About this Research Topic
Societal needs and the development of the Blue Economy (e.g. aquaculture, fisheries, energy extraction, shipping, among others) have been traditionally at odds with the conservation of marine biodiversity. To reconcile these seemingly conflicting interests, Nature-based Solutions (NbS) propose to move conservation practice beyond traditional tools that focus on delivering ecological benefits from single habitats or species towards integrated solutions with the fishing sector (Marine Protected Areas and Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management) and broader sectors of the Blue Economy. NbS are defined by IUCN as “actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems, that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits”. These include, for example, restoration and rehabilitation of critical habitats such as seagrass and saltmarsh to recover ecosystem biodiversity and function while accounting for carbon sequestration to support national processes to reach Net Zero carbon emissions (Paris Agreement 2015). Additionally, traditional artificial coastal defense structures built to protect coastal communities from rising sea levels and increasing storm impacts can be eco-engineered to allow for the maintenance of biodiversity in areas where natural habitats are scarce, such as urbanized coasts. This includes the use of coastal habitats in place of traditional coastal defense structures, which have the potential to provide an adaptive protection solution.
The global increase of Marine Protected Areas, coastal defenses and blue climate change adaptive industries presents challenges to marine managers and also opportunities to optimize, restore and recover degraded marine ecosystems. Novel-place based studies on NbS are offering early insights into the role that NbS have in the restoration and recovery of degraded marine ecosystems and increased economic and societal benefits. To facilitate effective large-scale implementation of NbS, there is a need to build a critical mass of evidence that can effectively document and evaluate current practice in terms of real outcomes for economy, ecology and society.
Our Research Topic will highlight and consolidate cutting edge, multidisciplinary papers from across the world that use innovative, often interdisciplinary approaches to inform progressive management of marine ecosystems under current societal and environmental climate change pressures. We will gather research in the form of data papers, opinion pieces and reviews from different regions with a focus on applied studies that demonstrate how NbS can be effectively delivered through a number of spatial management measures, such as but not limited to Marine Protected Areas, Offshore structures, Coastal structures, Shellfish and seagrass restoration and Nature Inclusive Design.
Keywords: Nature Based Solutions, ecosystem based management, nature inclusive design, Blue Economy, Marine Protected Areas
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.