Webinars

Upcoming Webinars

Networking urban MPAs to face their diverse and unique challenges

Thursday, February 22, 10 am US EST/7 am US PST/3 pm UTC/4 pm CET. Presented by: Jean-Jacques Goussard and Lilian Wetzel of the MPA Resilience Partnership, Mike De Luca of the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, and Mathieu Ducrocq of the Regional Network of Marine Protected Areas in West Africa (RAMPAO). Description: As coastal populations become more concentrated, many of today’s coastal MPAs will become urban or peri-urban in the next few decades. This urbanization will occur against a backdrop of accelerating climate-related changes. While the concept of sustainable coastal cities is emerging, MPAs in urban contexts and their unique resilience challenges have remained largely on the sidelines of the marine and coastal conservation movement. Given the massive and diverse pressures that urban MPAs face, they are ideal pilot laboratories for marine and coastal resilience building and conservation. The MPA Resilience Partnership is therefore launching a global initiative to network urban MPAs. This webinar will present this innovative initiative and its diverse objectives for the first time and will gather webinar participants’ insights and contributions for this initiative. This initiative has arisen from insights gained from use of R-SAT (the MPA Resilience Self-Assessment Tool) which is currently used by more than a hundred MPAs worldwide.

Mexican Mangrove Monitoring System (SMMM): Knowing to conserve

INTERPRETATION CHANNELS IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH AVAILABLE. Thursday, February 29, 3 pm US EST/Noon US PST/8 pm UTC/2 pm Mexico City. Presented by: SMMM Team of the National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO). Description: Mangroves provide valuable ecosystem services worth billions of dollars. Countries with extensive mangrove areas have implemented management programs and conservation since the 1980s. However, the global area of mangroves continues to decline, and restoration projects and rehabilitation are having limited success, especially at the spatial scales necessary to restore functional properties. The effective long-term monitoring of mangroves is essential to identifying existing and potential threats to and improving the success of restoration and rehabilitation programs. This webinar will present the origin, development, implementation and main results of the Mexican Mangrove Monitoring System (SMMM). The SMMM identifies changes in the mangrove ecosystem through the periodic evaluation of its spatial distribution and the state of its natural and social attributes. The information generated supports the protection, conservation, and management programs of Mexican mangroves.

Vida Manglar Project: Certifying conservation actions to reduce carbon emissions and benefit local communities

INTERPRETATION CHANNELS IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH AVAILABLE. Wednesday, March 6, 3 pm EST (New York City)/Noon PST (Los Angeles, California)/8 pm UTC/2 pm CST (Mexico City)/3 pm COT (Bogotá). Presented by: Paula Cristina Sierra Correa and Anny Paola Zamora Bornachera of INVEMAR. Description: Vida Manglar Project is a joint initiative of local communities and institutions to reduce the effects of climate change and conserve the mangrove ecosystems of the Columbian Caribbean. The project seeks the certification of actions that reduce carbon emissions from the loss of mangrove forests. It has achieved certifications from Verra’s Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Standards, allowing it to enter the carbon credit market. Some of the project’s activities include establishing conservation and restoration agreements with local communities and ranchers and creating alternative livelihoods – such as ecotourism; beekeeping; and participatory monitoring of manatee, caiman, river otters, and birds – for local communities. Project activities benefit 12.000 inhabitants that rely on mangrove forest ecosystem services, 435 families, and 14 mangrove community organizations. As a whole, the project to date has avoided the emission of about 69.000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and aims to avoid the emission of about 930.000 tons CO2 over the next 20 years.

