The coastal and marine environments of South East Asia and the Western Indian Ocean (the regional foci of ACCORD) are rich and diverse, possessing high levels of biodiversity and productivity. However, the coastal ecosystems and the services they provide are under threat from growth in human activities, global markets, the desire for economic growth, and the less direct impact of global climate change. This affects both the resilience of living resources to pressures and the ecosystem services we derive from them.
Many coastal communities depend on nearby coastal and marine resources for their livelihoods and welfare yet lack alternatives when these services deteriorate due to over-exploitation or adverse effects of climate change. At the same time coastal developing nations are looking to the ocean to provide opportunities for sustainable economic growth through resource exploitation (e.g. mineral extraction) and livelihood diversification (e.g. tourism, aquaculture, and blue carbon initiatives) and to support food security (e.g. fisheries and aquaculture). For developing coastal nations the ocean is also an opportunity for diversification of their economies through the production of clean, renewable and unconventional energy and resource exploitation, yet these opportunities need to be balanced carefully against the need to protect habitats and preserve the total value of national resources.
Scientists from the National Oceanography Centre and PML will work together on the ACCORD project to increase our understanding of the mechanisms and processes that determine the potential sensitivity or resilience of marine ecosystems to both globally and locally induced environmental change. This understanding will then be used to determine the environmental and societal consequences of ecosystem change to inform risk assessment, adaptive spatial management and mitigation strategies.
ACCORD will provide partner countries with an improved capability for integrated and sustainable management of marine activities. This capability will help partner countries to build a resilient marine and coastal socio-ecological system, and support their growing Blue Economies.
Funder: NERC ODA National Capability
Project start date: April 2017
Project end date: April 2020
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Dr Ana Queirós