ICES Annual Science Conference 2023

Theme session H

Future Integrated Ecosystem Assessments 

Tuesday 12 September
10:30–12:00 and 13:00–15:30
Room 0C
​​​​​​​​​​Integrated Ecosystem Assessments (IEAs) synthesise and evaluate information on physical, chemical, ecological, human and environmental process affecting ecosystems. By doing so, IEAs contribute to reporting on the state of the environment and underpin guidance on meeting ecological, social and economic objectives. The goal of IEA is also to prepare and alert managers to upcoming changes that can affect ecosystems and human activities that depend on them.

IEAs often resemble wicked problems that can push us outside our comfort zone. What is the theory behind IEAs? Why do different IEA groups take different approaches? How do we make sure that an IEA considers relevant ecological, social, economic and institutional (ESEI) objectives? Which information should be taken in or left out of an IEA? How do we integrate climate change in IEAs? How can we perform IEAs in data-limited and resource-limited situations? How can IEAs inform us about possible futures? How do we ensure that IEAs lead to advisory products that are useful and used?  

The session is proposed to help facing these challenges by focusing on IEA objectives (ESEI), methods and tools to perform IEAs, translation of IEAs into advice, and consideration of future ecosystem states in IEAs. We will cover a broad range of IEA-related topics to facilitate knowledge exchange based on best practices and lessons learned, as well as to inspire future progress by identifying challenges, opportunities and recent innovations.  

Talks are invited on all aspects of IEA from within ICES community and beyond, such as:

  • practical aspects and method development
  • stakeholder engagement
  • inclusion of indigenous knowledge
  • communication of best practices
  • forecasting and fore sighting

Challenges to be addressed include inter alia practical aspects of moving beyond a focus on fisheries, integrating across spatial scales, operatio​nalising IEA under limited resources, and strengthening the theoretical foundations of IEAs.

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Benjamin Planque (Norway)
Paulina Ramírez-Monsalve (Norway) 
Carolyn Faithfull (Sweden)​
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Theme session H

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