Abstract Title

Session S-01H: Social and Ecological Indicators

Keywords

Social Science Plus

Start Date

30-4-2014 10:30 AM

End Date

30-4-2014 12:00 PM

Description

In the past decade there has been increasing interest in assessing marine ecosystems and developing indicators to track and understand changes over time. A key direction in conducting assessments and developing indicators is recognizing that biophysical and human systems are interconnected. The increasing prominence of the concepts of coupled social-ecological systems and ecosystem-based management, and the related incentives to identify and integrate ecological and human well-being indicators, have expanded and advanced the vision of integrated assessment and management. However, more applied examples are needed. We outline the steps and methods we used to develop indicators for different areas of Canada’s Pacific marine social-ecological systems. Our approach began with conceptual models that identified key aspects of ecological systems (structure, function, and environmental quality) and human systems (social, economic, institutional, and physical). We then identified associated elements, valued components, and features. We undertook an extensive ‘bottom-up’ approach to identify indicators associated with each feature or valued component, drawing on different knowledge sources, including scientists, managers, sectors, and First Nations and community members. Candidate lists of indicators were then compiled, reviewed, and rated based on three dimensions of indicator selection criteria assembled from the literature and other sources —scientific soundness, relevance, and practicality. Ecological ratings were then weighted based on expert perceptions of the relative importance of the criteria. Our approach relied primarily on literature reviews, expert surveys and judgment, and workshops. We will present the results, key limitations, and opportunities associated with implementing this approach. We will also discuss the way in which the indicators are being used within integrated marine planning processes in British Columbia.

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Apr 30th, 10:30 AM Apr 30th, 12:00 PM

Developing social-ecological indicators for Canada's Pacific Marine regions: steps, methods, results and lessons

Room 607

In the past decade there has been increasing interest in assessing marine ecosystems and developing indicators to track and understand changes over time. A key direction in conducting assessments and developing indicators is recognizing that biophysical and human systems are interconnected. The increasing prominence of the concepts of coupled social-ecological systems and ecosystem-based management, and the related incentives to identify and integrate ecological and human well-being indicators, have expanded and advanced the vision of integrated assessment and management. However, more applied examples are needed. We outline the steps and methods we used to develop indicators for different areas of Canada’s Pacific marine social-ecological systems. Our approach began with conceptual models that identified key aspects of ecological systems (structure, function, and environmental quality) and human systems (social, economic, institutional, and physical). We then identified associated elements, valued components, and features. We undertook an extensive ‘bottom-up’ approach to identify indicators associated with each feature or valued component, drawing on different knowledge sources, including scientists, managers, sectors, and First Nations and community members. Candidate lists of indicators were then compiled, reviewed, and rated based on three dimensions of indicator selection criteria assembled from the literature and other sources —scientific soundness, relevance, and practicality. Ecological ratings were then weighted based on expert perceptions of the relative importance of the criteria. Our approach relied primarily on literature reviews, expert surveys and judgment, and workshops. We will present the results, key limitations, and opportunities associated with implementing this approach. We will also discuss the way in which the indicators are being used within integrated marine planning processes in British Columbia.