MOVING FORWARD: Recommendations to policy makers from the 2nd International Workshop on the Economics of Ocean Acidification

WORKSHOP BROCHURE LISTS URGENT ACTIONS TO BE IMPLEMENTED

Conclusions and recommendations arising from the 2nd International Workshop on the Economics of Ocean Acidification, organized by the Centre Scientifique de Monaco (CSM) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in November 2012, has just been published in a summary document for policymakers. This brochure highlights the need to take urgent and adequate political decisions despite uncertainties and regional variations relating to the complex issue of ocean acidification. The brochure lists the pressing actions needed to mitigate the adverse socio-economic consequences of ocean acidification on fisheries and aquaculture, and thus, on the well-being of humanity. The major conclusions have been presented at the 14th meeting of the United Nations on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (UNICPOLOS, New York, 17 to 20 June 2013).

The main conclusions of the workshop, presented in the brochure and at the UNICPOLOS meeting, include:

• All parts of the ocean are not equal with respect to physico-chemical and socio-economic impacts of acidification on fisheries and aquaculture.

• Marine species have different sensitivities to ocean acidification.

• Ocean acidification could exacerbate the effects of other environmental pressures, such as increased temperature. It may also inhibit or facilitate the development of certain species, inducing a change in the composition of ecosystems.

• The full cost of ocean acidification is undetermined, but probably undervalued. Some estimates suggest a cost of $10 billion per year on world fisheries, with direct impacts to the economy of coastal areas, which will represent 50% of the population by 2050.

• To cope with the socio-economic consequences of this phenomenon, human communities dependent on fishing or aquaculture will need to adapt their practices and environmental management.

• Finding aquaculture species tolerant to ocean acidification has been suggested as an adaptation practice.

As said by Nathalie Hilmi, the Monaco panelist at Unicpolos, even if more research is still needed to assess the socio economic impacts of Ocean Acidification, it is already urgent to take the right decisions because the future costs of inaction may be higher than present costs of action.  The conclusions and recommendations workshop brochure from the 2nd International Workshop on the Economics of Ocean Acidification can be downloaded at:

www.centrescientifique.mc and www.iaea.org/monaco/page.php?page=2258

Background: Signed by 155 scientists in the wake of the Second Symposium on Ocean Acidification in 2008, the Monaco Declaration called for creating links between biologists and economists to assess the extent of the impact of ocean acidification, and the costs of action and inaction. To facilitate this, the first international workshop on the economics of ocean acidification, organized in the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco by the CSM and the IAEA in 2010, allowed a multidisciplinary dialogue to open between natural scientists and economists. This workshop identified fisheries and aquaculture among the main economic impacts of ocean acidification. To continue these efforts, a second workshop was held in November 2012 involving 55 experts from 19 countries along with representatives of international organizations. Discussions were themed on the impact of ocean acidification on fisheries and aquaculture, which resulted in the conclusions and recommendations workshop brochure for policymakers. This symposium has been sponsored by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the monegasc gouvernment, the french Ministery of ecology, sustainable development and energy, and the state Department of USA.

For more information, contact Dr. Nathalie Hilmi: hilmi@centrescientifique.mc (+377 97 97 44 00)

Centre Scientifique de Monaco, 30 September 2013. Press release (French version) and brochure.


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