Marine ecosystem restoration: new knowledge and future challenges

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Roberto Danovaro, Cristina Gambi, Nadia Papadopoulou, Anthony Grehan, Christoffer Boström, Johan van de Koppel, Joaquim Garrabou, Simonetta Fraschetti, Telmo Morato, Andrew K. Sweetman, Chris McOwen, Trine Bekkby, Jan P.M. van Tatenhove, Ronan Long, Stephen Hynes, Wenting Chen, David Billett, Eva Ramirez-Llodra, Silvia Bianchelli, Martina Milanese

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We are in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, we aim at “prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide”. This is particularly urgent for marine ecosystems, which are subjected to unprecedent levels of human impact. Restoration has been a key action in the Aichi Biodiversity Target and in the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14: “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development” by addressing target 14.2 to “by 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration, to achieve healthy and productive oceans”. Ecosystem restoration in marine ecosystems has taken its first steps in the last years in EU projects as MERCES and AFRIMED, gaining new scientific knowledge for several marine ecosystems, as seagrass, macroalgal forests, coral forests, stony corals and deep-sea. Today, new scientific results, technologies and protocols are available, but a concerted effort is required to scale up the effort on a wide geographical area and at basins scale, across different marine ecosystems, from the coastal vegetated habitats to the dark deep ocean, also to face global climate change. There is the need for integrated environmental management actions for the preservation and restoration of habitats and key species based on the best scientific knowledge. Marine ecosystem restoration can stimulate and enhance social awareness about the need of marine restoration measures, promoting and putting in place economically and ecologically sustainable restoration actions.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program