Research Priorities for Achieving Healthy Marine Ecosystems and Human Communities in a Changing Climate

Type Article
Date 2020-01
Language English
Author(s) Friedman Whitney R.1, 2, Halpern Benjamin S.1, 3, McLeod Elizabeth4, Beck Michael W.5, 6, Duarte Carlos M.7, Kappel Carrie, V1, Levine Arielle8, Sluka Robert D.9, Adler Steven10, O'Hara Casey C.3, Sterling Eleanor J.11, Tapia-Lewin Sebastian3, Losada Inigo J.12, McClanahan Tim R.13, Pendleton Linwood14, 15, 16, 17, 18, Spring Margaret19, Toomey James P.20, Weiss Kenneth R.21, Possingham Hugh P.2, 22, Montambault Jensen R.23, 24
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Calif Santa Barbara, Natl Ctr Ecol Anal & Synth, Santa Barbara, CA 93106 USA.
2 : Nature Conservancy, 1815 N Lynn St, Arlington, VA 22203 USA.
3 : Univ Calif Santa Barbara, Bren Sch Environm Sci & Management, Santa Barbara, CA 93106 USA.
4 : Nature Conservancy, Austin, TX USA.
5 : Univ Calif Santa Cruz, Nat Conservancy, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 USA.
6 : Univ Calif Santa Cruz, Dept Ocean Sci, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 USA.
7 : King Abdullah Univ Sci & Technol, Red Sea Res Ctr, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.
8 : San Diego State Univ, Dept Geog, San Diego, CA 92182 USA.
9 : Marine & Coastal Conservat Programme, London, England.
10 : Ocean Data Alliance, New York, NY USA.
11 : Amer Museum Nat Hist, Ctr Biodivers & Conservat, New York, NY 10024 USA.
12 : Univ Cantabria, IH Cantabria, Environm Hydraul Inst, Santander, Spain.
13 : Wildlife Conservat Soc, Global Marine Program, Bronx, NY USA.
14 : World Wildlife Fund, Global Sci, 1250 24th St,NW, Washington, DC 20037 USA.
15 : Univ Brest, IFREMER, CNRS, UMR 6308,AMURE,IUEM, Plouzane, France.
16 : Univ Queensland, Global Change Inst, St Lucia, Qld, Australia.
17 : Duke Univ, Marine Lab, Durham, NC USA.
18 : Duke Univ, Nicholas Inst Environm Policy Solut, Durham, NC USA.
19 : Monterey Bay Aquarium, Conservat & Sci, Monterey, CA USA.
20 : Shermans Lagoon, Baltimore, MD USA.
21 : Pulitzer Ctr Crisis Reporting, Washington, DC USA.
22 : Univ Queensland, Sch Biol Sci, St Lucia, Qld, Australia.
23 : Nature Conservancy, Sci Nat & People Partnership, Charlottesville, VA USA.
24 : Univ Queensland, Sch Earth & Environm Sci, St Lucia, Qld, Australia.
Source Frontiers In Marine Science (Frontiers Media Sa), 2020-01 , Vol. 7 , N. 5 , P. 14p.
DOI 10.3389/fmars.2020.00005
WOS© Times Cited 32
Keyword(s) marine sustainability, human health, social equity, climate change, priority research, sustainable development goals

The health of coastal human communities and marine ecosystems are at risk from a host of anthropogenic stressors, in particular, climate change. Because ecological health and human well-being are inextricably connected, effective and positive responses to current risks require multidisciplinary solutions. Yet, the complexity of coupled social-ecological systems has left many potential solutions unidentified or insufficiently explored. The urgent need to achieve positive social and ecological outcomes across local and global scales necessitates rapid and targeted multidisciplinary research to identify solutions that have the greatest chance of promoting benefits for both people and nature. To address these challenges, we conducted a forecasting exercise with a diverse, multidisciplinary team to identify priority research questions needed to promote sustainable and just marine social-ecological systems now and into the future, within the context of climate change and population growth. In contrast to the traditional reactive cycle of science and management, we aimed to generate questions that focus on what we need to know, before we need to know it. Participants were presented with the question, "If we were managing oceans in 2050 and looking back, what research, primary or synthetic, would wish we had invested in today?" We first identified major social and ecological events over the past 60 years that shaped current human relationships with coasts and oceans. We then used a modified Delphi approach to identify nine priority research areas and 46 questions focused on increasing sustainability and well-being in marine social-ecological systems. The research areas we identified include relationships between ecological and human health, access to resources, equity, governance, economics, resilience, and technology. Most questions require increased collaboration across traditionally distinct disciplines and sectors for successful study and implementation. By identifying these questions, we hope to facilitate the discourse, research, and policies needed to rapidly promote healthy marine ecosystems and the human communities that depend upon them.

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Friedman Whitney R., Halpern Benjamin S., McLeod Elizabeth, Beck Michael W., Duarte Carlos M., Kappel Carrie, V, Levine Arielle, Sluka Robert D., Adler Steven, O'Hara Casey C., Sterling Eleanor J., Tapia-Lewin Sebastian, Losada Inigo J., McClanahan Tim R., Pendleton Linwood, Spring Margaret, Toomey James P., Weiss Kenneth R., Possingham Hugh P., Montambault Jensen R. (2020). Research Priorities for Achieving Healthy Marine Ecosystems and Human Communities in a Changing Climate. Frontiers In Marine Science, 7(5), 14p. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :