Global learning for local solutions: Reducing vulnerability of marine-dependent coastal communities

Funding: Belmont Forum and G8 Research Councils Initiative on Multilateral Research Funding – International Opportunities Fund

Partners: Rhodes University, South Africa; CSIRO – Australia; University of Tasmania – Australia, Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute – India; University of São Paulo – Brazil; National Oceanography Centre – UK; University of California – USA; Service D’Appuia la Gestion de L’Environment – Madagascar; University of Otago – NZ; University of Victoria – Canada; Eduardo Mondlane University –Mozambique.

Summary: Many coastal communities rely on marine resources for livelihoods and food security. As populations increase, there is increasing pressure on coastal resources already under stress from pollution, coastal development, and habitat degradation. Climate change and variability (including extreme events) will also impact coastal systems and the vulnerability of dependent communities, but may also bring opportunities. This project will characterize, assess and predict the future of coastal-marine food resources to improve community adaptation efforts by providing and sharing knowledge across regional “hotspots”, defined here as fast-warming marine areas and areas experiencing social tensions as a result of change.
Hotspots represent laboratories for observing change and developing adaptation options and management strategies. To ensure sustainable ecosystems, livelihoods and communities, a trans-disciplinary whole-system approach is required. Comparing hotspot regions provides opportunities to extend existing collaborations and connect local adaptation research and outcomes to improve global learning. In focusing on adaptation options and strategies for enhancing coastal resilience at the local level, this project will contribute to capacity building and local empowerment.

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