Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Human Wellbeing Related to the Salish Sea

Description

This paper presents outcomes of the Social Wellbeing Indicators for Marine Management (SWIMM) working group, charged with developing a protocol for selecting indicators of human wellbeing for ecosystem-based management. Initiated by NOAA, our approach was specifically designed to inform federal management of the California Current, the large marine ecosystem running from Vancouver Island to Baja California. Hence, a major challenge was scale: how can we define, operationalize, and measure human wellbeing at such a large geographic scale, which encompasses tremendous social and cultural diversity, including potentially disparate notions of what counts as “wellbeing”? How can we both serve stated management responsibilities, and expand resource agencies’ awareness of the complexity of human wellbeing? How can we ensure that human wellbeing is not only measured, but also improved as a result of measurement? In this paper we report on how the SWIMM project addressed these questions, by re-drawing a social-ecological conceptual framework, developing a comprehensive and scalable typology of human wellbeing, and focusing on attributes of wellbeing that support diverse human relationships with the ocean and coast. We also report on data gaps and research challenges that must be addressed to achieve fully integrated ecosystem assessments. We outline how the SWIMM approach fits within the nested structure of decision-making affecting Salish Sea management, and we look forward to discussing how it might complement parallel efforts to assess human wellbeing in the region.

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Social Wellbeing Indicators for Marine Management: Crafting Decision Tools for Human Complexity

2016SSEC

This paper presents outcomes of the Social Wellbeing Indicators for Marine Management (SWIMM) working group, charged with developing a protocol for selecting indicators of human wellbeing for ecosystem-based management. Initiated by NOAA, our approach was specifically designed to inform federal management of the California Current, the large marine ecosystem running from Vancouver Island to Baja California. Hence, a major challenge was scale: how can we define, operationalize, and measure human wellbeing at such a large geographic scale, which encompasses tremendous social and cultural diversity, including potentially disparate notions of what counts as “wellbeing”? How can we both serve stated management responsibilities, and expand resource agencies’ awareness of the complexity of human wellbeing? How can we ensure that human wellbeing is not only measured, but also improved as a result of measurement? In this paper we report on how the SWIMM project addressed these questions, by re-drawing a social-ecological conceptual framework, developing a comprehensive and scalable typology of human wellbeing, and focusing on attributes of wellbeing that support diverse human relationships with the ocean and coast. We also report on data gaps and research challenges that must be addressed to achieve fully integrated ecosystem assessments. We outline how the SWIMM approach fits within the nested structure of decision-making affecting Salish Sea management, and we look forward to discussing how it might complement parallel efforts to assess human wellbeing in the region.