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Focus Groups


Title: Creating a standardized monitoring and reporting framework for marine restoration

Organizer(s): Aaron Eger, Adriana Vergés, Elisa Bayraktarov, Megan Saunders

Timing: Thursday, 20 August, 04:00-05:00 UTC

Coastal marine ecosystems and the services they supply are increasingly degrading because of climate change and other anthropogenic pressures. In most instances, these ecosystems lack the capacity to naturally return to their previous states without human intervention. Resultantly, societies are investing in the directed restoration of ecosystems such as coral reefs, kelp forests, seagrasses, saltmarshes, oyster reefs, and mangroves. This investment and subsequent activities are expected to increase and the decade, 2021-2030, has been marked as the “Decade on Ecosystem Restoration” by the United Nations.

An essential part of the restoration process is the monitoring and reporting of the project methodologies and outcomes.Accurate reporting on projects increases accountability, knowledge gained, and accessibility of project results. Currently projects have their own standards for monitoring and reporting and no unified standard exists. This lack of consistent formatting is a barrier to large scale analyses and data repositories. Creating a unified framework will allow for systematic storage and analysis of restoration projects which will in turn facilitate more informed decision making based.

This focus group proposes to bring together coastal marine restoration experts from across ecosystems and sectors and work to create standardized reporting metrics and formats for marine restoration projects.

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Title: Effective marine and coastal conservation in Africa through demand-driven marine research, international partnerships and improved science-policy exchange

Organizer(s): Anke Schneider, Hauke Kegler, Hauke Reuter, Matthias Wolff, Paul Tuda, Kira Gee, Andreas Kannen, André Freiwald

Timing: Friday, 21 August, 11:00-13:00 UTC

This Focus Group aims at sharing experiences and expertise for improved knowledge generation and science-policy transfer in the field of marine and coastal conservation in Africa. We seek to bring together scientific and non-scientific actors to learn from each other and discuss the needs, challenges and successes of ocean and coastal conservation in Africa to achieve SDG14 and the Agenda 2030, as well as to improve the conditions for knowledge- and science-based policy-making.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ, German Agency for International Cooperation) will shortly introduce the initiative “MeerWissen – African-German Partners for Ocean Knowledge” (www.meerwissen.org) of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and a range of MeerWissen partnerships projects will be presented in a vivid “Science-Espresso”. The main part of the session will showcase five best practice examples for the effective conservation and sustainable use of African coastal resources from Tanzania and Kenya to the Atlantic upwelling regions. These presentations will cover ecosystem-based fisheries management, an educational concept for ship-board training, the role of women in climate adaptation policies, blue carbon systems and their contribution to communities and national development plans, and. Finally, a moderated discussion on science-policy uptake in Africa, beginning with a short introduction to a recently published report on effective science to policy interaction in the Western Indian Ocean Region, will give all participants the possibility to share experiences, raise questions and provide insights to their work in this regard.

Anticipated outputs are strengthened alliances between science and beyond as well as the promotion of innovative concepts and ways of cooperation to bridge the science-policy gap and support implementation of ocean-related SDGs in Africa.

The focus group is organized and co-hosted by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), Helmholtz Centre Geesthacht (HZG), Geesthacht, and Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN) - Senckenberg am Meer.

Title: How to use Instagram for science communication

Organizer(s): Melissa Márquez

Timing: Tuesday, 25 August, 10:00-11:00 UTC

Social media is a powerful tool for science communication and Instagram is no exception. Since its launch in 2010, the photo- and video-sharing platform has steadily grown, hitting 1 billion users in 2018, making it one of the most popular social media platforms. And while many of the posts are uplifting quotes, puppies, and food, a growing number of accounts are dedicated to promoting science to larger audiences. Used effectively, Instagram offers a unique opportunity for virtual science outreach through pictures, videos, and live "stories." Unfortunately, many don't know how to use the application for professional purposes. At the end of this workshop, attendees will have an account, learn the basics of the app, and key questions to ask themselves to best share their scientific experiences.

Title: Marine conservation in the UN Decade on Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

Organizer(s): Jörn Schmidt, Taylor Goelz

Timing: Tuesday, 25 August, 19:00-20:30 UTC

The purpose of this focus group is to summarize the outcome of IMCC6 and to develop recommendations from the marine conservation community to feed into the planning and implementation of the UN Decade on Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). The goal of this Decade is to transform from “the ocean we have” to “the ocean we need”, challenging the global ocean community to think differently about how we accomplish sustainable development of our oceans and coasts. Using a common global framework aimed towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, each field within marine sciences has been organizing over the past three years to better understand both what they can contribute to the Decade and what they want to get out of the next ten years..

The contribution of marine conservation in this context, then, is crucial. This focus group will solicit guidance form the marine conservation community at IMCC6 on perceived alignment with the Decade and how marine conservation wants to take advantage of the Decade (e.g., what areas of the field need to be emphasized, what are the priorities?). This guidance will be developed into a set of recommendations to feed into the planning and implementation of the Ocean Decade.