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Eddie Allison

MARINA at IMBeR Future Oceans2

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MARINA at IMBeR Future Oceans2

Former and current MARINA lab members are in Brest, France at the IMBeR Future Oceans2 Open Science Conference.

Eddie gave a keynote speech on the blue economy and the future of the oceans. He will also give a talk on social ecological systems. Zelin Chen presented a lightning talk on Chinese crab fisheries management, and Hannah Bassett and Zach Koehn are scheduled to present later in the conference.

UW is also represented at Future Oceans2 by Ben Fitzhugh, of UW's Anthropology Department
and George Hunt of SAFS, and by former SMEA/MARINA alum Ben Everard.

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Blue Paper for the High Level Panel on the Future Ocean Economy

Eddie is currently leading a 'blue paper' on 'The human relationship with our ocean planet' for the High Level Panel on the Future Ocean Economy.

The panel is composed of world leaders developing solutions for maintaining Ocean “health and wealth” from the perspectives of policy, governance, finance, and technology. The panel sees these solutions as critical for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), and encourages collaborative, interdisciplinary work around the globe.

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Five community characteristics that increase adaptive capacity in the face of climate change

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Five community characteristics that increase adaptive capacity in the face of climate change

This past week, Professor Allison co-authored a new paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change. 

The paper, led by Josh Cinner, proposes an approach to increasing tropical coastal communities' ability to adapt to climate change through five domains. While governments, development agencies, and civil society have made substantial investments in minimizing the impact of climate change on human well-being, to date, these investments have been targeted towards a narrow understanding of adaptive capacity. 

Below are the five key community characteristics that Professor Allison and co-authors found increase adaptive capacity of communities. Excerpts beside each characteristic are quotes from the authors originally included in a news piece covering the paper in Science Daily:

  1. Access to assets to draw upon in times of need. "These assets can include household wealth or public goods such as health services, but they need to be developed in ways that don't exacerbate existing inequalities";
  2. Flexibility to change. "Having some flexibility can enable people to minimise losses or even take advantage of climate-related change," said Prof. Eddie Allison... "For example, fishers might need to change fishing grounds or target new species."
  3. Knowledge of climate change effects and adaptation options. "People need to learn about new techniques and strategies that can help them cope with changing circumstances," said Prof. Katrina Brown at the University of Exeter, UK.
  4. Strong social relationships. "The formal and informal relationships that people have with each other and their communities can help them deal with change by providing social support and access to both knowledge and resources," said Prof. Cinner.
  5. Empowerment to make choices for themselves. "We also need to ensure that people have the ability to determine what is right for them," said Prof. Brown."

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Report on integration of fisheries into food security policy presented to UN

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Report on integration of fisheries into food security policy presented to UN

Professor Allison and colleagues have long been advocating for increased consideration of food security in fishery policy and vice versa.  "Fisheries and the oceans are finally being featured in high-level discussions about food security, after years of trying to make the case that fish and seafood are important components of the global food system - and not just a concern for marine conservation or trade discussions," noted Professor Allison. "While that message seems to be getting through, a concern of our FAO partners was that most UN country officers and organizations concerned with food security at national and local levels were not very familiar with fisheries nor how to go about including them in food security planning." 

The past few months have seen some forward momentum on this front as Professor Allison and PhD student, Zach Koehn, worked with FAO staff to provide briefing notes to assist the integration of fisheries into food security policy.  The document was presented to delegates at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's Committee on Global Food Security when it met in Rome in October and was publicly released this month. 

Furthering the work's impact, Zach led the joint MARINA Lab and FAO team in turning this report into a chapter in a forthcoming book on the Oceans in the Anthropocene, edited by Melissa Poe of NOAA and Phil Levin of University of Washington and The Nature Conservancy. The team looks forward to continuing this trajectory and increasing awareness and action toward integration of food security and fishery policy.

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