To support the implementation of the Ecosystem Based approach to Management (EBM), ICES strives to provide evidence-based scientific advice and relevant management options that also assess potential trade-offs among sectors or between environmental status and human uses. To help achieve this, the Workshop on Challenges, Opportunities, Needs and Successes in including human dimensions in Integrated Ecosystem Assessments (IEAs) (WKCONSERVE) focused on economic, social, and interdisciplinary research and data needed to inform on the societal drivers and objectives of marine resource use as context for advice. More specifically, the workshop goals were to a) summarize social and economic data, indicators and relevant research done across ICES IEA regions and other IEA regions, b) Identify goals for including social and economic data and analyses in different IEAs, and c) to develop a roadmap for including social and economic data and analyses in IEAs, identifying common needs across groups and unique priorities of each region.
Discussion across IEA groups made clear that while great strides have been made in ICES IEA groups to identify and provide important ecological measures relevant to EBM, far less attention has been given to providing comparable economic and social information. WKCONSERVE identified a number of practical steps to take to include more societal measures relevant to EBM. These differ among regions, depending on data availability and ecosystem context, and are detailed in IEA roadmaps developed during the workshop. However, in general, the first step involves including social scientists in the IEA groups. Key topics and data for each IEA region were identified. It was, however, repeatedly noted that more interaction with stakeholders will help both IEA and human dimensions Expert Groups to better develop research and data collection efforts to address stakeholder needs. A lack of funding is a key obstacle to the development of IEAs, both regarding science and advisory products.
It is now up to each IEA group to use the developed roadmaps to include the human dimension in IEAs. Furthermore, to support the development of methods for integration, follow-up workshops should be organized on a regular basis (e.g. every other year).
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