New Publication: Kenyan and Mozambican coral reef ‘carbonate budgets’ contribute to international picture of corals under sea-level rise.

SPACES coral reef surveys have contributed to an international picture of how reefs might be able to grow to keep up with sea-level rise, recently published in Nature.

The growth of coral reefs is strongly influenced by the amount and types of coral living on the reef surface, but across both regions this growth is now being hampered by combinations of coral disease, deteriorating water quality and fishing pressure, along with severe impacts from “coral bleaching” caused by climate change. By counting the organisms responsible for building up and eroding reefs, SPACES team members Chris Perry and Fraser Januchowski-Hartley have been able to calculate the ‘carbonate budget’ and estimate how quickly reefs can grow towards the surface (the ‘accretion rate’).

In the figure below, the Mozambican (17) and Kenyan (18) SPACES sites can be seen in comparison to reefs from around the Indian ocean and Western Atlantic. The poorest reefs in […]

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Value Chain Analysis of Mangrove Forests in Central Mozambique: Uses, Stakeholders and Monetary Chains

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Vilma Machava’s poster from the 10th WIOMSA symposium, which documents the mangrove value chain in central Mozambique; stakeholder engagement and their current and potential benefits and monetary pathways involved in different stakeholder and related sites.

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Ecosystem services: The past, the pitfalls and the potential for supporting wellbeing of people in the Western Indian Ocean

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Tim Daw’s keynote presentation at the 10th WIOMSA symposium.

What has the science of ecosystems services got to offer the people and policymakers of the WIO region? And what are the opportunities to use this now widespread concept to sustainably support human wellbeing through these turbulent times. I outline key insights, challenges and opportunities from ecosystem services and wellbeing research.

First, Daw reviews where the term ‘ecosystem services’ comes from. He outlines the different usages and some pitfalls and critiques. Then draws on examples from WIO and around the world to illustrate three key insights from research using the concepts of ecosystem services and human wellbeing: 1. The importance of trade-offs 2. The ‘co-production’ of ecosystem services by people and nature, and 3. The complexity of the relationship between humans’ wellbeing and their environment. This leads to two key challenges and research frontiers: How can we interpret and understand change? And how can we navigate hard choices and tradeoffs?

Finally, Daw focuses on two opportunities for this research to contribute in WIO. The first opportunity is to use greater understanding of how ecosystems are linked to wellbeing to generate interventions for sustainably improving people’s lives. The second is for scientists to leap out of our comfort zone into transdisciplinary research with coastal people, policy makers and other disciplines. The insights from research shows that management of ecosystem services is messy, political and uncertain. As, scientists we cannot be expected to provide simple solutions, but we have a responsibility to engage, inform and provoke decision makers at all
levels as they navigate through uncertain futures.

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Structure-Conduct-Performance of nearshore marine fisheries in Kenya

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Andrew Wamukota’s presentation at the WIOMSA symposium on the structure-conduct-performance of nearshore marine fisheries in Kenya. This presentation is an exploration of the what we can learn from S-C-P in understanding poverty among actors. An application of S-C-P in nearshore marine fisheries is useful in understanding the behaviour of actors and how these influence their wellbeing. Although data analysis is not really done, there are forward and backward loops inherent at similar nodes (in terms of conduct e.g. no. of customers is +ve for fishers and –Ve for trader). A better understanding of this can be achieved by use of longitudinal data across similar fishers in the region.

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Understanding the disaggregated nature of ecosystem services wellbeing relationship in northern Mozambique

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Dominique Goncalves’ picturesque presentation on the disaggregated nature of ecosystem services wellbeing relationship. She points out that fish and octopus are linked with most basic needs, but people are less satisfied with octopus, and that satisfaction levels vary between the communities. The levels can have to do with gender, tradition, conservation, migration, and/or development.

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