Posts Tagged 'Policy'

Socio-economic tools to mitigate the impacts of ocean acidification on economies and communities reliant on coral reefs–a framework for prioritization

Coral reef preservation is a challenge for the whole of humanity, not just for the estimated three billion people that directly depend upon coral reefs for their livelihoods and food security. Ocean acidification combined with rising sea surface temperatures, and an array of other anthropogenic influences such as pollution, sedimentation, over fishing, and coral mining represent the key threats currently facing coral reef survival. Here we summarise a list of agreements, policies, and socio-economic tools and instruments that can be used by global, national and local decision-makers to address ocean acidification and associated threats, as identified during an expert workshop in October 2017. We then discuss these tools and instruments at a global level and identify the key tasks for raising decision makers’ awareness. Finally, we suggest ways of prioritizing between different actions or tools for mitigation and adaptation.

Continue reading ‘Socio-economic tools to mitigate the impacts of ocean acidification on economies and communities reliant on coral reefs–a framework for prioritization’

A framework for agenda-setting ocean acidification through boundary work

Highlights
• For ocean acidification to be seen as a salient and legitimate issue, awareness raising, learning and capacity building are required.

• Workshops and outreach activities can facilitate learning, awareness-raising and co-production of knowledge about coastal ocean acidification.

• Stakeholders agreed that coastal ocean acidification could be treated as a water-quality issue and managed under the Water Framework Directive.

• Coastal zone managers face challenges in addressing ocean acidification, and wants national government to take responsibility for actions in response to OA.

Abstract
Ocean acidification (OA) is already impacting marine organisms and may fundamentally alter marine ecosystems in the coming decades, with major implications for ocean services, such as food provision. Though OA is an emerging concern in coastal zone management, current actions are limited to monitoring and knowledge production. This article presents a framework for addressing coastal zone OA in local-level policy agendas through workshops, and lessons learned and outcome from the implementation of this framework in two cases in southern and northern Norway. The framework includes four components: 1) facilitating knowledge exchange and identify challenges and opportunities relating to OA; 2) ensuring legitimacy of new knowledges; 3) building capacity through learning and skill development; and 4) raise awareness about OA among local decisionmakers. The case studies include local and regional coastal zone management stakeholders and, using OA measurements and modelling, illustrate co-production of new knowledge of coastal ocean acidification and its potential local impacts. Through two rounds of workshops, we demonstrate that the level of OA awareness markedly increases among stakeholders. This awareness manifests in vocal interest for looming projected impacts and their necessary mitigative measures. This concern is compounded by stakeholders who recognize that OA should be treated as a component of water-quality, implying that OA is gaining salience as a local policy issue. However, it is evident that local management faces challenges in addressing such an issue, combined with expectations that higher levels of government take responsibility for mitigative and adaptive actions in response to OA.

Continue reading ‘A framework for agenda-setting ocean acidification through boundary work’

A governing framework for international ocean acidification policy

Highlights

• Ocean acidification (OA) poses a threat to marine systems and the goods and services they provide.

• A framework is needed to guide the international response to minimize and address OA.

• International policy should have three objectives: mitigation, adaptation and the redress of harm.

• These three objectives can be pursued by a number of multilateral agreements.

• Such an approach may fill the governance gap created by the lack of OA treaty.

Abstract

Ocean acidification (OA) is a major emergent stressor of marine ecosystems with global implications for biodiversity conservation, sustainable development and economic prosperity. International action is imperative for addressing it. This paper builds a science-based governing framework, identifying three overarching policy objectives and six areas for action that should be pursued so as to minimise this global problem. No unifying OA treaty or legal instrument with the explicit task of addressing OA currently exists and it looks highly unlikely that any will eventuate. A more pragmatic approach is to use existing multilateral agreements. However, taking on OA as a unified problem seems to be beyond the scope of existing agreements, due to structural limitations and the willingness of Parties. Given this, it is more likely that OA will be addressed by a network of agreements, each responding to discrete elements of the problem of OA within their capabilities. However, it is unclear how existing MEA capabilities extend to addressing OA. This paper therefore offers an analytical framework through existing governance structures can be explored for their capabilities to respond to OA.

