Working group details

Marine education for young people - creating reef champions

Bernd Brauer

New Beginnings, Gold Coast, Australia. Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden


In 2020 our charitable organisation expanded the eco component of our youth programs into Marine Conservation bye developing a 3-level program comprising theoretical content on climate change and its impacts, as well as a variety of practical involvements. The program aims to introduce young people into marine conservation at an early age, and create a desire to remain involved by volunteering or formal studies. We have had involved people highly qualified in the field, and developed partnerships with organisations such as Sea World, Coral Watch, Reef Check Australia and Tangaroa Blue. In 2021, a number of students completed all elements for the program (Levels 1 - 3), receiving a certificate of completion, with the program receiving high acclaim from all concerned - students, parents, teachers and principals. A second group of students is currently participating the program.

Seavoices: Resonating gender equity in the ocean decade

Caroline Fassina1, Lana Almeida2

1Secretary of Environment, Santos, Brazil. 2Federal University of São Paulo, Santos, Brazil


The SEAVOICES working group will invite all the women from summit to join a conversation round about the challenges they face to implement Oceand Decade actions. The planned WG activites will be facilitated mainly through participatory methods and collective conceptual mapping. By working with women to discuss shared perceptions and challenges related to gender, this WG will deepen the understanding of such cross-cut ODS 5, from the perspective of those who experience them. That is, SEAVOICES will promote a space for experience exchange, to foster local-based solutions after-summit. We believe that, to overcome shared challenges, a summit can act to connect different women working for the same Ocean. Gender conflicts affect women in all socioeconomic sectors, albeit differently. Thus, although focused on women in the summit audience, this WG can benefit any workplace in the long run, since eliciting gender conversations benefit all the women when going back to their livelihoods.

Reimagining education: Building sustainable universities

Tanvi Verma1, Rashmi Aggarwal1, Sandhir Sharma1, Akhilesh Ojha2, Nedra Bahri Ammari3

1Chitkara University, Punjab, Rajpura, India. 2Truman State University, Kirksville, USA. 3IHEC of Carthage, Tunisia Rue Victor Hugo 2016, Tunisia, Tunisia


Education plays a critical role in empowering citizens in acquiring the skills necessary to live responsibly, modify consumption patterns, find solutions, reform society, and shape a green economy. Universities could be engines of societal transformation by accomplishing Sustainable Development Goals, educating global citizens, and imparting knowledge and innovation to society. The proposal explicates what it means for a university to be sustainable and lays out a plan for becoming one. The framework shows how sustainability can be achieved in each of a university's major areas: environment & climate, teaching & research, people & society, and administration & governance.

Developing an environmental sports field management academy and engaging managers to environmentally certify sports field facilities

Susan Haddock, Donald Rainey

University of Florida, Gainesville, United States Minor Outlying Islands


Florida faces significant current and future challenges in watershed management and coastal resource protection, and managed sports fields are facing enormous challenges including increased activity and play demand, oscillating weather conditions, pest and disease pressures, budget constraints, and pressure from governmental entities and public concern about addressing nonpoint source pollution. This program provides a model for a sports field management certification program and an environmental facility certification promoting environmental stewardship. The certification provides managers and support staff with education and training that protects their organization’s investment, reduces maintenance costs, encourages quality playing surfaces, heightens self-confidence and professionalism, emphasizes cultural practices and environmental stewardship, and improves public perception. The program also promotes and provides assistance with and attester documentation for the Sports Field Management Association international Environmental Facility Certification. The academy encourages existing and/or creative collaborative inputs to further this and advanced sports field environmental certifications via symposia or working group format.

Surface modelling of nature futures

TianXiang YUE

Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China


To overcome the weaknesses of current modelling platforms and the challenges of existing scenarios approaches, we propose a surface modelling platform for nature futures (SMP). For the SMP, the most important terms include nature, nature’s contribution to people, drivers of change and scenarios. Nature refers to the natural world with an emphasis on the diversity of living organisms and their interactions among themselves and with their environment, including biodiversity, ecosystems, ecosystem structure and functioning, the evolutionary process, the biosphere, living natural resources (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005; Díaz et al., 2015). Nature’s contribution to people can be defined as all the contributions, both positive and negative, of living nature to people’s quality of life (Díaz et al., 2018). Drivers of change refer to all the external factors that cause change in nature, anthropogenic assets, nature’s contribution to people and a good quality of life, including institutions and governance systems and other indirect drivers, and direct drivers (both natural and anthropogenic) (IPBES, 2016). A surface refers to a raster expression of a region or one of its eco-environmental properties.

