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SUSTAINING COASTAL AND MARINE ENVIRONMENTS IN THE ANTHROPOCENE

Untitled Document

Chair: Colin Woodroffe
Co-chair: Margarita Stancheva

Description
The burgeoning populations of the continents are placing increasing pressures on the coastline and the marine areas that surround them. The seaside is generally an area of beauty and bounty. People value these environments for their abundant resources, as well as for cultural and recreational sustenance. However, as the global population expands, the connections and conflicts between people and nature are nowhere more apparent than in Coastal Systems. The Commission on Coastal Systems encourages the study of coastal areas throughout the world and welcomes papers on sustaining coastal and marine environments in the Anthropocene. The focus of this session is on interactive systems, both human and physical. Coastal and adjacent marine zones are threatened by natural and anthropogenic activities in the catchments. The low-lying plains associated with deltas and estuaries support ever increasing populations engaged in agriculture, fishing, aquaculture and industrial activities. Rapid urbanization is being experienced with many of the world’s megacities on deltas associated with big rivers; deltaic cities are home to more than 150 million people and seem likely to exceed 200 million in the next two decades. These human activities are directly impacting coastal and marine ecosystem services through pollution and degradation. The pressures are exacerbated by climate change which is particularly evident in these areas through observed trends of sea-level rise. There is pressing need for adaptation along much of the world’s coastlines. This coastal session will provide a chance for a wide range of physical and social scientists, students, administrators, stakeholders and decision makers to share their insights and invaluable experiences on the state of the coast, and to move towards much wiser use and management of coastal and marine resources so humans can protect and sustain these critical, yet vulnerable habitats for generations to come.