Navigating marine social-ecological systems
Our aim is to identify and/or improve our understanding of institutional, social and cultural factors that need to be incorporated into ecosystem-based management for it to be successfully used to manage Aotearoa New Zealand’s marine resources.
Project leader: Karen Fisher, University of Auckland
Duration: April 2016 – September 2019
Our research is using social science to examine key issues in the marine environment. We are engaging with Māori, industry representatives, resource managers, decision makers, environmental organisations and communities.
We are considering how knowledge about cumulative effects – environmental effects resulting from multiple activities over time – can improve decision-making for the marine environment. In 2016, we hosted a workshop with 40 scientists and senior policymakers from across New Zealand. It supported cross-institutional and cross-cultural dialogue to address issues raised by cumulative effects.
We are using sci-art and creative works to engage New Zealanders about EBM and the risks to the marine environment from human activities. We held sci-art workshops with 1600 students at 16 schools in Nelson and Marlborough. The resulting combined artwork created by the students, The Unseen, was exhibited at Albion Square, Nelson. We have also produced short films and other creative outputs to engage with the public.
Another focus of our research, is to understand how trust among researchers can enhance the quality of knowledge needed for EBM. We are using focus groups and interviews to consider how trust is developed and maintained between Challenge researchers and experts who have diverse interests and experiences. We are also exploring the Challenge’s capacity to build trust with Māori and stakeholders.
- Davies K, Fisher K, Foley M, Greenaway A, Le Heron R, Mikaere, H, Ratana K, Spiers R & Lundquist C (2017). From the mountains to the seas: developing a shared vision for addressing cumulative effects in Aotearoa New Zealand. Regions Magazine 308(4): 15-18. DOI: 10.1080/13673882.2017.11958671
- Davies K, Fisher K, Foley M, Greenaway A, Hewitt J, Le Heron R, Mikaere H, Ratana K, Spiers R & Lundquist C (2018). Navigating collaborative networks and cumulative effects for Sustainable Seas. Environmental Science and Policy 83 (2018) 22-32 DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2018.01.013
Latest news and updates
The latest Resource Management Journal is a special issue about our collaborative research into how management of cumulative effects (CE) can be improved. It includes a suite of co-developed recommendations and guidance regarding how to progress work on CE management in Aotearoa.
A web-based interactive tool tracks how floating plastic waste moves around New Zealand's coastline. Initially designed as an educational tool for schools, the Ocean Plastic Simulator also has potential for environmental and biosecurity monitoring, and aquaculture.
If you're interested in being involved in co-developing our core research projects and/or want notifications about our Innovation Fund then email sustainableseasNC@niwa.co.nz