Friday, February 15, 2013
Room 300 (Hynes Convention Center)
The challenge of achieving healthy, productive and resilient oceans encapsulates the global sustainability challenge. In recent decades, notable progress has been made in understanding what is needed to achieve and sustain healthy oceans. A growing knowledge base is beginning to affect policies and practices. For example, ecosystem approaches are being adopted, e.g., in the U.S. National Ocean Policy, in the regionally based Gulf of Mexico Regional Ecosystem Restoration Strategy, and in regional fishery management plans. Ecosystem services provide the bridge between ecosystem functioning and human well-being. Management goals shift from a sole focus on production of a certain product to achieving a resilient ecosystem that can provide a sustained delivery of a suite of ecosystem services. Especially in light of climate change and ocean acidification, a focus on achieving resilient ecosystems is paramount. Achieving resilient ecosystems requires and enables healthy and resilient communities, economies and institutions. Some keys to those outcomes include enhanced ownership through stakeholder engagement at local and regional levels, information and tools to understand tradeoffs and make informed decisions, and Incentive-based solutions to align short- and long-term interests.