Significant anthropogenic pressures caused by intensive urbanization combined with climate change impacts result in significant changes in the structure and functioning of marine biological communities in East Asia. Assessing the status of ongoing changes in marine and coastal biodiversity and habitats is an important research question but also critical issue to consider for developing national and regional policies and coordinated regional monitoring strategies. Led by the leading marine biodiversity institutions in East Asia and supported by the Jeju National University and the Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) of UNEP, the project’s aim is to enhance capabilities to participate in research on global change and sustainability and to support science-based decision- making in the region and beyond to understand what are key indicator species, ecosystem types and major pathways resulting in marine biodiversity changes in the Northwest Pacific.
Goal 1: Discuss the approach and methodology for identifying major key indicator species and the associated habitats and ecosystems characteristic for ongoing marine and coastal biodiversity changes, including standardization and new approaches to the study and conservation of marine biodiversity changes.
Goal 2: Discuss specific biogeographic regional units and identify key indicator species and ecosystems that are characteristic of ongoing marine and coastal biodiversity changes. Among candidate groups of species are the following: i) plankton organisms, ii) benthic organisms, and iii) free-living animals (nekton and nektobenthos). In addition, specific ecotopes/ecosystems with longer-term measurements and ongoing monitoring data will be identified in the East Asia region, specifically in the coastal waters of Japan, China, R. Korea, and Russia.
Goal 3: Review existing evidence on major threats, pressures, impacts, and trends for key species groups and ecosystems.
Goal 4: Identify monitoring gaps for indicators species in national biodiversity monitoring systems and other relevant monitoring methods (e.g., the use of environmental DNA).
Goal 5: Develop policy-relevant recommendations for NOWPAP member states (Japan, R. Korea, China, and Russia), including marine biodiversity research gaps, needs for monitoring and integrated assessments, and utilizations of indicator species for developing indicators to attain regional Ecological Quality Objectives.
The workshop participants will come from APN countries, multilateral and regional organizations (EAAFP/BirdLife, CBD), and policy/government experts from East Asia (at least one policy-maker from each NOWPAP member state (government/ ministry official), media will also be invited. Young and mid-career scientists (under 40 yrs) will represent at least one-third of workshop participants. Project proponents would approach ASEAN Center for Biodiversity and PEMSEA in addition to recommendations from the workshop steering committee for young scientists’ nominations.
To join the workshop virtually, please click here to access the Microsoft Teams broadcast.