Over the pastthirty years, the coastal oceans have been severely affected by a wide variety of high-impact human activities. Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is a relatively novel approach to environmental management that considers holistically the complex array of interactions within an ecosystem, including humans, rather than considering single issues, species, or ecosystem services in isolation. Such approach is currently considered to be a reliable toolfor maintainingthe structure and functions of ecosystems. The EBM is based on the scientific knowledge about ecological, social, and economic processes that affect ecosystem-based management and governance of coastal-marine ecosystems. Although recently some progress has been made in the codification of EBM, the scientific community has not yet reached a full sharing of the principles that should guide the management, conservation and monitoring of marine coastal environments. Indeed, though the importance of an ecosystem approach is widely accepted, its application and implementation remain goals not fully achieved, yet. This class will explore the complex interrelationships between coastal and marine natural resources and humans and communities and the ways the strategies of protection of marine biodiversity can help in conciliating ecological and economical sustainability. The focus of this course will be to critically examine the extent to which the ecological principles linking biodiversity, ecosystem functions, goods and services can be reliably and profitably applied for achieving an ecologically and economically sustainable use of marine habitats. Case studies from different areas of the world linked with different uses of marine ecosystems will analyzed and discussed towards the identification of possible implementation measures.
At the end of the course, students will:
Have gained a systematic understanding of the most recent knowledge about the relationships between marine biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and the provision of goods and services to the humans.
Have gained the basic knowledge of marine conservation principles based on an EBM Approach.
Be knowledgeable about the complementary and competing interests that influence the design, implementation and outcome of community-based conservation processes of marine ecosystems.
Have strengthened their abilities in identifying and possibly resolving social conflicts and ecosystem consequences of marine conservation policies and measures.
Class participation and discussion (20%)
Critical examination of bibliographic essays (30%)
Presentation of a plan of management of a marine protected area (50%)
Course outline of lectures