People and their livelihoods are part of the ecosystem and as such must be understood and assessed. However, social metrics for ecosystem overviews and integrated ecosystem assessments (IEAs) are not readily available for most ICES regional seas and member countries. One key type of metric is indicators. These have been used for many years to monitor the sustainability of fish stocks and the status of other marine ecological components. Social indicators can be a powerful tool to expand ecosystem modelling and assessment to include the social dimension.
WGSOCIAL will assist in coordinating development of social-ecological models for ecosystems, as well as social indicators for monitoring and assessment. This will be achieved both within WGSOCIAL and through collaboration with other groups in and outside of ICES.
WGSOCIAL is working to identify and report on social indicators and data gaps that point to priorities for data collection, research, institutional needs, and training in all member countries; and where possible propose systems to collect missing data. These WGSOCIAL efforts will support the provision of social indicators to complement economic and ecological ones and enhance the quality of ecosystem assessments, including IEAs.
Photo by Fredrik Ohlander on Unsplash