Utilizing Shared Science to Defend Frequent Sources and Bridge Diplomatic Divides

Newswise — Marine species don’t acknowledge worldwide borders or unique financial zones — and a brand new article — “Marine Protected Area Diplomacy with the Caribbean” — within the journal Science & Diplomacy says science targeted on conserving oceanic species and habitats must also transcend these human boundaries.

The attitude, printed by the American Affiliation for the Development of Science (AAAS)’s Heart for Science & Diplomacy, makes use of the interconnectivity of coral reefs within the Caribbean for example of how scientists working collectively can improve conservation advantages for his or her nations, shield Earth’s essential ecosystems and fight local weather change whereas encouraging diplomacy amongst governments.

The article was written by Dr. William Kiene, former science coordinator of the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Workplace of Nationwide Marine Sanctuaries who’s at present a guide to the UN Environmental Programme for the Caribbean, and Dr. Jorge Brenner, Govt Director of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) and former Affiliate Director of Marine Science and Sustainable Fisheries with The Nature Conservancy.

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“Countries have been using marine protected areas to conserve critical oceanic habitats and species for decades,” Brenner mentioned. “But often, management strategies focus only a single protected area within a country’s own borders and not on the bigger international interconnectivity that can be crucial for conservation. Coral reefs in the Caribbean are a great example of this.”

About 25% of the ocean’s fish rely on wholesome coral reefs, utilizing them for shelter, meals, replica and as nursery habitats. However reef advantages transcend supporting wholesome fish populations. Worldwide, over half a billion individuals rely on reefs for meals, earnings, and safety from storm occasions comparable to hurricanes and tropical storms. Within the Caribbean, an estimated 100 million individuals profit from coral reefs, together with 41 million people who find themselves believed to be extremely depending on reefs for meals or their livelihoods.

“Research shows us that the Caribbean reefs are all interconnected,” Brenner mentioned. “To reproduce, corals simultaneously release millions of tiny sperm and eggs, which float on ocean currents until they settle to continue growing. Based on oceanic circulation patterns, we can see that eggs and sperm from a reef in Cuban waters can travel to reefs in the Florida Keys or off Texas and settle there. This interplay is critical for genetic diversity and helps to sustain resilient coral reef communities.”

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Frameworks for nations to work collectively on shared conservation measures exist already.

“In 2015, the U.S. and Cuba signed a joint accord to work together on the research and management of their marine protected areas, but that accord has never been implemented,” Kiene mentioned. “We think it’s time to revive a formal collaboration that recognizes the interdependence of these areas, along with the idea that both the U.S. and Cuba would reap the benefits of working together. And that’s true for the wider Caribbean as well. By engaging in the international science and embracing our common interests, not only will we be protecting the Earth’s special places, we’ll also foster more productive and resilient relationships among nations.”

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