Tackle global change challenges using I-ADApT

Ratana Chuenpagdee, leader of the Too Big To Ignore (TBTI) project and member of IMBeR’s Scientific Steering Committee and Human Dimensions Working Group, gave a plenary talk at the ICES/PICES Symposium on the Drivers of Dynamics of Small Pelagic Fish Resources (March 2017, Victoria, BC). The title of her presentation was Small fish, big stake: Vulnerability and adaptation of small-scale small pelagic fisheries to global changes.

In this presentation, Ratana framed three research questions in the context of three related initiatives that she is involved with – TBTI, IMBeR and the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI). First, she summarized the work done in TBTI to highlight the importance of small-scale fisheries and the need to support and promote their sustainability. Much of her talk was spent illustrating how the decision support tool I(MBeR)-ADApT, (Assessment based on Description and responses, and Appraisal for a Typology) developed by the Human Dimensions Working Group (HDWG) can be useful in helping small-scale fishing communities deal with changes in small pelagic fisheries. TBTI in collaboration with the IMBeR HDWG have applied I-ADApT to 11 small-scale small pelagic fisheries around the world and the preliminary analysis shows interesting patterns in both the challenges and the responses. Since I-ADApT builds on knowledge learned from existing case studies, where some actions have been taken to counteract the environmental, social or other impacts of global change, it enables managers, researchers and local stakeholders to make appropriate decisions efficiently, and to determine the most effective allocation of resources to "reduce" vulnerability and enhance the capacity of coastal peoples to adapt to global change.

She concluded by introducing the new OFI project, which aims at preparing communities for changes and finding suitable governance responses. Building on I-ADApT, the OFI project will employ a bottom-up and participatory process to develop a ‘community-based response system,’ as a tool to help communities describe, document and monitor changes, as well as determine the most appropriate responses. This can then be used to ensure “anticipatory governance” - where an understanding of the changes that have taken place and appraisal of the responses are understood and used to inform policies and decision-making. With global changes and other challenges threatening fisheries sustainability, coastal communities can no longer afford to react to the situations. Instead, they have to anticipate changes and be proactive in determining future directions. After all, they are the ones who have to live with the changes and it is their livelihoods, wellbeing, culture, and identity that are at stake.

Ratana´s presentation can be viewed at: http://meetings.pices.int/Publications/Presentations/2017-Pelagics/Plenary-Ratana.pdf