Addressing Challenges of Coastal Communities through Ocean Research for Developing Economies (ACCORD).

Lead Research Organisation: National Oceanography Centre
Department Name: Science and Technology

Abstract

Addressing Challenges of Coastal Communities through Ocean Research for Developing Economies (ACCORD).

The coastal and marine environments of South East Asia and the Western Indian Ocean (the regional foci of ACCORD) are rich and diverse, possessing high levels of biodiversity and productivity. These regions also have hydrate-bearing seafloor sediments and seafloor mineral resources. Coastal ecosystems and the services they provide are under threat from growth in human activities, including the demands of increasing population size (globally, 2 billion people live within 100km of the coast) and global markets, the desire for economic growth, and the less direct impact of global climate change. This affects both the resilience of living resources to pressures and the ecosystem services we derive from them. Many coastal communities depend on nearby coastal and marine resources for their livelihoods and welfare yet lack alternatives when these services deteriorate due to over-exploitation or adverse effects of climate change. A the same time coastal developing nations are looking to the ocean to provide opportunities for sustainable economic growth through resource exploitation (e.g. mineral extraction) and livelihood diversification (e.g. tourism, aquaculture, and blue carbon initiatives) and to support food security (e.g. fisheries and aquaculture). For developing coastal nations the ocean is also an opportunity for diversification of their economies through the production of clean, renewable and unconventional energy and resource exploitation, yet these opportunities need to be balanced carefully against the need to protect habitats and preserve the total value of national resources. The concept of Blue Economy integrates ocean-based economic activities with conservation and sustainable use through effective marine planning.

We identify two overarching development challenges: a) Sustainable growth of, and resilience to change for, the blue economies of partner countries and b) Resilience to natural hazards including impact-based, climate-proof coastal flood warning systems.

Our aim is to deliver high quality science outcomes required to improve the environmental information available to support these challenges in coastal states on the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list of Official Development Aid (ODA) recipients. Identifying and protecting critical habitats from overexploitation, and degradation is the cornerstone of the integrated ocean management required for sustainable blue economies. ACCORD will achieve this firstly by understanding the mechanisms and processes that determine the potential sensitivity or resilience of marine ecosystems to both globally and locally induced environmental change. Secondly, we will use this understanding to determine the environmental and societal consequences of ecosystem change to inform risk assessment, adaptive spatial management and mitigation strategies. Our approach will provide partner countries with an improved capability for integrated and sustainable management of marine activities. This capability will help partner countries to build a resilient marine and coastal socio-ecological system, and support their growing Blue Economies.

Planned Impact

The primary beneficiaries of our research will be the coastal states on the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list of Official Development Aid (ODA) recipients in our two study regions. For the western Indian Ocean region these are Kenya, Mozambique, Madagascar, South Africa and Tanzania; for SE Asia we will be collaborating with Bangladesh, China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The primary beneficiaries are policy makers, resource managers and coastal managers tasked with delivering sustainable management of marine living resources and climate adaptation options (including protection from natural hazards). The benefits are an increased knowledge base and local capability to deliver up-to-date relevant environmental and socio-economic information to deliver evidence-based development plans and adaptation planning.

ACCORD will work in partnership with all identified states (focused by our stakeholder consultations and strategic analyses) to develop resilience to natural hazards and the growth of Blue Economies via supporting decision-makers in identifying ways to adapt to the next century of environmental and climatic stressors. The evidence and tools provided by the research will allow decision makers to better include the needs and values of some of the poorest and most vulnerable groups in future cost-benefit analyses to guide the decision-making process.

Our research will inform and influence policy and management, strategy and technology advances for coastal economies through the following objectives:
(i) to enhance the available environmental information by improving the observations, numerical models and other predictive tools available to determine how ecosystem services are affected by climate change in relation to other endogenic stressors;
(ii) to combine the improved physical and socio-economic data to provide decision support for policy development, planning, coastal zone management and resilience to natural hazards on a range of spatial and temporal scales and hence
(iii) to deliver evidence on the value to local communities of services from key coastal ecosystems in SE Asia and the western Indian Ocean;


Through these case studies we will deliver specific development outcomes at the national scale through government agencies. For example, our sea level work will directly support the development of impact-based, climate-proof coastal flood hazard warning systems in all our partner countries. We will pave the way for the in-state development of fit-for-purpose operational warning systems which allow partner countries to deliver reduced disaster risk measurable under the UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).

