is argued in this paper by exploring the challenge of resource over-exploitation in the abalone fishery in South Africa and the loco fishery in Chile, both of which faced unsuccessful fishery closures and the implementation of Territorial Use Rights in Fisheries (TURFs). By exploring similarities and differences in fisheries context and approaches, these case studies highlight that although management strategies have been progressive on paper, they are compromised, to different degrees, by a lack of understanding of the socio-economic and political factors that are influencing the fisheries system. We argue that unless a more integrated approach is adopted to understand the social-ecological system as a whole, few long-term benefits will be secured for both the resources and the livelihoods of fishers.

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New Article: ‘Pathways of Integrated Coastal Management from National Policy to Local Implementation: Enabling Climate Change Adaptation’

Celliers, L. et al. (2013). ‘Pathways of Integrated Coastal Management from National Policy to Local Implementation: Enabling Climate Change Adaptation. Marine Policy. 39: 72 – 86

Abstract: Integrated coastal management (ICM) has been developing concomitantly with the realisation of the severity of the potential impacts of climate change. The discourse on climate change and adaptation has also included the awareness that adaptation must take place at all levels of government, particularly local government. Climate change is expected to have significant impacts on the physical, social, environmental and economic environments of coastal cities and towns, and in particular on the poor and vulnerable communities within these cities and towns. The crucial role that local government can play in climate protection and building cities’ and communities’ resilience to climate change is widely recognised at the global level. This paper explores the legal and policy connexion between ICM, local government and climate change in Mozambique and South Africa, two developing countries in Africa. The state of institutionalisation of coastal management at national through to local government is also examined. The authors contend that the state, character and maturity of the ICM policy domain can create an enabling environment within which local government agencies can prepare for future impacts of climate change. Conversely it can also limit, delay and hinder climate change adaptation. The paper concludes with the identification of some key success factors for assessing the effectiveness of the existing policy and legal frameworks to respond to the challenges of climate change. It also identifies some key principles to be included in future legislative reform to promote ICM, cooperative governance and greater preparedness for climate change at local government level.

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New Article: ‘Pathways of integrated coastal management from national policy to local implementation: Enabling climate change adaptation’

Celliers, L.et al. (2013). Pathways of integrated coastal management from national policy to local implementation: Enabling climate change adaptation. Marine Policy, 39: 72-86.

Abstract: Integrated coastal management (ICM) has been developing concomitantly with the realisation of the severity of the potential impacts of climate change. The discourse on climate change and adaptation has also included the awareness that adaptation must take place at all levels of government, particularly local government. Climate change is expected to have significant impacts on the physical, social, environmental and economic environments of coastal cities and towns, and in particular on the poor and vulnerable communities within these cities and towns. The crucial role that local government can play in climate protection and building cities’ and communities’ resilience to climate change is widely recognised at the global level. This paper explores the legal and policy connexion between ICM, local government and climate change in Mozambique and South Africa, two developing countries in Africa. Continue reading

New Article: ‘Women and fisheries: Contribution to food security and local economies’

Harper, S. et al. (2013). Women and fisheries: Contribution to food security and local economies. Marine Policy, 39: 56-63.

Abstract: The substantial role of women in fisheries is overlooked in management and policy. Fortunately, it is gaining recognition despite a lack of quantitative data describing the scale of participation and contribution. This work summarizes existing knowledge on women’s participation in marine fisheries globally, and estimates their contribution in the Pacific. Continue reading

Ecology and Society Special Feature: ‘A System Approach for Sustainable Development in Coastal Zones’

See below for some of the articles published in a Special Feature: A System Approach for Sustainable Development in Coastal Zones:

A Systems Approach for Sustainable Development in Coastal Zones
Alice Newton
No Abstract

A Systems Approach Framework for the Transition to Sustainable Development: Potential Value Based on Coastal Experiments
Tom S. Hopkins , Denis Bailly, Ragnar Elmgren, Gillian Glegg, Audun Sandberg , and Josianne G. Støttrup
Abstract: This article explores the value of the Systems Approach Framework (SAF) as a tool for the transition to sustainable development in coastal zone systems, based on 18 study sites in Europe, where the SAF was developed and tested. The knowledge gained from these experiments concerns the practical aspects of (a) governance in terms of policy effectiveness, (b) sustainability science in terms of applying transdisciplinary science to social–ecological problems, and (c) simulation analysis in terms of quantifying dysfunctions in complex systems. This new knowledge can help broaden our perspectives on how research can be changed to better serve society. The infusion of systems thinking into research and policy making leads to a preference for multi-issue instead of single-issue studies, an expansion from static to dynamic indicators, an understanding of the boundaries between system-dependent and system-independent problems, and the inclusion of non-market evaluations. It also develops a real partnership among research, management, and stakeholders to establish a quantitative basis for collaborative decision making. Furthermore, the article argues that the transition to sustainable development for coastal systems requires consideration of the scale interdependency from individual to global and recognition of the probable global reorganizational emergence of scale-free networks that could cooperate to maximize the integrated sustainability among them

Socioeconomic Response to Water Quality: a First Experience in Science and Policy Integration for the Izmit Bay Coastal System
Leyla Gamze Tolun, Seyla Ergenekon, Selda Murat Hocaoglu, Asli Suha Donertas, Tulay Cokacar, Sinan Husrevoglu, Colpan Polat Beken and Ahmet Baban
Abstract: Deterioration of the Izmit Bay ecosystem, mainly caused by heavy industrialization and urbanization, has significantly impaired its beneficial use and resulted in the surrounding coastal zone losing its attractiveness for the inhabitants. An integrated coastal zone management approach has become an important requirement of future development plans to protect this fragile bay ecosystem. One of the main indicators of deterioration of the Izmit Bay coastal system is the decreasing water quality resulting from increased nutrient loads from the surrounding land.The consensus during the initial stakeholder meeting confirmed the widespread awareness of this phenomenon and “improvement of water quality in Izmit Bay” was determined as the main policy issue at stake. Public perception of and satisfaction with water quality were measured by a willingness to pay (WTP) survey. The WTP for improved water quality was analyzed using the contingent valuation method. According to the questionnaire survey, 55% of the participants are willing to pay to increase the water quality. Impact of water quality on real-estate values was evaluated by hedonic pricing method, which is suitable for estimating direct and indirect use values of water resources. These results were used in a simulation model to assess coupled ecosystem, social, and economic system functioning of the Izmit Bay in response to various scenarios, and thus, to permit the necessary actions to be taken proactively. Two scenario simulations, for which domestic and runoff nitrogen loads are reduced independently, showed that hypothetical domestic wastewater treatment resulted in an improvement in simulated water transparency. The results suggest that domestic wastewater treatment should be a first priority for local administrations.

The Systems Approach Framework as a Complementary Methodology of Adaptive Management: a Case Study in the Urban Beaches of Barcelona
Ben Tomlinson, Sergio Sastre, Dolors Blasco and Jorge Guillén
Abstract: The Systems Approach Framework is a methodological framework designed to enhance the efficacy of human decision-making processes within social-ecological systems with regard to sustainability. The objective of resilience adaptive management is to either maintain the system within the current regime such that the desired ecosystem goods and services continue to be delivered, or to move the system phase to a preferred regime. Although the objectives of the two frameworks are not exactly the same, there are considerable complementarities between them. Through application of the Systems Approach Framework in a case study regarding the urban beaches of Barcelona, Spain, we present some of the main findings revealed during the model construction and stakeholder participatory process. Additionally, we demonstrate that the Systems Approach Framework could be considered a useful step-by-step methodological guide that employs many of the vital components and processes of adaptive management.

Continue reading

New Article: ‘Can marine fisheries and aquaculture meet fish demand from a growing human population in a changing climate?’

Abstract: Expansion in the world’s human population and economic development will increase future demand for fish products. As global fisheries yield is constrained by ecosystems productivity and management effectiveness, per capita fish consumption can only be maintained or increased if aquaculture makes an increasing contribution to the volume and stability of global fish supplies. Here, we use predictions of changes in global and regional climate (according to IPCC emissions scenario A1B), marine ecosystem and fisheries production estimates from high resolution regional models, human population size estimates from United Nations prospects, fishmeal and oil price estimations, and projections of the technological development in aquaculture feed technology, to investigate the feasibility of sustaining current and increased per capita fish consumption rates in 2050. We conclude that meeting current and larger consumption rates is feasible, despite a growing population and the impacts of climate change on potential fisheries production, but only if fish resources are managed sustainably and the animal feeds industry reduces its reliance on wild fish. Ineffective fisheries management and rising fishmeal prices driven by greater demand could, however, compromise future aquaculture production and the availability of fish products.

Full Citation: Merino, G. et al. (2012). Can marine fisheries and aquaculture meet fish demand from a growing human population in a changing climate?. Global Environmental Change, 22 (4): 795-806. 

 

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