The Collaborative Institute

Building Connections

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.

October 13, 2010
by The Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security (CIOCS)
0 comments

NCSE Hosts 11th Annual Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment

CIOCS would like to inform you of the following NCSE Conference, at which CIOCS Executive Director Robbin Peach will lead a session on food security. The conference will be January 19-21, 2011, in Washington, DC. Read on or see the Conference Website for more details.

The National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE)’s 11th National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment: Our Changing Oceans will provide a forum to address the crisis facing our oceans, new knowledge and innovative tools to effectively face this challenge, and the policy and governance needed to restore and protect the oceans.

The conference will bring together over 1,200 scientists, professionals, policy makers, university faculty and students, and educated citizens from a wide range of backgrounds to share their perspectives and develop action-oriented recommendations, new initiatives and other outcomes to improve our stewardship of oceans and their resources.

As a conference attendee, you will be an active participant in developing significant and meaningful outcomes.  You will also enjoy opportunities to network and develop new partnerships and collaborations with a wide array of individuals and institutions at the forefront of connecting science to environmental policy and management. This is a one-of-a kind conference with a devoted following and limited space.

The first day will be devoted to the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and its aftermath with prominent speakers from government, industry, science, conservation and affected communities. Days two and three will address eight topic areas:

 1. Oceans and Carbon
 2. Coastal Ocean Change and Potential for Adaptation
 3. Oceans and Living Marine Ecosystems
 4. Oceans and Human Health
 5. Oceans Affect Everyone
 6. Tipping Points
 7. White Arctic/Blue Arctic
 8. Observing and Measuring Ocean Changes for Improved Stewardship 

These themes are woven through key note addresses, plenary sessions, symposia and breakout sessions with diverse expert speakers.

See the Conference Website for a detailed agenda and to download the Conference Brochure. Click Here to Register. Reminder: Early Bird Registration Ends October 15, 2010

Waves of Change Ocean Expo
The Waves of Change Expo is a platform to spotlight cutting-edge programs and initiatives on ocean science, conservation and education to a broad range of attendees.  The two-day expo will be held in the Atrium of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC, January 20-21, 2011. For more info and to sign up, please see the
Waves of Change Ocean Expo page.

Call for Collaborators
Each year, NCSE’s National Conference partners with a diversity of organizations, companies and agencies to extend conference outreach to increasingly broad communities. If you would be interested in collaborating on this level, please fill out the online
Collaborators Application and NCSE will be in touch soon.  

Other Speakers to date:
John Amos, SkyTruth
Don Anderson, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Dan Ayers, Former Executive Director of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustees Council
Reginald Beach, NOAA
Michael Beck, The Nature Conservancy
Linda Birnbaum, National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences
Don Boesch, University of Maryland
Rusty Brainard, NOAA
John Bruno, University of North Carolina
Meg Caldwell, Stanford University
Tracy Collier, NOAA
Rita Colwell, University of Maryland
Sarah Cooley, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Robert Corell, Global Environment and Technology Foundation
Rita Curtis, NOAA/OSTP
J. Emmett Duffy, Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Juliet Eilpren, The Washington Post
Kim Loch Fletcher, Abt Associates
Sherri Goodman, Center for Naval Analysis, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense
Kelly Goodwin, NOAA
Hilary Goodwin, Consortium for Ocean Leadership
Jessica Grannis, Georgetown University
Andrew Gude, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
John Guinotte, Marine Conservation Biology Institute
Carlos Gutierrez, Former Secretary of Commerce and CEO of Kellogg
Lynne Hale, The Nature Conservancy
Lara Hansen, EcoAdapt
Kevin Hassett, American Enterprise Institute
Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, The University of Queensland
Jack Kaye, NASA
Geraldine Knatz, Port of Los Angeles
Nancy Knowlton, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
Margaret Leinen, Climate Response Fund
Bill Lipscomb, Los Alamos National Lab
Tony MacDonald, Monmouth University
Amber Mace, California Ocean Protection Council
Marcia McNutt, USGS
Tony Michaels, Proteus Environmental Technologies
Ed Miles, University of Washington
Erik Milito, American Petroleum Institute
Lance Morgan, Marine Conservation Biology Institute
Steven Murowski, NOAA Fisheries
Elliott Norse, Marine Conservation Biology Institute
Mary O’Connor, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
Edward Overton, Louisiana State University
Robbin Peach, UMass Boston
Charles “Pete” Peterson, University of North Carolina
Steward Pickett, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Andrew Revkin, New York Times
Anthony J. Richardson, CSIRO and Atmospheric Research
Andy Rosenberg, Conservation International
Mary Ruckelshaus, NOAA Fisheries
Stuart Sandin, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Lynn Scarlett, Resources for the Future
Heidi Sosik, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Mark J. Spalding, The Ocean Foundation
James Tripp, Environmental Defense Fund
Juli Trtanj, NOAA
Wes Tunnell, Texas A&M Corpus Christi
Brad Warren, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership
David Yoskowitz, Texas A&M University

 

About the National Council for Science and the Environment
NCSE specializes in programs that bring together diverse individuals, institutions and communities to collaborate. We work closely with the many communities creating and using environmental knowledge to make and shape environmental decisions, including research, education, environmental, and business organizations as well as governmental bodies at all levels.

While an advocate for science and its use, NCSE does not take positions on environmental outcomes. In this sense it is different from traditional environmental groups. As an organization that is strongly focused rooted in the real-world decisionmaking, it is different from traditional scientific organizations. NCSE is motivated above all by a commitment to use science to achieve solutions to the environmental challenges facing humanity.

 

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


 

Skip to toolbar