The evidence and tools provided by the research will allow decision makers to better protect sustainable growth and deliver resilience to natural hazards and will include the needs and values of some of the poorest and most vulnerable groups in these countries. The work will also leave a legacy of collaborative links and improved capability and capacity for all our partners.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Tim Le Bas & James Strong presented some of the first results of the March 2018 ACCORD fieldwork in Malaysia at the Commonwealth Marine Science event held at NOC on 9 April 2018, demonstrating the capacity of NOC and the ACCORD programme to have a real impact through scientific collaborations in Commonwealth countries. Their work shows that acoustic techniques developed by NOC can be used in Malaysian MPAs with suitable training. This has significant implications for future management of MPAs in developing countries
Exploitation Route The same approach applies in all countries developing MPAs
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

 
Description We have engaged with overseas collaborators and have scoped out the case studies for the remainder of the ACCORD project. Importantly, we have identified the targets for social and economic impact A number of key reports have emerged that assist Capacity Building in the various Case Studies that form a key part of the project 1. "Recommended Operational Guidelines for marine habitat mapping of Malaysian protected sites": document compiled by James Strong and provided to Malaysian partners for use in their habitat mapping programme 2. Data management guidance documents developed by James Strong, Tim Le bas and Claire Postlewhaite, and provided to Malaysian partners to support their habitat mapping programme Case Studies have been developed with our collaborators in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa and Malaysia. We are capacity building in all locations around a broad range of skills including: marine modelling, marine spatial planning, habitat mapping, coastal flood forecasting and marine minerals
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description So far, yet so close: ecological connectivity between ABNJ and territorial waters
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL http://pubs.iied.org/17500IIED/
 
Description Attended PEMSEA ESA meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Attended annual congress of PEMSEA to buidl collaboativie links the SE Asia, most notably in cambodia and in vietnam
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Engagement with Cambodian ministry of the Environment 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact PML scientists with expertise in Remote Sensing, Modelling and Biogeochemical Observations, visited Cambodia December 2018. Meetings were held with the Cambodian Ministry of the Environment deputy director general, and the Ministry's GIS Team to discuss the ACCORD project, and the development of the collaboration. A second series of meetings were held with the Marine Conservation Cambodia (MCC) NGO to discuss the ACCORD project, and the development of the collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description James Strong and Tim Le Bas visited our collaborators in Malaysia (Dr Khaira Ismail) to set up the fieldwork for the MG contribution to the ACCORD programme (17-23 Jan) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact James Strong and Tim Le Bas visited our collaborators in Malaysia (Dr Khaira Ismail) to set up the fieldwork for the MG contribution to the ACCORD programme (17-23 Jan)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Malaysian fieldwork 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Within the framework of the ACCORD programme, Tim Le Bas and James Strong then carried out 3 weeks of fieldwork in March 2018, together with our Malaysian partners. They discovered a new and previously unknown deep reef offshore the island of Pulau Bidong in about 25m of water. The discovery was made during an acoustic multibeam survey of the area and then verified by sidescan sonar imagery. The team sent down the NOC mini-ROV to look at the new reef and confirmed it had major interest for habitat mapping. The University Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), our partners, then sent a diving team to closely view and identify species of hard and soft corals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description MoU with University of Malaysia, Terrenganu 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact A Memorandum of Understanding was developed between UMT and NOC in late 2018 to facilitate further work within the framework of ACCORD
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description PEMSEA East Asian Seas Congress 2018: Exhibition stand showcasing science and research conducted by PML in collaboration with East Asian partners 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Plymouth Marine Laboratory is a Partner of PEMSEA and had an exhibition stand throughout the PEMSEA East Asian Seas Congress, where the research activities of PML in the Southeast Asia region were highlighted in particular the GCRF Blue Communities programme, ACCORD project and other activities . The exhibition stand was managed by several members of staff from PML including the GCRF Blue Communities programme (Prof. Austen, Dr. Loveday, Dr. Cheung) as well as ACCORD (Prof. Allen) and other staff from PML (Dr. Evers-King). Nearly 1000 delegates attended the Congress and visitors to the stand included school groups, undergraduate students, representatives from NGOs, intergovernmental organizations and the Ministers from the East Asia region.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Training workshop in Malaysia 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact James Strong provided expertise in the design, analysis and interpretation of ground truthing data to the habitat mapping team of the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu during a 3-day workshop (2-4 Sept 2018) as part of the ACCORD programme
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018