We face a consequential choice: Will we finally protect the unique and fragile organisms found in the largest and least disturbed ecosystem on Earth? Or, in an attempt to curb the damage already caused by fossil fuels, will we destroy these species and habitats they depend upon before we have even discovered them?
Mining the ocean floor for submerged minerals is a little-known, experimental industry. But soon it will take place on the deep seabed, which belongs to everyone, according to international law. Seabed mining for valuable materials like copper, zinc and lithium already takes place within countries' marine territories.
As part of @FandMCollege's #FacultyFridays series, I was invited to talk about my research and teaching on Ocean Conservation and Marine Protected Areas - if you'd like to know more about these topics, enjoy! #BBNJ #MPAs #UNCLOS https://t.co/P6sUXn0Sdp
My recent work on militarized MPAs was featured in this podcast, check it out... #MPAs #MarSocSci https://t.co/aF71Ls1yhq
On Franklin & Marshall Week: We are at a crucial moment for the health of our oceans. Elizabeth De Santo, associate professor of environmental studies, discusses what can be done. Professor De Santo is a human geographer with training in environmental law, international relations, environmental management and marine zoology.
On Monday, under United Nations auspices, 71 countries debated in the first round of negotiations for a new "international legally binding instrument ... on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction."
Each of us can make a difference in our own way, whether by advocating for marine protection, boycotting plastic, eating sustainably-caught seafood, or just helping our friends and children learn to value the 70 percent of the planet we often take for granted.
In the early fifteenth century, Portuguese sailors reached a becalmed part of the Atlantic Ocean, coated with mats of gold-brown seaweed. Under windless skies, their ships drifted idly with the currents. The sailors named the seaweed Sargassum - after its resemblance to a Portuguese plant - and the region eventually became known as the Sargasso Sea.
EIUI Team Member, Elizabeth De Santo, Cited in Scientific American https://t.co/HZDGq4gT9l Link to issue: https://t.co/Dy3BUNEvqU @sciam @OceanAcademic
Get your research off the shelf and into policy: Writing reports and briefs that influence decision making
The Environmental Information: Use and Influence research program (EIUI) – which brings together experts in information management and the natural and social sciences – examines the role of marine scientific information in environmental management. The program is based at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. This past month, MEAM interviewed four members of the program – Elizabeth De Santo (now at Franklin & Marshall College), Bertrum MacDonald, Suzuette Soomai, and Peter Wells – about their work.
British and US marine scientists say that the race to designate ever-bigger marine national parks in remote parts of the world could work against conservation. In an commentary timed to coincide with President Obama's announcement of the huge extension of a marine park off Hawaii, the authors argue that the creation of very large marine protection areas (Vlmpas) may give the illusion of conservation, when in fact they may be little more than "paper parks".
Why doesn't scientific information always flow through the appropriate channels to inform public policy? That's what Bertrum MacDonald, currently acting dean of the Faculty of Management, and his team with the Environmental Information: Use and Influence research program asked themselves before setting the wheels in motion on a new interdisciplinary graduate course.
The seas around Hawaii are set to become the world's largest marine protected area, US president Barack Obama has announced. The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument will be expanded to more than 1.5m square kilometres - that's as big as France, Spain and Germany combined. If this story sounds familiar that's because it is.
Equity and social justice concerns are intrinsic to all ocean planning processes. Some groups benefit more, or are perceived to benefit more, than others in terms of continued or new access to space and resources. The way stakeholders view the fairness of ocean planning processes and the plans that result from them in turn can influence how successfully those plans can be implemented.
For three days last month, the University's Club Great Hall was home to an international negotiation of sorts between the Students of SUST 2001 - Environment, Sustainability and Governance: A Global Perspective. Their goal: pass six articles on Access and Benefit Sharing within the Convention on Biological Diversity, a document which they collaborated to prepare over the last few months.
D. Doubilet/Natl. Geogr. Former US President George W. Bush did not garner much applause from environmentalists during his eight years in the White House, but on 15 June 2006, he gave them something to cheer about. Bush signed an order to create the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hawaii, then the world's largest ocean conservation area.
A group of marine researchers and scientists have banded together for one purpose: to fight for protected areas of the ocean to ensure they are free of harmful industrial activities. A report commissioned by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) was introduced at the recent International Marine Conservation Congress in Victoria, B.C.
Finding the Balance: Strengthening MPA Governance by Mixing Top-Down, Bottom-Up, and Other Approaches
It is increasingly recognized that “top-down” and “bottom-up” approaches are critical to governing MPAs. That is, MPAs should combine the benefits of state control and binding legislation (top-down) with the benefits of community-based approaches that empower local people and involve them in decision-making (bottom-up). By pairing the approaches, an MPA gets regulations that are acceptable to an engaged and supportive community.
In response to your coverage of the Chagos MPA in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), we would like to highlight recent intelligence that has come to light in the wake of the cables released by the WikiLeaks website. On 1 December 2010, the Guardian newspaper published confidential cables (www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/207149) that highlighted several “diplomatic” conversations regarding this closure, including aspects discussed in an article we recently published in the journal Marine Policy entitled “Fortress conservation at sea: a commentary on the Chagos MPA”