Halima Ousseïni is just 16 years old. The world should be hers. Yet, living in the village of Tanout, Niger, where climate change impacts, political instability, gender inequality and poverty are commonplace, life is not easy for Halima.
Tunisia’s coastal zone teems with life. It is a densely populated area, with most of the country’s large cities, and two-thirds of its people. With its varied topography and an irregular 1,445km of continental coastline extended from the North to the East, plus 450km of island coastline, the coastal zone is a vital habitat for both humans and marine biodiversity.
The skyline of Da Nang, with its high-rise buildings, modern bridges, and miles of clean and manicured oceanfront, leaves little doubt that the city’s economy is thriving. Over the last three decades, Viet Nam’s central government has made it their mission to transform this coastal city into a dynamic center, destined to become a cultural, commercial and industrial focus for the country and East Asian region.
India is the second largest producer of fish in the world, and, for most of the country’s coastal communities, the sea has always provided their food and income. In recent decades, greater demand for fish, driven by a growing population, changing market forces, and increased commercial fishing activity (including illegal fishing) to meet global fish demands, has resulted in serious supply shortfalls.
At the apex of the Coral Triangle lies the Philippines, comprising over 7,500 islands, with a coastline of some 36,285 km, and surrounded by six different seas. These waters are ranked third in the world in terms of marine biodiversity, hosting more than 460 reef-building coral species, the global epicentre of shorefish diversity, and a wide range of habitats that include 123 marine key biodiversity areas, which are recognized as being of international importance for biodiversity conservation.
In the past, inadequate regional planning and uncoordinated exploitation of marine and coastal resources has had detrimental effects on the functioning and sustainability of the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem. A key outcome of the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem Programme has been the establishment of a multisectoral, intergovernmental body to drive an ecosystem approach to governance of this valuable, shared ecosystem – this is the Benguela Current Commission.
All ecosystems can absorb a certain amount of change, yet still remain functional. However, beyond a certain threshold, loss of biodiversity and disruption of ecosystem functioning has negative impacts on biodiversity and the flow of ecosystem services, with serious consequences for human well-being and livelihoods. Disrupted ecosystems, and the people who depend on them, are more vulnerable to shocks and disturbances, such as those caused by climate change.
Cold, slow, and bursting with life – this is the Humboldt Current, a stream of sub-Antarctic water that flows in a northerly direction along the coasts of Chile and Peru, before veering westward across the Pacific to bathe the Galapágos Islands. These nutrient-rich waters support some of the densest populations of fish found anywhere in the world – millions of anchovies, sardines and jack mackerel provide food for an extraordinary abundance of other marine fauna both at sea and on the shore.
The marine protected areas of Turkey do not only protect marine biodiversity, but also provide secure sources of food and income for coastal communities through activities such as tourism and fishing. In some areas, income from fishing is a significant part of household income, which makes the introduction of ‘no-take’ fishing zones (NFZ) through restriction or banning of fishing, a challenging task. But, this is exactly what the members of fishing cooperatives in the Gökova and Datça-Bozburun SEPAs have agreed to do.
The Russian Federation encompasses more than a fifth of the world’s ocean shelf and has one of the longest coastlines in the world. This coastline weaves through thirteen seas and three oceans, and extends to some of the most isolated regions of the planet. Much of this area lies within the icy Arctic Circle.