The EBM Toolbox

Our regular feature "The EBM Toolbox", produced by the EBM Tools Network, is on hiatus this issue. It will resume in our next issue (October-November 2010). In the meantime, you may learn about EBM tools and sign up for Network updates at

Lessons from Packard Foundation's EBM Initiative

From 2004 to 2009, one of the main dedicated sources of funding for coastal and marine EBM projects worldwide was the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The foundation's EBM Initiative aimed to strengthen the science of ecosystem-based management and help move it from academic discussion into practice. Over its five-year span, the initiative distributed US $32 million in grants to dozens of projects that assembled knowledge on EBM, developed tools to implement it, and improved communications and community-building in the EBM field. (MEAM was one of the grant recipients.) The program also funded several regional projects to implement EBM – in the Western Pacific, the Gulf of California, and along the central California coast.

Although the initiative came to a close last year, EBM continues to be an important thread throughout Packard's marine conservation strategies. The foundation has released a report documenting its EBM Initiative, including case studies of the regional projects and a series of lessons on EBM gained through its grantees' experience. These lessons, described in detail in the report, are:

  1. EBM looks different in different places.
  2. The initial scale and scope of an EBM project is less important than a commitment to fully understand and sustain the ecosystem.
  3. Early investments in natural science can improve decision-making in EBM, but understanding and addressing the social dynamics of the ecosystem are equally important.
  4. Practical applications should drive the development and focus of EBM-related science.
  5. EBM is likely to benefit from the practical adaptation of scientific concepts from other areas of environmental management and conservation.
  6. Experimentation with tools over the past five years has catalyzed broad interest and generated promising examples of how tools that match user needs can yield benefits in practice.
  7. Creating "communities of practice" can help speed progress in EBM.

The Synthesis Report for the Ecosystem-Based Management for Sustainable Coastal-Marine Systems Initiative was authored by Kristin Sherwood, Elizabeth Chornesky and Beach Codevilla. It is available at

Guide for EBM in tropical Western Pacific

The Wildlife Conservation Society has published a guide to conducting EBM in the tropical Western Pacific region. Featuring five case studies (three from Fiji, one from Palau, one from Indonesia), the publication describes several supporting principles for EBM and a 10-step process for planning and implementation. The guide seeks to inform and influence conservation practice in the tropical Western Pacific, while sharing lessons from the region with conservation practitioners around the world, particularly in developing nations. The report Principles and Practice of Ecosystem-Based Management is at

Declaration at fishers forum embraces marine spatial planning

Attendees of the Fifth International Fishers Forum – held 3-5 August, 2010, in Taipei, Taiwan – agreed to a declaration that recognizes the important role of marine spatial planning in resource conservation and calls for participation of the commercial fishing industry in spatial planning efforts. The "Taipei Declaration" is at Approximately 300 people representing fishing industry, governments, academia, and conservation organizations participated in the conference.

Report shows EBM in practice in US marine sanctuaries

A new report published by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration presents eight cases of EBM in practice, all at sites within the country's system of National Marine Sanctuaries. Each case shows how EBM principles have been implemented in sanctuary-specific management and planning documents, co-management strategies, stakeholder engagement efforts, or marine spatial planning. The US Office of National Marine Sanctuaries manages more than 380,000 km2 of marine and freshwater systems across 14 sites. The report Examples of Ecosystem-based Management in National Marine Sanctuaries: Moving from Theory to Practice is at

Case studies on climate change adaptation

A searchable database of more than 100 case studies on managing natural systems to adapt to climate change is now online at Many of the case studies pertain to coastal and marine ecosystems. The database and website are provided by the Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange project (CAKE), a joint initiative of Island Press and EcoAdapt.

Website: Second International Marine Conservation Congress

The website for the Second International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC2) is now online at The meeting will be held 14-18 May 2011 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The deadline for submitting proposals for symposia, workshops, and focus groups is 31 August 2010. More than 1200 individuals attended the First International Marine Conservation Congress, held in Washington, DC, in May 2009.

Global mangrove atlas released

The first global assessment of mangroves in more than 10 years highlights the importance of, and threats to, mangrove ecosystems worldwide. It also documents current programs to restore mangroves for the multiple ecosystem services they provide humans – including flood defense, fish nurseries, and carbon storage to combat climate change. The World Mangrove Atlas is available for US $99.95 at A press release with the atlas's main findings is available for free at

Website for Atlas of Patagonian Sea

A new website allows users to browse maps displaying an array of oceanographic and ecological features of the Patagonian Sea, which spans from southern Brazil to southern Chile. The website complements the Atlas of the Patagonian Sea: Species and Spaces, published in 2009. The atlas and website feature satellite-tracking data for 17 species of marine animals, and are intended to inform regional policy on fisheries and maritime transportation. The website address is

New map displays marine ecosystems, MPAs in North America

The latest map released for the North American Environmental Atlas uses Google Earth to display the continent's marine ecosystems, marine protected areas, and ranges of various marine species of concern. It is available at The Atlas was created by the Commission on Environmental Cooperation, a tri-national institution that enhances cooperation among Canada, the US, and Mexico on environmental policy.