CHALLENGE-BASED THEMES

Environmental Change and Adaptation

Social-ecological systems worldwide are grappling with un-precedented changes at local, regional and global scales. Climate is a major driver of these changes and climate-driven pressures often combine with other drivers and pressures to create cumulative impacts on ecosystems and dependent human communities and cultures. Understanding the resulting landscape of hazards, risks and vulnerabilities, and developing strategies for mitigation and adaptation are multidimensional problems.

Research under this theme aims to provide clear understanding of how humans influence natural systems, but equally, of how biophysical processes –
including climate and other ocean change – affects people, communities and societies. Understanding motivations and barriers to adaptive behaviours and identifying key priority areas is central to our work (in terms of temporal and spatial scales for solutions and adaptations). This understanding is contributing to collaborative industry- government researcher-community efforts to address topics spanning cumulative impacts, hazard analysis and risk assessment, multiple drivers of change, thresholds and tipping points, and integrated monitoring and assessment methods.

Recognising the importance of specialist knowledge and exceptional disciplinary, as well as interdisciplinary approaches, we encourage a focus on the following key research areas:

  • Strategies to support adaptive capacity and influencing adaptive behaviour;
  • Integrated approaches for socialecological risk assessment, hazard and vulnerability analysis;
  • Methods for understanding cumulative impacts and risks to support mitigation and adaptation strategies, including the design and implementation of integrated monitoring and assessment systems;
  • Understanding of social-ecological thresholds and tipping points;
  • Spatially relevant responses to minimize impact over time and take advantage of emerging opportunities;
An example of one of the draft graphical depictions of the business as- usual vs. optimistic-but-technically-achievable futures for ocean social-ecological systems, being developed for the key Future Seas challenge “Warming world, changing ocean: mitigation and adaptation to support resilient marine systems” led by Rowan Trebilco.
BUILDING CAPACITY TO PROVIDE SKILLS AND SOLUTIONS FOR INDUSTRY, GOVERNMENT AND THE COMMUNITY
M A R I N E S O C I O E C O LO GY. O R G
University of TasmaniaInstitute of Marine and Antarctic StudiesCSIRO Department of the Environment
© copyright Centre for Marine Socioecology 2021
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