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Coastal proximity of populations in 22 Pacific Island Countries and Territories

The coastal zones of Small Island States are hotspots of human habitation and economic endeavour. In the Pacific region, as elsewhere, there are large gaps in understandings of the exposure and vulnerability of people in coastal zones. The 22 Pacific Countries and Territories (PICTs) are poorly represented in global analyses of vulnerability to seaward risks. We combine several data sources to estimate populations to zones 1, 5 and 10 km from the coastline in each of the PICTs. Regional patterns in the proximity of Pacific people to the coast are dominated by Papua New Guinea. Overall, ca.

Economic value of protected areas via visitor mental health

We evaluate methods to calculate the economic value of protected areas derived from the improved mental health of visitors. A conservative global estimate using quality-adjusted life years, a standard measure in health economics, is US$6 trillion p.a. This is an order of magnitude greater than the global value of protected area tourism, and two to three orders greater than global aggregate protected area management agency budgets.

In Pursuit of Knowledge: Addressing Barriers to Effective Conservation Evaluation

Evaluation, the process of assessing the effectiveness of programs and activities, has gained increasing attention in the conservation sector as programs seek to account for investments, measure their impacts, and adapt interventions to improve future outcomes. We conducted a country-wide evaluation of terrestrial-based conservation programs in Samoa. Though rarely applied, the benefit of evaluating multiple projects at once is that it highlights factors which are persistent and influential across the entire conservation sector.

A global-level assessment of the effectiveness of protected areas at resisting anthropogenic pressures

One-sixth of the global terrestrial surface now falls within protected areas (PAs), making it essential to understand how far they mitigate the increasing pressures on nature which characterize the Anthropocene. In by far the largest analysis of this question to date and not restricted to forested PAs, we compiled data from 12,315 PAs across 152 countries to investigate their ability to reduce human pressure and how this varies with socioeconomic and management circumstances.

Remote Sensing and Modeling of Coral Reef Resilience

A new paradigm has emerged for management of coral reefs in an era of changing climate – managing for resilience. A fundamental need for such management to be effective is our ability to measure and map coral reef resilience. We review the resilience concept and factors that may make a coral reef more or less resilient to climate-driven impacts, and focus on recent advances in a trio of technologies – remote sensing, spatial distribution modeling, and ecosystem simulation – that promise to improve our ability to quantify coral reef resilience across reefs.

Global modeling of nature’s contributions to people

The magnitude and pace of global change demand rapid assessment of nature and its contributions to people. We present a fine-scale global modeling of current status and future scenarios for several contributions: water quality regulation, coastal risk reduction, and crop pollination. We find that where people’s needs for nature are now greatest, nature’s ability to meet those needs is declining. Up to 5 billion people face higher water pollution and insufficient pollination for nutrition under future scenarios of land use and climate change, particularly in Africa and South Asia.

How much of a market is involved in a biodiversity offset? A typology of biodiversity offset policies

Biodiversity offsets (BO) are increasingly promoted and adopted by governments and companies worldwide as a policy instrument to compensate for biodiversity losses from infrastructure development projects. To provide a framing for understanding the empirical diversity of BO policy designs, we present an ideal-typical typology based on the institutions from which BO is organised: Public Agency, Mandatory Market and Voluntary Offset.

Variable effects of local management on coral defenses against a thermally regulated bleaching pathogen

Bleaching and disease are decimating coral reefs especially when warming promotes bleaching pathogens, such as Vibrio coralliilyticus. We demonstrate that sterilized washes from three common corals suppress V. coralliilyticus but that this defense is compromised when assays are run at higher temperatures. For a coral within the ecologically critical genus Acropora, inhibition was 75 to 154% greater among colonies from coral-dominated marine protected areas versus adjacent fished areas that were macroalgae-dominated.

Preliminary Observations of the Abyssal Megafauna of Kiribati

We report on preliminary observations of the abyssal megafauna communities in the exclusive economic zone of Kiribati, a huge abyssal area with few previous studies. These observations also provide useful context for marine minerals exploration within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and for the neighboring Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ), where deep-sea mining operations are planned... The results of this study are preliminary observations that will be useful to guide future biological survey design and marine spatial planning strategies.


Using harmonized historical catch data to infer the expansion of global tuna fisheries

Despite worldwide demand for tuna products and considerable conservation interest by civil society, no single global dataset exists capturing the spatial extent of all catches from fisheries for large pelagic species across all ocean basins. Efforts to spatially quantify the historical catch of global tuna fisheries have been restricted to the few taxa of major economic interest, creating a truncated view of the true extent of the fisheries for tuna and other large pelagic fishes.