Counting whales from space with SPACEWHALE

Wednesday, March 13, 9 am US EDT/6 am US PDT/1 pm UTC/2 pm CET/8 pm WIB (Jakarta). Presented by: Julika Voss of BioConsult SH. Description: BioConsult’s new service SPACEWHALE counts whales and other wildlife species from space using satellite imagery. These images are screened and evaluated in a semi-automatic process combining state-of-the-art artificial intelligence and quality assurance by marine mammal experts. SPACEWHALE can answer key questions about how many whales of which species inhabit a sea area of interest and when they occur. This allows study of previously unexplored areas and can help accelerate the designation of Important Marine Mammal Areas and Marine Protected Areas, provide environmental impact assessments for offshore wind farm operators, and offer an efficient tool for mandatory baseline monitoring of whale populations. This webinar will provide an overview of SPACEWHALE as well as discuss past projects – including a study in New Zealand comparing the results of SPACEWHALE with those of a boat-based survey – and current projects – including data collection in the Indian Ocean where SPACEWHALE will provide baseline data for the implementation of Important Marine Mammal Areas and Marine Protected Areas. Learn more at https://www.spacewhales.de.

The role of marine protected areas in providing ecosystem services to improve ocean and human health

Tuesday, April 9, 10 am US EDT/7 am US PDT/2 pm UTC/3 pm BST/4 pm CEST. Presented by: Gillian Ainsworth of University of Santiago de Compostela. Description: Marine protected areas (MPAs) are key management tools that contribute to the conservation of marine ecosystems worldwide, increasing the ecosystem services that nature provides to people. These ecosystem services include the release of oxygen, leisure opportunities, cultural inspiration, and the provision of food and medicines that improve the health and well-being of millions of people. In this talk we explain how natural processes and components in MPAs are valued by different groups of people and how we can maximize their effectiveness and avoid negative socio-economic effects such as social conflicts and inequitable distribution of benefits. We recommend that the MPA creation and management decision-making include the collection and integration of interdisciplinary data. This data can be used to develop pluralistic methods of valuation and foster social equity by involving local stakeholders.

Designing and delivering carbon and biodiversity credit schemes to benefit MPA managers, indigenous peoples and local communities

Wednesday, May 22, 11 am US EDT/8 am US PDT/3 pm UTC/4 pm BST. Presented by: Julian Clifton of the University of Lincoln. Description: Carbon and biodiversity credit schemes (often collectively referred to as ‘nature-based solutions’) are increasingly highlighted as a means to deliver on global biodiversity and climate change targets. The total size of the nature-based solutions market is projected to reach around $200 billion by 2050, representing a significant means to address the growing gap in conservation financing in protected areas worldwide. It is imperative, however, to ensure that the design and delivery of monetary or non-monetary benefits (termed co-benefits) arising from such credit schemes involve relevant resource users, including indigenous peoples, on an equitable and just basis. This webinar will introduce the current landscape of biodiversity and credit schemes, identifying the main actors and processes involved. The webinar will identify a suite of principles and criteria which provide a framework for managers and communities within protected areas to evaluate the impacts of credit schemes on local resource users and ensure that co-benefits are tailored to the local social, cultural, political and environmental context. The role of MPA managers as intermediaries in scheme design and implementation will also be highlighted. It is hoped that this webinar will enable MPA managers to work alongside resource users in the co-design and implementation of nature-based solutions schemes to facilitate the long term delivery of appropriate co-benefits to MPAs and their resident communities.

Past Webinars

Mud matters: Understanding the role of ocean sediments in storing carbon

This webinar originally aired on Thursday, February 15, 2024. Presented by: Sara Hutto of the Greater Farallones Association and Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries and Doug George of NOAA. Description: The sediments of the vast ocean floor represent the world’s largest non-fossil pool of organic carbon, yet they are not well-studied or protected. The carbon in these sediments can remain stored for thousands to millions of years; however, activities such as mining, oil and gas exploration, and bottom-contact fishing can disturb sediment, resuspending it into the water column and potentially remineralizing carbon into aqueous CO2. Current understanding of marine sediment carbon along the US West Coast is limited, constraining meaningful management and protection of these critically important carbon sinks. The Greater Farallones Association, in partnership with NOAA Office for Coastal Management (OCM) and NOAA’s Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries, conducted the first systematic evaluation of marine sedimentary carbon stocks in North-central California. This webinar will discuss the importance of marine sediments in global carbon sequestration and storage. It will also present the results of this study, including an estimate of the carbon stock within the Sanctuaries’ marine sediments and identification of carbon “hot-spots” on the seafloor based on a novel spatial model of carbon density.

