In the blind-spot of governance – Stakeholder perceptions on seagrasses to guide the management of an important ecosystem services provider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Seagrass ecosystems have been identified as important marine ecosystem service (ES) providers, they contribute to coastal protection, fisheries provision and mitigate climate change among others. Yet, they are declining globally at alarming rates. While the ecological dimensions of this social-ecological system have been well studied, its associated social aspects remain largely unexplored. Here, we show how the analysis of stakeholders’ perceptions on seagrass ES, their drivers of change, links to wellbeing and governance structures can provide a path towards a more sustainable management. Stakeholders identified seagrass regulatory ES as crucial for the maintenance of social and economic wellbeing and the potential causes and consequences associated to seagrass decline. Power imbalances, an over-compartmentalized legislation and a generalized lack of awareness were highlighted as key aspects to redress in order to achieve a more just governance system. Stakeholders’ empirical evidence on the importance of particular ES and on negative drivers of change can also provide an understanding of areas where financial investment would gather wider public support and therefore be more successfully implemented. We showed how the different dimensions highlighted through stakeholders’ perspectives can contribute to the consecution of a more inclusive sustainable management, a crucial aspect in the maintenance of seagrass ecosystems.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • CSIC Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA)
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • Landscape Architecture

Keywords

  • Posidonia oceanica, Balearic Islands, Tourism, Governance, Social-ecological systems, Conservation, Scenarios
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1081-1091
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume688
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes