Stream 4: Integration
- Jeffrey Dambacher and Piers Dunstan
- CSIRO, NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub, Australia
Cumulative impacts and risks to marine ecosystems are the central challenge for both researchers and managers of the marine environment in the 21st century. Coasts and oceans provide vital services such as food, transport, recreation, and cultural inspiration. These services are subject to increasing pressures including harvesting, habitat loss, pollution and climate change, while the demands of a growing human population remain unabated. Managing pressures in this complicated ecological, social and economic environment is challenging. Slowing or even reversing these trends requires understanding the capacity of marine ecosystems to respond to pressures and identifying appropriate tools that communities, industry and government will use for sustainable marine resources. Assessments of cumulative impacts and risks within Australia are focused on protecting Commonwealth and World Heritage values; globally these efforts occur across a wide range of contexts using a diverse set of approaches. Two key challenges are 1) can researchers agree on best practice approaches, and 2) can managers incorporate assessments into existing legislative and regulatory frameworks. This session provides a forum to compare and contrast experiences of, and approaches to, assessments of cumulative impacts and risks to marine ecosystems, with the goal of increasing our means for a more integrated management.