Blue carbon as a natural climate solution

This webinar originally aired on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 (Australian EDT). Presented by: Peter Macreadie of the Blue Carbon Lab at Deakin University, Australia. Description: Blue carbon ecosystems (BCE), including mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, and tidal marshes, store carbon and provide co-benefits such as coastal protection and fisheries enhancement. Blue carbon sequestration has therefore been suggested as a natural climate solution. In this webinar, the Blue Carbon Lab at Deakin University will examine the potential for BCEs to act as carbon sinks, as well as the opportunities and challenges to protect or restore ecosystems for this function. Touching on local case studies and projects, the webinar will showcase how improving policy and financial approaches, engaging communities, and boosting our science can help operationalize blue carbon to achieve measurable changes to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, provide multiple co-benefits, and address national obligations associated with international agreements.

Using oral histories to improve MPA planning and management

This webinar originally aired Thursday, January 18,2024. Presented by: Nicola Johnstone of New South Wales Department of Primary Industries Fisheries Marine Strategy Implementation. Description: Marine protected areas (MPAs) have been used for decades to conserve biological diversity and ecological systems, underpinned by knowledge gained from natural science disciplines. However, little consideration has been given to understanding the human element. Oral histories as a research methodology can help address this. They can contribute significant new knowledge and insights to the planning and management of an MPA, and through the research process, build relationships with community, improve trust, and bridge the people-environment-management divide. This was demonstrated in the Solitary Islands Marine Park (SIMP) in northern New South Wales, Australia. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with seventy people from varied backgrounds who have a relationship with the SIMP. Three key themes were explored: the process to declare the SIMP, how and why people connect to the SIMP, and changes in the SIMP observed over time. This webinar will illustrate the substantial benefits of using oral history for MPA planning and management and will provide tips and best practices for using oral histories as a research methodology.

Addressing challenges for valuing, financing, and managing seagrass ecosystem services through locally-led valuation approaches

This webinar originally aired on Thursday, January 18, 2024. Presented by: Chloe King of the University of Cambridge. Description: Blue carbon ecosystems, such as seagrass, capture and store high quantities of carbon dioxide and provide a range of other benefits to coastal communities by supporting fisheries, sheltering coastlines, and filtering water. Yet these ecosystems continue to be underfunded and insufficiently represented in marine management policy. Recent research explored the challenges and opportunities for valuing, financing, and managing seagrass ecosystem services through a systematic map of 56 studies and surveys and interviews with 84 conservation professionals. Results show that in both literature and in practice, monetary and biophysical ecosystem service value indicators are more prevalent than socio-cultural indicators; instrumental values prevail over intrinsic and relational values; and academic and anthropocentric knowledge systems and worldviews prevail over Indigenous, local, or ecocentric perspectives. The lack of diverse valuation approaches has led to an over-emphasis on carbon sequestration benefits, despite the infeasibility of carbon financing for small-scale seagrass projects. If seagrass conservation efforts are to succeed at scale, then a range of innovative valuation approaches will be necessary to address equity and justice concerns in enabling community-led initiatives.

Should fishers be paid to fish less?

This webinar originally aired on Wednesday, January 17, 2024. Presented by: Francois Mosnier of Planet Tracker. Description: In many cases, overfishing occurs because fishing companies are financially incentivized to fish as much as they legally can. But what if these incentives were reversed? Planet Tracker’s award-winning ‘Blue Recovery Bond’ concept shows that paying fishing companies to fish less could be both financially and environmentally rewarding. Planet Tracker is now identifying the areas where this concept could be piloted. This webinar will explain how a Blue Recovery Bond works, how to identify a good candidate fishery, and outline the eligibility criteria Planet Tracker has developed. The audience will be invited to comment on the methodology and provide examples of areas of interest.

