Sustainable Ecosystem Management and Use by Marine Communities in two exemplary regions

Marine ecosystems are under major and diverse threats, be it to a different extent and in different ways for distinct marine ecosystems. Managing these threats depends upon the users of these marine ecosystems, as well as on the policy communities that develop and implement policies and management strategies.

Scale mismatches between marine ecosystems and their governance systems are increasingly affecting marine resource management of small islands. Tension exists between local and global dimensions in the ecosystem and the community using the resources, but also between economic development of maritime activities and nature conservation of marine ecosystems. To address these scale mismatches, the concept ‘marine community’ is introduced. This is a socio-political community organized around maritime activities and their impact on the ecosystem. To enable sustainable marine resource management, governance structures constantly have to adapt to environmental changes. This PhD research will investigate and compare the adaptation of marine communities on offshore oil and gas storage and cruise tourism to those scale mismatches in marine resource management in two exemplary regions. For each exemplary region two islands are selected as representative marine systems: Spitsbergen (cruise tourism) and Melkøya (gas storage), represent the open ocean of the Arctic, while Sint Eustatius (oil storage) and (cruise tourism) Bonaire characterize the vulnerable tropical ecosystem of the Caribbean. This four case study framework enables comparative analysis of different maritime activities within the same region, the same maritime activity across regions and different maritime activities for distinct regions.The project is of an interdisciplinary nature.

Want to keep updated? Linde keeps a blog on her research progress while on field work in the Caribbean.

During fieldwork in Spitsbergen Linde blogged about her experiences on the Arctic IMARES blogspot.

This project is embedded in the TripleP@sea project.