As the demand for goods and services increases, competition will increase between different ocean users, thus managing human activities in a changing environment will be essential. Local studies and experiences on how society has, and could adapt to these ocean changes need to be assembled and synthesized to build greater understanding of human impacts on our changing oceans and the impacts of our changing oceans on human society.

Ocean governance in the face of societal pressures and uncertain predictions

Biliana Cicin-Sain (USA)
David VanderZwaag (Canada)
Fokion Vosniakos (Greece)
Invited speaker: Habib El Habr (Lebanon)

For centuries humans have depended on the ocean as a resource, a dependence that is being threatened by a multitude of human activities leading to unprecedented changes (at least on societally relevant time scales) and with outcomes that are hard to predict. These changes come with major societal and legal issues that transcend national boundaries ranging from governance of threatened species to proposals for ocean geoengineering. Governance responses are generally fragmented and lag behind scientific advances. We invite presentations and discussions of issues related to ocean governance given scientific uncertainty.

Success stories in capacity-building in ocean sciences

Albert Fischer (France)
Nicholas R. Bates (Bermuda)
Invited speaker: Karen H. Wiltshire (UK) 

Capacity-building in ocean sciences to establish observational programs and analyses to face new ocean research challenges should be an essential part of institutional strategic plans. At the present time, there is much which can be learned and incorporated into the design of institutional capacity-building strategies from the success of international programs such as GOOS, LME, IODE, etc. We have learned that success in capacity-building is often based on long-term thinking and collective action and that capacity-building should not be seen as an isolated action of technical intervention. This session on success stories in capacity building in ocean sciences will give scientists the opportunity to share and analyze capacity building issues around the world.

The valuation of coastal and marine ecosystem services

Paulo A.L.D.Nunes (Portugal)
Maria Betti (Italy)
Invited speaker: Juan-Carlos Miquel (Monaco) 

Ecosystem services provide an important basis for monitoring impacts of ecosystem change and can be used to identify needs for interventions in management of coastal and marine areas. As the ocean with its ecosystem services is a source of economic and social wealth, the degradation of coastal ecosystems leads to substantial socio-economic impacts and poses a risk to citizens by threatening their livelihood, health or general well-being. Thus, it is essential that scientists and decision makers understand the value of marine ecosystem services, their implication and links to human well-being and as well as take appropriate measures to manage this relationship. We invite papers which quantify the value of the marine sectors, their contribution to the GDP of an economy, and the cost of ecosystem services for an effective sustainable development.