An opportunity to describe FEC in the LME arena | Valerie Cummins & Jeremy Gault
The primary objective of the Annual Meeting was to provide global forum for GEF-funded and other marine and coastal practitioners, leaders and institutions, aimed at sharing experiences and lessons with respect to ecosystem-based governance. The LME Annual Meeting contributes to the development of the LME Partnership by engaging marine, coastal management, biodiversity and coastal climate change adaptation project leaders in meeting that objective, in accordance with the recently established GEF LME: Learn project. More specifically, the meeting aims at:
– Fostering a mutually supportive global network of leaders and institutions engaged in marine and coastal ecosystem based management by providing a forum for project (LME , ICM, MPA, MSP, others) leaders to discuss experiences and lessons learned;
− Mobilizing knowledge resources, new scientific applications and tools to support project implementation and organizational action related to priority knowledge topics;
− Reviewing marine and coastal project progress in regions, disseminating best practices amongst projects, and discussing emerging issues requiring common responses; and
− Sharing lessons learned from existing efforts with regard to the LME Governance project priorities (i.e. regional networks, capacity building training and twinning) and identify future priorities to help guide the implementation of the project.
The meeting was also to provide an opportunity to discuss the contribution of GEF and other marine projects to the implementation of the Agenda 2030, particularly SDG 14 as well as other SDGs, in light of the forthcoming UN Conference on SDG 14 implementation to take place in June 2017.
Valerie Cummins, SSC Co-Chair and Jeremy Gault (MaREI Research Co-ordinator – Coastal and Marine Systems) of the IPO participated in this large meeting with circa 130 participants from around the world. It was an excellent opportunity to learn about the LME effort. Fisheries, EBM and MPA featured heavily. Ocean acidification and blue economy are emerging issues for the LME community.
Valerie got a speaking slot during the session on Data and Information for Ecosystem Based Management. This provided a platform to describe FEC in details to the LME community and make them more aware of Future Earth. An invitation was issued to the community to partner with us in our Coastal Futures work, as well as promoting the Ocean Acidification workshop in February as an example of how we can facilitate capacity building and collaborative working.We made some additional connections which we can connect to future indicator work.
Identifying key champions from the LMEs to partner with remains a key challenge however a start has been made, significant contacts have been established and by nurturing these relations ships there is a positive inclination to keep things moving forward.
A next step is to run a Coastal Futures methodology workshop co-hosted by FEC and UNESCO in the Spring of 2017. More details on this to follow in the New Year.
Another outcome of this meeting has been an invitation to present at a webinar, facilitated by NOAA, in January, following interventions on the topic of Blue Economy. This will be as part of a monthly webinar series with EBM Tools Network and OpenChannels on MPAs and related issues. Watch this space.
A special issue of Environmental Development Journal on LMEs has recently been published, including a policy commentary , which may be of interest to you: