FutureMARES is an EU-funded research project examining the relations between climate change, marine biodiversity and ecosystem services. It hosted its kick-off meeting online through 22-24 September.
Project partners from over 15 countries joined via video conference to discuss the project’s goals, approaches, workflows and expected results. Topics discussed over the three days included:
• The goals and methods of each work package
• The project’s three Nature-based Solutions (NBS) to adapt to and mitigate climate change effects: Effective Restoration, Effective Conservation, and Sustainable Harvesting of Marine Resources
• Joint presentations of selected storylines (regional applications of NBS) which show what the effects of climate change means for the biodiversity and functioning of systems in specific environments)
• External cooperation with stakeholders and sister project MaCoBioS (Marine Coastal Ecosystems
Biodiversity and Services in a Changing World)
• The project’s final products and end-users
There were also discussions on relevant EU policy developments, and the exploitable results and lessons learned from ongoing and finished EU projects based on Nature-Based Solutions.
The project is conducting its research and cooperating with marine organisations and the public in several Case Study Regions across the globe. The goal is to provide science-based policy advice on how best to use NBS to protect future biodiversity and ecosystem services in a future climate.
Dr Ana Queirós, PML Senior Benthic Ecologist, said: "We are delighted to be part of this new European-wide initiative to support coastal and ocean biodiversity, ecosystem services and function. Through this new 4 year Horizon 2020 programme FutureMARES, PML will be leading the development of new capability to project the impacts of climate change on species of high value to real-life conservation, restoration and harvesting programmes in the UK and its EU partner countries.
"We will be working with practitioners around the EU to support the co-development of climate-smart management strategies. For instance, more locally to PML, we will be working the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. I am personally thrilled to be the PML lead within this exciting new research programme, which came together after 2 solid years of preparation and development, and to work with other leading EU research institutions and high level global ocean stakeholders and practitioners, towards a better management of UK and EU marine species and habitats."