Pacific Islands seek an ecosystems approach
Pacific Island nations are facing critical environmental issues – pollution, habitat destruction, declining fisheries and climate change – which threaten their coastal ecosystems and impact on food security and wellbeing.
Ecosystem-based management (EBM) offers an innovative approach to managing coastal ecosystems as it designs solutions to ecological issues with regard to social, economic and political drivers. It involves a whole-of-government, rather than a sectoral, approach and incorporates traditional management structures and practices.
“The EBM approach involves holistic thinking about coastlines and people,” said Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Director of the University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute.
“It seeks solutions in which the human and natural components of the environment are part of one sustainable system.”
In January, two parallel events were held in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, focussed on building the confidence of natural resource managers in implementing an EBM approach in the Pacific – a forum for senior managers and a practical training course for middle and senior managers.