IMBIZO 6: Marine Biosphere Research: Buoyant Solutions for Ocean Sustainability
The sixth in the IMBIZO series will be held virtually from 18-22 October 2021.
IMBeR aims to promote and enable interdisciplinary marine research and governance to achieve improved prediction of, adaptation to and mitigation of global change, in order to transition towards ocean sustainability.
The topics to be addressed during IMBIZO6 will progress this aim and showcase the positive, ‘buoyant’ solutions for ocean sustainability being discussed and implemented throughout the world.
Global change (including global warming, sea level rise and ocean acidification), driven by human-derived increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), poses one of the greatest threats to ocean health and human well-being. In order to limit global warming to 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels, almost 20 billion tonnes of CO2 might need to be removed from the atmosphere each year until 2100. Workshop 1 investigates whether the vast oceans could and should play a role in this climate mitigation. Several ocean-based atmospheric CO2 removal strategies have been proposed, but major questions still remain as to their efficiency and the environmental risks or benefits and economic costs associated with them. Transparent community engagement to gauge public and political perception and development of new governance or regulatory instruments may be needed. This workshop will integrate these ecological, economic, societal and regulatory aspects.
Human activity in the ocean is set to increase, with the growing importance of the ‘blue economy’. The impact of increased human activity on marine ecosystems that are already compromised by pollution, over-fishing and climate change, makes the need for sustainable management crucial. Predictions that reflect seasonal to decadal changes and also include society as both a component of the system and an actor of governance, would allow for management approaches to be adjusted according to local conditions, enabling longer term sustainability. Workshop 2 will assess and progress strategies to develop and test the integration of the human dimension into decadal coupled physical-ecological prediction systems.
In addition to predicting and mitigating the risks of global change to marine biodiversity and the livelihoods of coastal communities, national adaptation strategies are required to increase socio-ecological resilience. Governance approaches for ocean climate adaptation include establishment of marine protected areas, ecological restoration and marine spatial planning. Workshop 3 will compare and contrast local, regional and national governance approaches to ocean climate adaptation in order to share best practise and help implement adaptive ocean governance.
IMBeR is committed to promoting ocean literacy and geographic, gender and generational diversity. To this end, IMBIZO6 and the Early Career Researchers’ event will also include a range of participatory activities including capacity building, mentoring and exchanging successful examples of increasing diversity and inclusion.
IMBIZO6 will follow the usual format with three concurrent but interacting workshops:
Workshop 1: Exploring potential marine options for climate intervention.
Co-Conveners: Ulf Riebesell (Germany), Philip Boyd (Australia), David Koweek (USA).
Workshop 2: Lighting the ‘grey zone’: how can we integrate human dimensions in decadal-scale prediction systems?
Co-Conveners: Marion Gehlen (France), Désirée Tommasi (United States), Jess Melbourne-Thomas (Australia).
Workshop 3: Ocean governance and climate adaptation: comparing responses, charting future courses.
Co-Conveners: David VanderZwaag (Canada), Thorsten Blenckner (Sweden), Karen Evans (Australia) and Samiya Selim (Bangladesh).
Keynote Speaker: Clement Yow Mululap – Legal Advisors for the Permanent Mission of the Federated States of Micronesia to the United Nations.