The Collaborative Institute

Building Connections

August 2, 2011
by The Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security (CIOCS)
0 comments

National Ocean Policy

National Ocean Policy

Vision Statement

“An America whose stewardship ensures that the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes are healthy and resilient, safe and productive, and understood and treasured so as to promote the well being, prosperity, and security of present and future generations.”

Nine National Priority Objectives

1. Ecosystem-Based Management

2. Coastal and marine Spatial Planning

3. Inform Decisions and Improve Understanding

4. Coordinate and Support

5. Resiliency and Adaptation to Climate Change and Ocean Acidification

6. Regional Ecosystem Protection and Restoration

7. Water Quality and Sustainable Practices on Land

8. Changing Conditions in the Arctic

9. Ocean, Coastal, and Great Lakes Observations, Mapping, and Infrastructure

June 30, 2011
by The Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security (CIOCS)
0 comments

Food Security and Climate Change

At CIOCS we are working to make connections between climate change, human security and the world’s oceans. Recently, there’s been plenty of news about our warming planet and the impact this has on food security, which relates directly to human security. As Justin Gillis shows in this NY Times article from early June, consumption of basic food items is increasing while production is stagnant or even decreasing. This difference leads to higher food prices, which has a direct impact on social conditions and can lead to volatile situations, as seen in recent years. As Gillis articulates, science has helped show that climate change is helping to destabilize the food system. As climate changes, so do weather patterns. Changing “norms” mean that agriculture has to adapt, while extreme weather and natural disasters disrupt production altogether. All of these changes have put an increased strain on water supplies and on the farmers themselves. The article demonstrates how agricultural production has changed in past decades, often in response to changing technology and demands. As agricultural demands and climate change, people worldwide may experience more unstable social conditions, such as poverty, food or water shortages, or even violence.

Thomas Friedman’s recent Op-Ed piece helps put this increased strain in another light. He breaks down a recent book by Paul Gilding, a veteran Australian environmentalist-entrepreneur, called The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World. Gilding’s work shows that currently humans are using about 1.5 earths at the current global growth rates. However, we only have one planet. Essentially, we’re working at 150% of our sustainable capacity. Gilding helps show how changes are connected:

“If you cut down more trees than you grow, you run out of trees,” writes Gilding. “If you put additional nitrogen into a water system, you change the type and quantity of life that water can support. If you thicken the Earth’s CO2 blanket, the Earth gets warmer. If you do all these and many more things at once, you change the way the whole system of planet Earth behaves, with social, economic, and life support impacts. This is not speculation; this is high school science.”

In a follow-up article, Gillis poses the question, based on all the information given in the first article: “What do we need to do?” He provides a run-down of ongoing research and projects that are helping to determine answers to that very question. Specifically, he mentions the Beddington Report which examines the need for increased intensive agricultural, but with respect to economically and environmentally sustainable practices. Science and agriculture are working to determine how things are changing and what can be done to adapt or possibly turn things around.

As all of these articles demonstrate, the changing climate has a direct impact on human life and security, by impacting food supplies and the ability to sustain life through agriculture. Just as importantly, these changes impact oceans on earth, as well. 53% of the United States population lives in coastal areas, and many of those residents depend directly on the oceans for their livelihood and personal consumption. Even those who do not live near the coast depend on the oceans for food and other needs. The effects of climate change on weather patterns, the oceans, and, subsequently, human life can be seen in recent events. These events have many lessons to offer regarding preparation and adaptation for human and food security.

June 15, 2011
by The Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security (CIOCS)
0 comments

Joint Ocean Commission Initiative Leadership Council Releases New Report

The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative Leadership Council has released a new report that calls upon leaders to support implementation of the National Ocean Policy. America’s Ocean Future: Ensuring Healthy Oceans to Support a Vibrant Economy identifies four fundamental components that will ensure effective implementation:

  • Coordination of federal agency policies and activities with state, regional, tribal and local entities for collaborative reform and efficient decision-making in a transparent manner
  • Increased availability and improved collection of high-quality science and information to local, state, regional, and national entities for informed decision-making
  • Implementation of policies that allow for “protection and enhancement of sustainable economic benefits from ocean, coastal, and Great Lake resources”
  • Investment in implementing the National Ocean Policy and strategies to ensure consistent funding for “ocean and coastal science, management, and restoration, including development of a dedicated ocean investment fund”

The report offers recommendations based upon these four overarching components, which will allow the Joint Initiative to complete an assessment in the future on implementation and efficacy of the policies, investment and information made available as a result. The Joint Initiative recognizes the economic austerity the United States is currently experiencing, but acknowledges the long-term economic benefits of increased investment and acting now to implement the National Ocean Policy. Investing in education, research and policy implementation now will result in better economic circumstances and quality of life later. The report calls for a collaborative effort at all levels of government to “ensure the health of the critical ocean resources on which so many Americans depend for their livelihoods and quality of life.”

To view the Join Ocean Commission Report, visit their website at www.jointoceancommission.org.

December 1, 2010
by The Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security (CIOCS)
0 comments

UMB Team Depicts Potential Coastal Flooding in Boston

As a coastal city built mainly on landfill, relative sea level rise will be one of Boston’s greatest climate change challenges. Along will rising tides and “sinking” land, more frequent and violent storms are likely to occur as climate changes affect weather patterns.  The combination of these factors (in addition to other challenges) are likely to make many parts of the city extremely vulnerable to flooding from storm surges. Storm surge flood maps, developed by Environmental, Earth and Ocean Sciences faculty member, Dr. Ellen Douglas, and colleague Chris Watson, of Urban Harbors Institute, are being used as a tool to educate communities about the challenges ahead and adaptation tools. You can read about their work, and view one of their maps, in the Boston Globe.

To get more info on events and other news, sign up for the CIOCS listserv by emailing CIOCS@umb.edu.

 


 

Skip to toolbar