Research Topic

Connecting the Human Dimension and Global Marine Ecosystem Services

About this Research Topic

Global ocean biodiversity provides a wealth of ecosystem services (ES) and benefits such as food from capture fisheries, aquaculture and wild foods. Despite international commitments, the vast majority of the world’s nations have declared that human actions are dismantling the Earth’s ecosystems at an alarming rate. In fact, we have entered the Anthropocene era, with human activity a major driving force behind many environmental changes on the planet. By evaluating the impacts of human activity on biodiversity and ES and their social, health and economic consequences we can highlight the trade-offs between actions to reverse the declining states of marine biodiversity and ecosystems, and possible competing economic interests from different sectors (e.g., commercial and recreational fisheries, aquaculture, coastal tourism, etc.). Marine and coastal ES can be valued in quantitative terms using metrics such as monetary value or health value; or in qualitative terms, which will always be non-monetary and usually have some consideration of health, socio-cultural or conservation value, including Indigenous and Local Knowledge (ILK) perspectives. A whole array of methods and techniques for ecosystem valuation exist but are only occasionally implemented in policy decisions.

With this Research Topic, we will collect transdisciplinary work on the role of coastal and marine ecosystems in providing wealth and health to humans and to stimulate cooperation between the United Nations, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the Future Earth program, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP), and the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), all global networks working for the maintenance of marine biodiversity.

We welcome manuscripts that address the following sub-topics:

• The role of marine Ecosystem Services (ES) in contributing to human well-being and health
• The contribution of Integrated Ecosystem Assessments (IEAs) for evaluating the impacts of human activity on biodiversity and ES and their social, health and economic consequences
• Trade-offs between marine activities (fisheries and aquaculture), including Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF)
• Marine Ecosystem Services (ES) valuation, including consideration of health, socio-cultural/conservation values and Indigenous and Local Knowledge (ILK)
• Connecting the human dimension and global marine ecosystem services with the UN SDGs goals
• Lessons learned: perspectives from terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, including environmental and economic anthropology


Keywords: human dimension, marine biodiversity, marine ecosystem services, ocean equity, blue economy, natures’s contributions to people (NCP)


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Global ocean biodiversity provides a wealth of ecosystem services (ES) and benefits such as food from capture fisheries, aquaculture and wild foods. Despite international commitments, the vast majority of the world’s nations have declared that human actions are dismantling the Earth’s ecosystems at an alarming rate. In fact, we have entered the Anthropocene era, with human activity a major driving force behind many environmental changes on the planet. By evaluating the impacts of human activity on biodiversity and ES and their social, health and economic consequences we can highlight the trade-offs between actions to reverse the declining states of marine biodiversity and ecosystems, and possible competing economic interests from different sectors (e.g., commercial and recreational fisheries, aquaculture, coastal tourism, etc.). Marine and coastal ES can be valued in quantitative terms using metrics such as monetary value or health value; or in qualitative terms, which will always be non-monetary and usually have some consideration of health, socio-cultural or conservation value, including Indigenous and Local Knowledge (ILK) perspectives. A whole array of methods and techniques for ecosystem valuation exist but are only occasionally implemented in policy decisions.

With this Research Topic, we will collect transdisciplinary work on the role of coastal and marine ecosystems in providing wealth and health to humans and to stimulate cooperation between the United Nations, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the Future Earth program, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP), and the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), all global networks working for the maintenance of marine biodiversity.

We welcome manuscripts that address the following sub-topics:

• The role of marine Ecosystem Services (ES) in contributing to human well-being and health
• The contribution of Integrated Ecosystem Assessments (IEAs) for evaluating the impacts of human activity on biodiversity and ES and their social, health and economic consequences
• Trade-offs between marine activities (fisheries and aquaculture), including Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF)
• Marine Ecosystem Services (ES) valuation, including consideration of health, socio-cultural/conservation values and Indigenous and Local Knowledge (ILK)
• Connecting the human dimension and global marine ecosystem services with the UN SDGs goals
• Lessons learned: perspectives from terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, including environmental and economic anthropology


Keywords: human dimension, marine biodiversity, marine ecosystem services, ocean equity, blue economy, natures’s contributions to people (NCP)


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 January 2021 Manuscript
15 February 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 January 2021 Manuscript
15 February 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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