6643 Now and Forever: Will the Ocean Meet the Needs of Future Generations?

Saturday, February 18, 2012: 1:30 PM
Room 118 (VCC West Building)
Karen L. McLeod , Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS), Corvallis, OR
While ocean ecosystem health is a broadly shared policy goal, “healthy” means different things to different people. The Ocean Health Index is the first single composite measure for the health of the world’s ocean that can be applied from the scales of individual bays to the entire globe. It is designed to evaluate the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being and the flow of social benefits both now and in the future. The Index does not equate healthy with pristine. Instead, our construct for health acknowledges that people are integral parts of all ecosystems on the planet – including the ocean and coasts. Integrating knowledge from ecology, fisheries, oceanography, economics, and social sciences, our framework enables users to consider how specific actions are likely to affect the ability of the ocean to provide benefits and provides the flexibility to use currently available data and more refined information (particularly with respect to social and institutional dimensions) that will be available in the future. This talk will detail the rationale for this ground-breaking tool, give an overview of its core design features, and provide a conceptual springboard for the rest of the session.
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