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On Friday, Oct. 25, participants work on regional approaches. Carole Martinez (IUCN), who together with David Johnson (Seascape Consultants) is facilitator for this final day in Marseille, tells us why.
Why emphasize collective approaches at the end of this congress?
Of course we share one planet and essentially one ocean. Migratory species have always known this, and research brings this point home every day. Scientists who study oceanic current patterns help us to understand, for instance, why coral grows here and not there, even when conditions appear similar. Answer: coral larvae travel. Now climate change is altering current patterns. Other global threats, such as ocean acidification, require a collective approach. This is what the congress is all about: finding solutions to address common issues, not just over one week, but day in, day out.
So why get emphasize the regional scale?
Because regions are an appropriate framework for effective action. This derives from the fact that regions are basins with a natural unity – geographically, biologically – but also from social factors: they already have strong economic and political integration. We must now make regional cooperation sustainable, which means taking ecological services into account.
Why did you choose to use the term "approach" in today's title, rather than "network" or "convention"?
Because we want to encompass both – as well as many other, perhaps less official, initiatives at the regional level. Regional seas conventions are essential, but civil society and MPA managers themselves also provide the impetus for valuable regional projects. All regional players need to coordinate their effort, a success story being provided here in the Mediterranean, where the Barcelona Convention and MedPAN work hand in hand.
What are your expectations for today?
I hope for more synergy between major regional institutions and other regional players.
Ultimately, I hope human networks will be broadened and deepened, so as to better reflect the interconnectedness of ecological networks.