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The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of tools for facilitating EBM processes. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network, a voluntary alliance of tool users, developers, and training providers.

By Sarah Carr

A growing number of tools help managers and policymakers to quantify, map, and value the many services that ecosystems provide to people. Tools can also help determine how management and policy decisions may affect such services. Three tools that aid in assessing ecosystem services are:

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

A new publication from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) applies a reader-friendly approach to help countries and communities move toward ecosystem-based management of oceans and coasts. Drawing on practical experience and lessons from around the world, the guide serves as an introduction to EBM principles and applications, and provides an overview of the general phases involved. In addition to its text-based advice, the guide's multiple diagrams explain the core elements of EBM in a simple visual way, such as the concepts of cumulative impacts and managing for multiple objectives.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

A basic concept in ecosystem-based management is that, when managers make decisions, they will consider the full array of natural and human elements and interactions that make up an ecosystem. By that account, a necessary initial step in EBM is for managers to define what their target ecosystem is. Is it small, involving a single bay, for example - or is it really big, encompassing a large marine ecosystem that crosses national boundaries?

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

By Tundi Agardy, MEAM Contributing Editor (tundiagardy [at] earthlink.net)

Many agencies tout their commitment to adopting an ecosystem approach to management. What is actually meant by this commitment, and whether it constitutes a move toward ecosystem-based management, is open to question. The terms are often used without clear definition or, when defined, use so much jargon as to be indecipherable.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Dear MEAM:

I strongly agree with all the comments in your April-May 2011 issue on the need for integration in management of marine (and terrestrial) ecosystems. I note that this recognition was at the heart of IUCN's Guidelines for Marine Protected Areas and A Global Representative System of Marine Protected Areas (IUCN, World Bank, and GBRMPA, 1995).

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

US releases draft action plans for addressing national ocean policy objectives

The US national ocean policy prioritizes nine objectives to address challenges that face the country's coastal and marine resources. The federal interagency National Ocean Council is overseeing development of strategic action plans for each of the nine objectives. As a first step, the council has released draft strategic action plan outlines of each objective for public comment.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Editor's note: The goal of The EBM Toolbox is to promote awareness of tools for facilitating EBM processes. It is brought to you by the EBM Tools Network, a voluntary alliance of tool users, developers, and training providers.

By Sarah Carr

An EBM toolkit is a set of interoperating tools for conducting an EBM process. Using such toolkits allows users to tackle analyses that single tools cannot do alone. Examples of recent projects that have used toolkits include:

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

In Western-style resource management, specific human activities are usually managed by dedicated agencies. Fisheries, for example, are managed by fisheries agencies. Offshore petroleum is regulated by energy or minerals agencies. Shipping is overseen by transportation agencies, and so forth. Each pairing of agency and industry sector operates in its own management silo, seldom interacting with the other ocean uses on planning or management.

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

By Tundi Agardy, MEAM Contributing Editor (tundiagardy [at] earthlink.net)

Integration is the cornerstone of EBM. The lack of it is why sectoral management typically fails to stem ecosystem decline - which, in turn, is why most everyone agrees that integration is necessary. But what, exactly, needs to be integrated in order to achieve EBM?

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