A Groundbreaking New Approach to Tsunami Detection and Warning

This webinar originally aired on Wednesday, January 10, 2024. Presented by: Louise Comfort of the University of Pittsburgh and Lee Freitag of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Description: Tsunamis are infrequent but terrifying hazards for coastal communities. Difficult to predict, they materialize with little warning, claiming thousands of lives and causing billions of dollars in damage. Developing countries cannot afford costly underwater cable systems, and governments and relief organizations have been forced to rely on flawed warning systems such as deep-sea buoys. Now, a groundbreaking new approach to tsunami detection and warning, which relies on low-cost underwater sensors and networks of smartphone communication, has changed the equation. Developed by an international, interdisciplinary team of researchers, this approach allows at-risk coastal communities to have an economically viable, scientifically sound means to protect themselves. Learn about the science behind this new approach in this webinar with Louise Comfort and Lee Freitag. Discover how this new sociotechnical approach could alert residents to impending tsunami threats in near-real time and how the approach could apply to all coastal cities at risk of tsunamis, sea-level rise, storm surges, and other hazards.

The global state of seascape restoration: Progress, needs, and opportunities

This webinar originally aired on Tuesday, December 12, 2023. Presented by: Giulia Costa-Domingo and Rowana Walton of the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Description: At least EUR3.35 billion, across 237 projects, has been invested in seascape restoration since 2015. The recent report Endangered Seascapes: Progress, needs and opportunities for seascape restoration by the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) reveals the locations, primary sources of funding, and beneficiaries of large-scale marine and coastal restoration efforts taking place around the world. It focuses on large, “seascape”-scale projects, recognising the importance of integrated approaches to the use and conservation of coastal and marine socio-ecological systems. The report synthesises the findings from a project, commissioned by Arcadia, which reviewed a non-comprehensive list of seascape restoration projects to provide a high-level overview of the state of seascape restoration that can support evidence-based restoration funding and planning. This webinar will cover the major findings from the project’s report and accompanying database which are both available online for free and contain a high-level analysis of marine restoration work undertaken from 2015-2022.

A New Tool for Identifying Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures (OECMs)

This webinar originally aired on Tuesday, November 28, 2023. Presented by: Johnny Briggs and Felipe Paredes of the IUCN OECM Specialist Group. Description: Many sites – termed other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) – make a vital contribution to the conservation of biodiversity, even though they are not protected areas. In 2022, OECMs were included among the ways that parties could fulfill their commitment to conserve 30% of the Earth under the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. To assist government officials, land managers, and conservationists, IUCN WCPA recently published a step-by-step site level tool for identifying OECMs. This tool allows an assessor to determine if a site meets the Convention on Biological Diversity definition and criteria of an OECM. For sites which do not currently meet all the criteria, the tool serves to highlight areas where further information or improvements in governance and management are required.

The MPA Health Tracker tool: Measuring, tracking, and communicating MPA performance in real time

This webinar originally aired on Wednesday, October 25, 2023. Presented by: Christine Ward-Paige of eOceans. Description: Marine protected areas, and all ocean management areas, urgently need to work. Measuring, tracking, and communicating performance in real-time is necessary to iterate towards success. A participatory framework — integrating technology, cloud-computing, and big data processing with purpose-built maps, analytics, and algorithms, and an ethical approach to data sharing — can help. The eOceans app and analytics platform were specifically designed to host the MPA Health Tracker and MPA Health Score. These tools provide both in-depth and high-level assessments of MPAs across social, biological, and anthropogenic dimensions, accessible to all stakeholders, rightsholders, and decision makers. The system was created to break down silos and enable collaborative MPA performance tracking to facilitate smart actions in a timely and united way.

Developing Offshore Wind in US Waters Part 2: Offshore Wind Development and the Structure and Function of Marine Ecosystems

This webinar originally aired on Thursday, September 21, 2023. Presented by: Jon Hare of the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center. Description: The pace, scale, and magnitude of offshore wind development in the US and around the globe is increasing rapidly. Countries are committing to this new ocean use to decarbonize their energy systems and as a goal for economic growth. The scale of this development has moved from small turbines in shallow waters of the North Sea to new technologies that allow for large-scale industrialization in marine ecosystems. This webinar will explore the potential interactions of this growing industry with the structure and function of marine ecosystems and what science is still needed to better understand these interactions.

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