Presentation Abstract

Cumulative impact mapping can be a useful tool for marine spatial planning because the results can identify discrete areas in which ecosystems, habitats, or species are most affected by stressors associated with human activities. This information can help planners and managers prioritize areas for management, identify pristine areas for protection and degraded areas for restoration, and can be included as a cost layer in tradeoff analyses. A key challenge in using cumulative impact mapping in marine spatial planning is the issue of identifying appropriate thresholds for distinguishing the status of areas. To date, the interpretation of cumulative impact mapping model results and presentation of cumulative impact maps has been purely a scientific exercise. Defining states of the ecosystem, based on cumulative impact maps, requires identification of the thresholds or transition points between conditions. For example, the IUCN’s three conditions for biodiversity (cities and farms, shared lands, and large wild areas) could be applied to the ocean using cumulative impact mapping results. Thresholds are by definition a delineation between states, and the selection of these thresholds can be affected by differences in community and stakeholder values and perceptions. We will explore how different threshold definitions affect the maps of cumulative impact in the Salish Sea and invite conference participants to consider which areas they consider “wild” and which are degraded, and what this might mean for marine spatial planning.

Session Title

Marine Spatial Planning in the Salish Sea

Conference Track

Governance, Management & Funding

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2020 : Online)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

2020_abstractID_4217

Start Date

21-4-2020 9:00 AM

End Date

22-4-2020 4:45 PM

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

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Apr 21st, 9:00 AM Apr 22nd, 4:45 PM

Identifying cumulative impact thresholds: implications for marine spatial planning

Cumulative impact mapping can be a useful tool for marine spatial planning because the results can identify discrete areas in which ecosystems, habitats, or species are most affected by stressors associated with human activities. This information can help planners and managers prioritize areas for management, identify pristine areas for protection and degraded areas for restoration, and can be included as a cost layer in tradeoff analyses. A key challenge in using cumulative impact mapping in marine spatial planning is the issue of identifying appropriate thresholds for distinguishing the status of areas. To date, the interpretation of cumulative impact mapping model results and presentation of cumulative impact maps has been purely a scientific exercise. Defining states of the ecosystem, based on cumulative impact maps, requires identification of the thresholds or transition points between conditions. For example, the IUCN’s three conditions for biodiversity (cities and farms, shared lands, and large wild areas) could be applied to the ocean using cumulative impact mapping results. Thresholds are by definition a delineation between states, and the selection of these thresholds can be affected by differences in community and stakeholder values and perceptions. We will explore how different threshold definitions affect the maps of cumulative impact in the Salish Sea and invite conference participants to consider which areas they consider “wild” and which are degraded, and what this might mean for marine spatial planning.