The International Workshop on the Economics of Ocean Acidification

The conclusions of the Workshop on the socioeconomic impacts of Ocean Acidification, which took place at the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco 16-18 November 2010, have just been released and are available on the websites of the Scientific Centre of Monaco and the IAEA Environment Laboratories.

Following the recommendations of the Monaco Declaration, this workshop brought together fifteen economists, fifteen scientists, and ten representatives from international organizations in Monaco to initiate a discussion aiming to define the future socioeconomic impacts of Ocean Acidification. This workshop has thus formed the first real multidisciplinary meeting on Ocean Acidification with the purpose of delivering accurate messages to the policy makers in order to deal with the issue in a timely manner as to minimize both the biodiversity and human costs.

The first conclusions of this workshop were divided into four topics:

  • Defining the extent of the threat: Even though the threat is currently known with certainty by the scientists, its socioeconomic impact, although certain, is not yet well-defined because of a lack of data. Some regions will, however, be more vulnerable than others. The workshop participants have specified key areas to study in order to reduce this uncertainty.
  • Modeling: In order to provide clear elements to the policy makers, it is necessary to develop a range of decision-making tools taking into account all the effects of Ocean Acidification. To do so, a close collaboration between disciplines is essential. Each discipline being at the service of the other.
  • Recommendation: All the participants of the workshop agreed that Ocean Acidification represents a real threat and is an additional reason to reduce the atmospheric concentration of CO2. Although a global solution is the key to the problem of Ocean Acidification, the participants have also recognized that local solutions could help minimize its effects.
  • Financial means: A “Blue” Fund could unite countries against the risks of Ocean Acidification, by returning part of the funds as dividends to those who have made some environmental efforts. The remaining resources could be allocated to restore ecosystems damaged by Ocean Acidification.  

These topics are still open to discussion by the workshop participants. Publications are being drafted to materialize the efforts of the participants before the next workshop to be held in the U.S.A. following the “The Oceans in a High-CO2 World” Symposium in 2012.

This workshop received grants from the Monegasque Government, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing, and the IAEA “Peaceful Uses Initiative” (PUI) programme funded by the U.S. State Department.

Conclusions are available here and here.


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