Conference Catch Up

Coming Up:

Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP) conference, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 9-13 November 2015

Like in Bali (2013), we will host a full two days of marine and coastal ecosystem services sessions within the ESP 2015 conference. THESE ARE NOT YOUR AVERAGE CONFERENCE SESSIONS! We’ve designed nearly 2 full days of interactive sharing and networking.

There will be three major sessions:

  • Application of MCES in the Real World: from local to national and supranational levels, Tuesday, 10 November 2015, 10-12:30. Co-hosted by Alexander van Oudenhoven and Linwood Pendleton. What is the role of ecosystem services in achieving coastal/marine management or policy goals? … We will ask participants to share their real-world ES experiences from both the scientist’s and policy-maker’s perspective. Based on the findings from our session, we will draft a scientific article about lessons learned from incorporating ecosystems services into coastal/marine management and decision making. 
  • Habitats of Special Importance: Pelagic Ecosystems, Tuesday, 10 November 2015, 13:30-16:45. Co-hosted by Vera Agostini and Lida Teneva. Most of the world’s marine ecosystems are characterized by open ocean, free swimming organisms. Why do we know so little about them? What do we need to know about the services they provide? … We will bring together experts from the marine ecosystem services field in order to develop a vision for effectively including pelagic ecosystem services in quantification, management and policy-making. This session will result in a science policy forum-type publication as a consensus statement on the importance of pelagic ecosystem services for national and international governance, the Blue Economy, and in understanding the flow of benefits to human wellbeing.
  • Major Tools to Assess MCES: valuation versus mapping, Thursday, 12 November 2015, 10-12:30. Hosted by Evangelia Drakou. What are the most common tools you use for your MCES assessments? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each? Did you ever think “you can’t map that in the marine world?”  …  We will set up an interactive 2.5-hour session that will focus on MCES tools and toolkits. It will mostly have the format of an “unconference.” We will start the session by giving a summary of the tools, methods and toolkits used and presented during the first day of the session. We will then jointly estimate the pros and cons of them for the different types of ecosystem services, ecosystems, policy requirements and scales of assessments. 

The two days will include networking activities, lots of time to meet, and trips to the sea.

If you still want to join us in South Africa, you are more than welcome to register for the conference and participate in any and all of our sessions. Please indicate your interest to and we will forward your email to the appropriate session leaders.


In Case You Missed Them:

IOC-UNESCO Conference, Paris, 8 June 2015




Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) dedicated a full day to the ocean and its link to the climate system. This day brought together scientists, decision-makers and society members to identify and discuss ocean-sensitive strategies to mitigate climate change and its socioeconomic impacts. Following a productive World Oceans Day, the University of Brest (UBO) and the French Ministry of International Affairs, capitalized on the brain power that had consolidated in Paris and, on June 9, held a Blue Carbon workshop attended by the French Ambassador for the Environment (Xavier Sticker) and the Swedish Ambassador for Oceans and Freshwater (Lisa Swenson). The team from UBO will prepare the findings as a position paper for the forthcoming Climate Meeting in Paris.

A TEEB for Oceans and Coasts, New Zealand Sustainable Seas Learning Journey, July 2015

TEEB_Diamond_Blk_Type    sustainable seas



Because innovation often happens beyond the bounds of our own certainty, decision-makers and implementers need to learn through discovery and then follow with quick application of lessons learned. After testing an approach, they must reflect on apparent results, abandon what doesn’t seem to work, and focus on what seems to be taking hold. Ongoing responsiveness and collective problem definition, redefinition and ‘intervention’ require new levels of personal and collective awareness.

The July 2015 TEEB4OC  and New Zealand Sustainable Seas learning journey was designed to address these challenges. The New Zealand Sustainable Seas Challenge incorporates significant elements akin to natural capital assessment approaches such as citizen science and recognizing nature’s values including complex cultural and social values. The learning journey emphasized a new approach in marine management and policy, particularly through engaging communities, policy-, decision- and choice-makers and other stakeholders to bring forth the best of what the diversity of voices, perspective and experience have to offer.