Future Earth Coasts

FEC Fellows Session June 2024 Highlights Advancements in Coastal Sustainability and Climate Adaptation

FEC Fellows Session 2024 offer early- to mid-career researchers strategic career development, professional guidance, and networking opportunities. Held on June 20th, the session titled “Coastal Futures: Advancing Coastal Sustainability and Climate Adaptation” drew together a diverse group of researchers, professionals, and FEC community members dedicated to addressing critical coastal issues.

Dr. Baker Matovu from the Amrita School for Sustainable Futures delivered a presentation on the intersection of marine environment and coastal community vulnerabilities. He emphasized the reliance of coastal communities on small-scale fisheries across Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, stressing the need for sustainable development goals (SDGs) and promoting the blue economy. Dr. Matovu called for urgent measures to address these issues and proposed a transdisciplinary approach to identify coastal risks and develop collaborative actions for equitable and sustainable development. He highlighted challenges such as masculine dominance in the Blue Economy and the importance of engaging coastal communities, especially women, in transformative change through evidence-based interventions.

Following Dr. Matovu, Prof. Pradeep Nair from the Central University of Himachal Pradesh, India, explored how communication media can address the information needs of coastal communities regarding climate change impacts. Prof. Nair emphasized the importance of enhancing understanding and highlighted ecological interventions to support economic stability, climate resilience, and coastal biodiversity conservation. He stressed the significance of on-the-ground work with government, industry, local communities, and NGOs to influence global policies and finance. Prof. Nair’s presentation focused on raising awareness about coastal wetland degradation and promoting conservation practices for blue carbon sequestration. Through research, demonstrations, and advocacy, he aims to inform stakeholders about natural climate solutions for mitigation.

The session also featured engaging discussions and an interactive Q&A, where participants delved into post-COVID-19 community resilience, gender disparities in fishing communities, and economic challenges exacerbated by the pandemic. Dr. Baker highlighted empowering initiatives for women during the crisis, while Prof. Nair stressed the importance of exploring alternative livelihoods beyond traditional practices. FEC Academy Member Prof. Dr. Merle Sowman raised critical governance concerns within the blue economy, emphasizing the gap between policy rhetoric and coastal community realities. Dr. Baker echoed these concerns, emphasizing the need for inclusive governance frameworks to drive sustainable transformations.

The FEC Fellows Session 2024 serves as a pivotal platform for growth, collaboration, and vibrant knowledge exchange. Dedicated to advancing these critical dialogues, FEC is committed to forging a sustainable and resilient future for our coastal communities. In collaboration with researchers from the University of South Carolina, we have developed the Tour de Coasts survey to deepen global insights into coastal sustainability within and beyond the FEC network. This initiative aims to facilitate meaningful knowledge exchange among researchers, practitioners, and communities worldwide, drawing on diverse perspectives from various coastal systems and socio-economic contexts. Join us in shaping the future of our coasts by participating in the Tour de Coasts survey at bit.ly/tour-de-coasts.

Stay tuned for future events and initiatives by visiting our website at https://www.futureearthcoasts.org/.

More From This Category…