Tag Archives: Integrated approach

Healthy oceans, healthy people, healthy economies: Integrating fisheries management and protected areas for environmental, economic, and social benefits

Ocean and coastal resources are increasingly recognized as critical to sustaining life and livelihoods across the globe. Seafood provide 4.3 billion people with 15-20% of their protein intake, and fisheries, aquaculture, recreation, tourism, and other coastal industries provide income that supports an estimated 660 to 820 million people (HLPE 2014). Many nations are seeing the ‘Blue Economy’ – or economic benefits derived from the ocean – as a viable pathway to economic development and poverty alleviation. Incorporating explicit environmental goals into this strategy, such as ending overfishing and restoring ecosystem health, enables economic progress by aligning short- and long-term outcomes, and reflects how an improved environment can also improve the economy. The current draft of the UN Sustainable
Development Goals considers Oceans and Coasts an economically and environmentally important area that can help to improve ecosystem health and socio-economic well-being of coastal communities, particularly in developing countries (Goal #14).

Over the past 15 years, new marine management schemes have emerged, supported by science and integrating physical, biological, and human dimensions of ecosystems (Pew Oceans Commission 2003, FAO 2003). This promising framework is known as a marine ecosystem approach to management and is increasingly considered to be
essential for sustainable marine development (e.g. Ruckelshaus et al. 2008, Curtin and Prellezo 2010). Here we will review the science behind an emerging marine ecosystem management approach – the implementation of paired secure-access fisheries and conservation areas – that integrates economic, social, and environmental health, the three pillars of sustainable development.

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Integrated resource policies for energy and water resources, with case studies of China and the UK

Because of economic development, increasing global population, and increased levels of affluence, future global demands for food, energy and water resources are expected to increase by 50%, 50% and
30% respectively (Beddington, 2009). However, with the world’s food, energy and water resources already experiencing shortfalls and stresses (Bizikova et al., 2013), there is an urgent need for nexus-oriented approaches to address unsustainable patterns of growth. The importance of these three resources has been highlighted in many publications, and they have been included in the Sustainable Development goals, which are to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy, and the achievement of food security and sustainable agriculture.

Water, energy and land resources are all interconnected and should not be viewed in isolation. Agriculture and industry (including energy) account for 70% and 22% of global water withdrawals respectively (Howells et al., 2013); 7% of all energy is used for water supply; and 4% of energy is directly used in agriculture (Bazilian et al., 2011). The need for integrated resource planning for
energy, water and land is becoming increasingly recognised by international institutions, national governments and businesses (Hoff, 2001). A policy that affects one resource can result in unexpected
consequences for another. There is a need for policy makers, institutions and businesses to understand better the connections between these resources and to integrate them in future plans for a sustainable future. To be able to achieve this, the UN and other institutions should promote holistic analysis of the interconnections between resources.

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RegenVillages – Integrated village designs for thriving regenerative communities

The U.N. (UNCTAD Report, 2013) outlines the urgent necessity for hyper-local, self-reliant village designs to prepare for 2+ billion additional people joining the planet by 2050.

The RegenVillages initiative is a model blueprint for industry, government, and academic action. The partnership seeks to accelerate the proliferation of affordable, integrated village designs that power and feed self-reliant communities thus tackling the challenges expected from climate change and overpopulation from an economic, social and environmental perspective.

“Regen” is a short form of “Regenerative” that defines sustainability through the lens and metrics of strong, self-reliant communities. This concept for modern village design is aspirational, heralding a refreshing and revitalized perspective on the development of “landed strata” by integrating proven technologies in innovative
ways, such as built-environment energy positive dwellings, renewable power and micro-grid distribution, living machines for water and waste management, and organic aquaponic food production at scale, all combined in a total community management system.

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Integrated simulation models for sustainable agriculture policy design

Despite significant gains over the past decade, rural poverty, food and nutrition insecurity and environmental degradation remain pervasive problems in the developing world. It is estimated that approximately 805 million people worldwide suffer from hunger and approximately 1.4 billion live in extreme poverty (IFAD, 2010).

Developing coherent plans to combat these problems is complicated by the multi-disciplinary, interconnected and complex nature of the systems that must be managed. Therefore, it is imperative that the strategies developed to tackle these issues are based on comprehensive and sound analyses addressing their key dimensions in an integrated manner (UN, 1992; UN, 2000; UN, 2014a; UN, 2014b). The Threshold 21 (T21) simulation model supports such an approach (UNEP, 2014). T21 is an integrated and dynamic planning tool that enables transparent cross-sectoral analyses of the impacts of policies and enables exploration of their long-term consequences on social, economic and environmental development (Pedercini et al, 2010). T21 takes into account interdependency across sectors and is based on the vast collective knowledge gathered in multistakeholder processes. This makes it an effective tool for achieving a collectively shared understanding of problems, structures and solutions thus contributing to policy dialogue (Pedercini, 2005).

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