Human activities cause major threats to marine biodiversity, which has led to the target of protecting at least 10% of the oceans with area-based conservation measures, like marine protected areas (MPAs). Achieving such a global target asks for a profound understanding of how potentially harmful human activities are distributed, as well as their expected impacts. An approach that is being increasingly used to better understand human impact on species and ecosystems is cumulative impact mapping, allowing to identify the possible effects of economic sectors.
Infographic developed by WWF for CoP21 about the relation between climate change and the health of the ocean.
Human pressures on the ocean are thought to be increasing globally, yet we know little about their patterns of cumulative change, which pressures are most responsible for change, and which places are experiencing the greatest increases. Managers and policymakers require such information to make strategic decisions and monitor progress towards management objectives. Here we calculate and map recent change over 5 years in cumulative impacts to marine ecosystems globally from fishing, climate change, and ocean- and land-based stressors.
Reviving the Oceans Economy: The Case for Action - 2015 brings into focus the economic value our oceans represent for this planet, as the future of humanity depends on their healthy living conditions. While figures in the report are a vast underestimation, the economic assets at risk accurately portray the losses we will incur should we continue on the current destructive trajectory.
The promise of Sydney: A strategy of innovative approaches and recommendations to enhance implementation of marine conservation in the next decade
The marine realm – from the shorelines to the high seas -- remains among the world's most poorly protected ecosystems. With human activities increasingly impacting our ocean, this situation must be reversed rapidly to maintain its essential functions and resources. At the VI the IUCN World Parks Congress, participants in the Marine Theme shared inspiring examples of how effectively managed marine protected areas (MPAs) are a key part of the solution and offer the promise of a better future.
Many of Europe’s marine species, habitats and ecosystems have been threatened for decades. As maritime economic activities are predicted to increase in coming years, a new briefing from the European Environment Agency (EEA) argues that the cumulative impact of human activity should be better managed to avoid irreversible damage to ecosystems.
The ocean moderates anthropogenic climate change at the cost of profound alterations of its physics, chemistry, ecology, and services. Here, we evaluate and compare the risks of impacts on marine and coastal ecosystems—and the goods and services they provide—for growing cumulative carbon emissions under two contrasting emissions scenarios. The current emissions trajectory would rapidly and significantly alter many ecosystems and the associated services on which humans heavily depend.
In recent decades, many marine populations have experienced major declines in abundance, but we still know little about where management interventions may help protect the highest levels of marine biodiversity.
The management and conservation of the world's oceans require synthesis of spatial data on the distribution and intensity of human activities and the overlap of their impacts on marine ecosystems. We developed an ecosystem-specific, multiscale spatial model to synthesize 17 global data sets of anthropogenic drivers of ecological change for 20 marine ecosystems. Our analysis indicates that no area is unaffected by human influence and that a large fraction (41%) is strongly affected by multiple drivers.
This report provides a detailed assessment of the status of and threats to the world's coral reefs. It evaluates threats to coral reefs from a wide range of human activities, and includes an assessment of climate-related threats to reefs. It also contains a global assessment of the vulnerability of nations and territories to coral reef degradation.