Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Developing the evidence-base to support ‘climate smart’ decision-making in the marine environment: a focus on MPAs - MB0149

Description
Finding solutions to tackle climate change is a key priority for the UK and international community. One emerging area of focus is ‘nature-based solutions’ to and the crucial role to play in taking action on climate adaptation, resilience, mitigation and biodiversity loss. This is why ‘Nature’ is a key theme at the UN Framework for the 26th Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) as well as being an area of focus at COP 25, at which the initial outputs from this project were presented. The importance of improving the evidence base to inform climate smart decision-making is well documented in relevant UK and international policy.

This first year of work focussed on building the evidence-base to support climate smart decision-making. It developed the evidence-base underpinning which MPA protected features may be at most risk from the effects of climate change, and their functional role in mitigating the impacts of climate change. Using an evidence-based approach, it prioritised MPA protected features in Secretary of State waters at highest risk from climate change pressures. It also reviewed the role of protected features in climate regulation or mitigation of impacts of climate change, identifying the MPAs that contribute to these ecosystem services. The sensitivity of high priority MPA protected features to climate related change have been assessed and presented on the Marine Life Information Network (MarLIN) website. Climate profile report cards for two case study MPAs have been prepared to help communicate the impacts and the role of MPAs in mitigating against climate change.

Objective
1. Prioritise a set of MPA protected features in Secretary of State waters at highest risk from climate change pressures and identify their associated biotopes (Work Package 1);
2. Create an inventory and high-level statistics on MPA protected features in Secretary of State waters with a role in climate regulation or mitigation of climate change impacts (Work Package 2);
3. Devise pressure definitions and benchmarks for climate change pressures, and complete sensitivity assessments for the biotopes associated with prioritised protected features of MPAs found in Secretary of State waters, under the MarLIN project. This work will be delivered through a sub-contract undertaken by the Marine Biological Association (Work Package 3);
4. Create MPA climate profiles as a visual communications tool to communicate the impacts of climate change and the role of MPAs in mitigating against climate change (Work Package 4).
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : Developing Evidence Climate Smart MPAs - May2020   (1561k)
• INF - Information Leaflet : MPA Climate Profile - Studland Bay MCZ   (7124k)
• INF - Information Leaflet : MPA Climate Profile - The Canyons MCZ   (5066k)
• TPS - Two Page Summary : JNCC Climate Smart MPAs   (313k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2019

To: 2020

Cost: £80,495
Contractor / Funded Organisations
J N C C (JNCC - Joint Nature Conservation Committee) Support Committee
Keywords
Biodiversity              
Climate Change              
Habitats              
Marine