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Interagency Working Group on Ocean Social Science: Incorporating ecosystem services approaches into ocean and coastal decision-making and governance
Fish, T., M. Buchholtz ten Brink, AND T. Rouleau. Interagency Working Group on Ocean Social Science: Incorporating ecosystem services approaches into ocean and coastal decision-making and governance. Presented at Social Coast Forum 2014, Charlestown, SC, February 18 - 20, 2014.
Abstract is to convene a discussion in the ocean social science and ecosystem services research and practitioner community about the needs, best practices, and research gaps for incorporation of ecosystem services approaches into the implementation of the National Ocean Policy. It directly supports milestones in the National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan Appendix that are tasked to the Interagency Working Group on Ocean Social Sciences.
The application of social science has been recognized as a priority for effective ocean and coastal management, driving much discussion and fostering emerging efforts in several areas. The Interagency Working Group on Ocean Social Science (IWG-OSS) is tasked with assisting the Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology and Ocean Resource Management Interagency Policy Committee to integrate social science into ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes governance structures, agency functions, policies, and decision-making. The working group comprises social scientists representing U.S. federal agencies with ocean-related responsibilities. The IWG-OSS provides input on how agencies can enhance current policy, management, and research activities through incorporation of social science, and thereby better inform ocean- and coastal-related decision-making. The working group’s efforts are focused on implementing key actions in the National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan including: (1) enhancing our understanding of ocean and coastal systems, and (2) improving science-based products and services for improved decision-making. The IWG-OSS is currently working on the following issues: • coordinating across scientific and management communities to identify priority social science data needs; • using socioeconomic and natural sciences to identify, develop, and apply valuation frameworks for ecosystem services; • synthesizing ongoing social indicator efforts that characterize human interactions with the ocean, our coasts, and Great Lakes, and providing recommendations for application to inform long-term trend analyses and integrated ecosystem assessments for coastal communities. This session invites participation from individuals with experience and/or interest in (1) the application of social science and ecosystem services approaches to inform management and policy decisions; and (2) maintaining a robust community of practice for ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes social science. Members from the IWG-OSS will engage participants in a discussion of priorities, opportunities, barriers, challenges, and lessons learned related to the application of and/or need for incorporating ecosystem services approaches and broader use of social science in ocean and coastal decision-making and governance. Discussion topics will include: * What opportunities exist to develop partnerships across existing networks for coordinated social sciences in meeting National Ocean Policy goals? * What are the priority social science data and information needs at different scales? * What are the capacity needs for social science among the coastal management and conservation community? * What administrative structures are required for effective integration of social science and application of ecosystem services approaches? * What administrative and political hurdles exist for effective integration? * What role should state/federal agencies, NGOs, academia, and industry play to foster/facilitate inclusion of ecosystem services approaches in ocean and coastal governance?