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Environmental framing on Twitter: impact of Trump’s Paris Agreement withdrawal on climate change and ocean acidification dialogue

The role of social media in communicating emerging environmental issues has received little attention. One such issue is ocean acidification (OA), the process by which carbon dioxide (CO2) acidifies oceans. Although scientists consider OA to be as dangerous as climate change (CC) and both problems are caused by excess CO2 emissions, public awareness of OA is low. We investigated public discussions about CC and OA on Twitter, identifying frames and tweeter characteristics. Tweeting patterns before and after President Trump’s 1 June 2017 announcement of the U.S.’s withdrawal from the international Paris Climate Agreement were compared because of the potential for diverse framing of this globally communicated event. For CC tweets, Political/Ideological Struggle (PIS) and Disaster (DS) frames were prevalent, with PIS frames increasing threefold after Trump’s announcement. DS, Settled Science (SS), and Promotional frames were prevalent among OA tweets, with SS decreasing and PIS increasing after the announcement. Our findings suggest that Trump’s decision sparked discourse on CC and facilitated expressions of politicized opinions on Twitter. We conclude that with a careful understanding of issue familiarity among its publics, social media can be effective for disseminating information and opinion of established and emerging environmental issues, complementing traditional media outlets.

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Regional action plan on ocean acidification for Latin America and the Caribbean

Representatives of 14 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean attended the first regional meeting of the Ocean Acidification international Reference User Group (OAiRUG), hosted by Invemar in Santa Marta, Colombia, held on 19th – 21st March 2018. Funded by the Prince Albert II Foundation as part of a long-term strategy of His Serene Highness, with additional support from the International Atomic Energy Agency, and held in collaboration IUCN and the Latin American Ocean Acidification Network (LAOCA), the purpose of the meeting was to bring together leading international and regional scientists, experts from affected maritime industries, leaders in environmental protection and management, and representatives from civil society to create a step-change in how the region can respond to this modern-day ocean-impact challenge. Attended by over 50 invited delegates, for the first time the OAiRUG proceedings were also streamed live by Invemar to Facebook and the Colombia National Parks channel attracting an online audience of over 8000 people across the three days.

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Coral reefs of the Red Sea — challenges and potential solutions

The Red Sea is a unique body of water, hosting some of the most productive and diverse coral reefs. Human populations along coasts of the Red Sea were initially sparse due to the hot and arid climate surrounding it, but this is changing with improved desalination techniques, accessible energy, and increased economic interest in coastal areas. In addition to increasing pressure on reefs from coastal development, global drivers, primarily ocean acidification and seawater warming, are threatening coral reefs of the region. While reefs in southern sections of the Red Sea live near or above their maximum temperature tolerance and have experienced bleaching events in the recent past, coral reefs in northern sections are considered a coral reef refugia from global warming and acidification, at least for the coming decades. Such differential sensitivities along the latitudinal gradient of the Red Sea require differential solutions and management. In an effort to identify the appropriate solutions to conserve and maintain resilience of these reefs along a latitudinal gradient, we used a SWOT analysis (strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats) to frame the present situation and to propose policy solutions as useful planning procedures. We highlight the need for immediate action to secure the northern sections of the Red Sea as a coral reef climate change refuge by management and removal of local stressors. There is a need to strengthen the scientific knowledge base for proper management and to encourage regional collaboration on environmental issues. Based on scientific data, solutions such as marine protected areas, fishing regulation, and reef restoration approaches were ranked for five distinct latitudinal sections in the Red Sea and levels of interventions are recommended.

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Legal practices and challenges in addressing climate change and its impact on the oceans—a Chinese perspective

Highlights

• International legal and policy instruments contain certain measures to tackle the effects of climate change on the oceans.
• China has also committed to addressing the effects of climate change on the oceans.
• The overlapping of different systems has, however, created some difficulties in practice and further coordination is urgently required.
• The ultimate solution in avoiding the worsening effects of climate change on the oceans would be to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases worldwide and China wishes to take a leading role in such efforts.

Abstract

Two key drivers, ocean warming and ocean acidification, affect the oceans and adds to the climate change adversely. International legal and policy instruments contain certain measures to tackle these growing effects. China is also committed to addressing the effects of climate change on the oceans. The overlapping of different systems has, however, created some difficulties in practice and further coordination is urgently required. This paper uses qualitative methods to investigate China’s legal practices in addressing the effects of climate change and their impact on the oceans. The study considers newly introduced policies and recent actions launched by the Chinese Government to chart a clearer picture of the current practices. To this end, it is concluded that the ultimate solution in avoiding the worsening effects of climate change on the oceans would be to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases worldwide, and China aims to take advantage of playing leading role in such efforts.

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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