Sunday, February 20, 2011: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
101 (Washington Convention Center )Climate change is emerging as the most significant global threat to coral reefs and is having profound impacts on both the ecology and economics of reef fisheries, which support the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people. Coral bleaching has already devastated corals reefs and the habitat they provide for thousands of species. Emerging research is revealing key interactions between climate change and fisheries, with time lags between coral mortality and impacts further up the food web masking critical patterns of decline. Fishers and managers will also have to contend with less reliable fisheries yields, damage to coastal infrastructure, and increased risks to human health and safety. The economic costs of these impacts will be enormous and will largely be borne by developing countries that can least afford it. Critically, certain people will be more vulnerable to these impacts because of differing levels of wealth, assets, access to services, and dependence on fisheries. Novel research on people’s vulnerability to climate change shows how the spatial and temporal variability in key ecological and socioeconomic impacts can be used to help target adaptation support and inform effective strategies to reduce impacts. Our panel of leading experts will present the latest findings in this emerging research frontier, integrating ecology, economics, and social vulnerability to define both solutions and key challenges.
Joshua E. Cinner, James Cook University
Tim McClanahan, Wildlife Conservation Society