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Benn A.R.,UK National Oceanography Center | Weaver P.P.,UK National Oceanography Center | Billet D.S.M.,UK National Oceanography Center | van den Hove S.,Median | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: Environmental impacts of human activities on the deep seafloor are of increasing concern. While activities within waters shallower than 200 m have been the focus of previous assessments of anthropogenic impacts, no study has quantified the extent of individual activities or determined the relative severity of each type of impact in the deep sea. Methodology: The OSPAR maritime area of the North East Atlantic was chosen for the study because it is considered to be one of the most heavily impacted by human activities. In addition, it was assumed data would be accessible and comprehensive. Using the available data we map and estimate the spatial extent of five major human activities in the North East Atlantic that impact the deep seafloor: submarine communication cables, marine scientific research, oil and gas industry, bottom trawling and the historical dumping of radioactive waste, munitions and chemical weapons. It was not possible to map military activities. The extent of each activity has been quantified for a single year, 2005. Principal Findings: Human activities on the deep seafloor of the OSPAR area of the North Atlantic are significant but their footprints vary. Some activities have an immediate impact after which seafloor communities could re-establish, while others can continue to make an impact for many years and the impact could extend far beyond the physical disturbance. The spatial extent of waste disposal, telecommunication cables, the hydrocarbon industry and marine research activities is relatively small. The extent of bottom trawling is very significant and, even on the lowest possible estimates, is an order of magnitude greater than the total extent of all the other activities. Conclusions/Significance: To meet future ecosystem-based management and governance objectives for the deep sea significant improvements are required in data collection and availability as well as a greater awareness of the relative impact of each human activity. © 2010 Benn et al.

Tinch R.,Median | Balian E.,Median | Carss D.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | de Blas D.E.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | And 14 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2016

To address the pressing problems associated with biodiversity loss, changes in awareness and behaviour are required from decision makers in all sectors. Science-policy interfaces (SPIs) have the potential to play an important role, and to achieve this effectively, there is a need to understand better the ways in which existing SPIs strive for effective communication, learning and behavioural change. Using a series of test cases across the world, we assess a range of features influencing the effectiveness of SPIs through communication and argumentation processes, engagement of actors and other aspects that contribute to potential success. Our results demonstrate the importance of dynamic and iterative processes of interaction to support effective SPI work. We stress the importance of seeing SPIs as dynamic learning environments and we provide recommendations for how they can enhance success in meeting their targeted outcomes. In particular, we recommend building long-term trust, creating learning environments, fostering participation and ownership of the process and building capacity to combat silo thinking. Processes to enable these changes may include, for example, inviting and integrating feedback, extended peer review and attention to contextualising knowledge for different audiences, and time and sustained effort dedicated to trust-building and developing common languages. However there are no ‘one size fits all’ solutions, and methods must be adapted to context and participants. Creating and maintaining effective dynamic learning environments will both require and encourage changes in institutional and individual behaviours: a challenging agenda, but one with potential for positive feedbacks to maintain momentum. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

Young J.C.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Waylen K.A.,James Hutton Institute | Sarkki S.,University of Oulu | Albon S.,James Hutton Institute | And 14 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2014

A better, more effective dialogue is needed between biodiversity science and policy to underpin the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity. Many initiatives exist to improve communication, but these largely conform to a 'linear' or technocratic model of communication in which scientific "facts" are transmitted directly to policy advisers to "solve problems". While this model can help start a dialogue, it is, on its own, insufficient, as decision taking is complex, iterative and often selective in the information used. Here, we draw on the literature, interviews and a workshop with individuals working at the interface between biodiversity science and government policy development to present practical recommendations aimed at individuals, teams, organisations and funders. Building on these recommendations, we stress the need to: (a) frame research and policy jointly; (b) promote inter- and trans-disciplinary research and "multi-domain" working groups that include both scientists and policy makers from various fields and sectors; (c) put in place structures and incentive schemes that support interactive dialogue in the long-term. These are changes that are needed in light of continuing loss of biodiversity and its consequences for societal dependence on and benefits from nature. © 2014 The Author(s).

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