Marine protected areas can be great for both people and the marine ecosystem. The most effective areas, Jessica Tengvall writes, has community support.
With fossil fuel emissions continuing unabated, relying purely on natural carbon sinks to temper our emissions may no longer be an option. For a number of years, researchers, policy makers, and commercial ventures have been looking to increase carbon storage options - including geoengineering of the oceans.
As human population grows, more and more demands are being placed on the coastal and ocean environment. Over half of the World’s human population currently lives at the coast, a figure that is projected to rise to 70% by 2020. Historically human use of the ocean was largely in the realm of fisheries or transport but today one can find other industries operating in the ocean such as oil and aggregate extraction as well as recreational use. In an increasingly crowded ocean and coastal environment, conflict between users becomes more common place. What is more, our understanding of how seemingly separate activities inland can have an impact on ocean and coastal environments. The traditional single-sector management approach is no longer sufficient. Today local communities, nongovernmental organizations, private industry, and all levels of government play a role in managing human use of the oceans and the coast. The need for integrated forms of management is widely recognised and can be seen in international law and agreements, such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the Convention for Biological Diversity.