When New Zealand began developing a national oceans policy a decade ago, marine policy-makers there and elsewhere anticipated the country might enact the world's first national-level comprehensive ocean plan in its attempt to achieve EBM.
The effectiveness of watershed management has direct bearing on the scope and scale of challenges we face with marine EBM. Freshwater ecosystems that are degraded or poorly managed contribute in turn to degradation of marine ecosystems, including in the form of altered productivity and loss of ecosystem services. Freshwater systems deliver pollutants to coastal waters, changing the nature of many coastal environments and even affecting benthic and pelagic ecosystems offshore.
Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of software tools for facilitating EBM processes, and to provide advice on using those tools effectively. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network (www.ebmtools.org), a voluntary alliance of leading tool users, developers, and training providers.
By Sarah Carr
The Danube River Basin covers parts of 19 countries in Europe, making it the world's most international river basin. In size it is also noteworthy: with a total area of 801,463 km2, it is Europe's second largest river basin. The ecosystems of the Danube River Basin - and, by extension, the Black Sea, into which the Danube drains - are highly valuable in environmental, economic, historical and social terms. But they are also subject to increasing pressure and significant pollution from agriculture, industry and cities.
Editor's note: The link between watershed management and marine EBM is no better exemplified than in the case of Chesapeake Bay, on the east coast of the US. Significant efforts to improve the health of the Chesapeake over several decades have focused largely on reducing upstream pollution. So far, however, those efforts have been unsuccessful in returning the bay to good health (see box at the end of the following essay).
Massachusetts passes ocean law
Improved marine management is something to which most coastal nations aspire, and many have made commitments to EBM. When attempts to practice EBM are unsuccessful, the assumption is often that the "capacity" to practice it is lacking. Quick translation: there is not enough money available.
The Great Bear Rainforest on Canada's west coast demonstrates how capacity to do large-scale, integrated management can be created and sustained. It is not a marine EBM project in the traditional sense: its focus in on the rainforest, not the adjacent coastal waters. But the initiative has much to offer the marine community in terms of lessons learned. Although full implementation remains to be carried out, these elements of necessary capacity for EBM are in place:
Editor's note: Fernando Tiburcio is president of PAMANA Ka Sa Pilipinas, a national alliance of community-based MPA managers in the Philippines. His e-mail is pamanakasapilipinas [at] gmail.com. Paul Watts is chair in Ethnoecology at Aurora State College of Technology in the Philippines. His e-mail is paulwatts52 [at] yahoo.com.
Dear MEAM Reader,
This is my second issue as editor of Marine Ecosystems and Management. I view the newsletter with great excitement, particularly the opportunity it offers to help bridge chasms between disciplines, as EBM requires. This includes linking the sometimes-isolationist marine community with the broader world of environmental management. Terrestrial managers have much to teach, and much to learn from, marine ecosystem-based managers.