ICES Annual Science Conference 2024

Theme session E

Developing applied evidence for biodiversity conservation and management

A growing human population and changes in sea and land use are driving exploitation of species, degradation of habitats, pollution, introduction of invasive species and climate change which are fundamentally altering the structure and function of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) and leading to biodiversity loss.

The Convention on Biological Diversity’s Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) underpins global action for conservation. This sets out targets for conservation, restoration and management of threatened and degraded species, habitats and ecosystems by 2030. Meeting these targets whilst enabling productive utilisation of marine ecosystems will require both in situ and ex situ conservation.

Achieving the conservation objectives of the GBF will, amongst other challenges, need clear evidence on the nature, extent and location of human impacts on species and VMEs, understanding on the structure, function and resilience of species and ecosystems, and to define thresholds for impacts. This evidence will be required for large scale ocean protection through to fine scale local conservation and restoration action.

Ecological evidence does not stand alone. It needs to be provided in a manner that fits with the specific decision-making processes, both in terms of format and timeline. Conservation action cannot always wait for the ‘perfect’ ecological evidence to be prepared. Ecological evidence needs to be integrated with social, political, legal, cultural and economic considerations.

The session brings together case studies and research to share best practice, and identify barriers, in generating and providing clear, salient and targeted evidence for applied conservation and management of VMEs to ensure that marine conservation actions and policies are based on robust scientific data and evidence, and that the ocean is effectively managed into the future.​​

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Paul Whomersley (UK)
Andrea Belgrano (Sweden)
Will Le Quesne (UK)​
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Theme session E

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) · Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (CIEM)
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