Combining health and biodiversity conservation - how to increase public awareness on conservation

Yurong Yu

Imperial College London, London, UK


This working group aims to initiate a discussion about how to create a more impactful outcome when combining conservation research with human health with multidisciplinary researchers. It will start from how to combine the two topics and find out what is a better way to deliver the knowledge to GPs (or other practical roles), through whom the sometime intimidating biodiversity knowledge can be passed onto a broader spectrum of audience. Furthermore, this group also aims to discuss how to measure the potential outcomes. The discussion will be an open semi-structured focus group, with the participants selected by a pre-filled online form, to make sure enough representation from multiple backgrounds. The discussion will also be facilitated by a PhD student (Yurong Yu), who has a background of conservation science and economics.

Satellite-based radar model for illegal discharges at the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Ecoregion according to MARPOL73_78 Annex I

Ana Halabi-Echeverry1, Juan Aldana-Bernal2, Fabian Ramirez-Cabrales3, Nelson Obregon-Neira3

1NextPort vCoE INC, Sydney, Australia. 2National University of Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia. 3NextPort vCoE INC, Bogotá, Colombia


The lack of data is a key cause of concern for the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Ecoregion. A uniform and complete set of data on current polluters become essential to assess different port management and governance scenarios. Marine Corridor (CMAR) of the Eastern Tropical Pacific between Colombia, USA, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Panama is a regional ocean conservation effort covering more than 500,000 sq km and one of the most productive and diverse areas of the ocean. Port States are urged to run strategies on CMAR according to MARPOL Annex I, demonstrating a willingness to operate and compete internationally. Satellite-based radars (SAR) can be used to detect illegal discharges from ships according to MARPOL prescriptions. This situation deserves researchers' interest in transferring capacities of data intelligence and risk scenario analyses to tackle pollution and marine spills for CMAR planning, therefore, producing a publishable product synthetising the discussion.

Lessons from the field: Closing the biodiversity conservation gap

Silvie Daniels

Hasselt University, Hasselt, Belgium


Closing the biodiversity and conservation financing gap requires local conservation efforts to upscale to the landscape level to attract additional investment, thereby multiplying the positive social, environmental and economic benefits for society. In this working group we invite leaders from the field and academics to think about best practices for upscaling conservation investment. This working group will bring together different voices from the field to (i) analyse the economic architecture needed to scale proven Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) and attract additional investment, (ii) identify existing business models for biodiversity financing, (iii) assess their scalability and transferability to other regions under differing geographic and socio-economic contexts, (iv) assess the heterogeneity in preferences and values that may arise from differences in socio-economic contexts and geographic regions, (v) identify the most cost-effective solutions for creating environmental and social returns, (vi) identify reliable, science-based and proven impact metrics for blended finance on landscape levels and finally (vii) strategically target the governance and financial architecture of multiple assets on a landscape scale to provide insights for a common framework to mitigate risk and bridge the financing gap.

A working group to improve the communication of risks from marine pollution and its impacts on environmental and human health to diverse stakeholders

Catherine Pirkle1, Amanda Boyd2, Robert Richmond1, Tetine Sentell1, David Delaney3, Jennifer Lynch4,5, Alexander Mawyer1, Chris Furgal6, Megan Donahue7

1University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Honolulu, USA. 2Washington State University, Pullman, USA. 3Delaney Aquatic Consulting, Honolulu, USA. 4Hawaii Pacific University, Honolulu, USA. 5National Institute of Standards and Technology, Honolulu, USA. 6Trent University, Peterborough, Canada. 7Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, USA


Pollution, from a variety of contaminants, including plastics, poses a significant health threat to marine ecosystems and those who depend on them. Communicating associated health risks is challenging and hampered by disciplinary silos. We propose an interdisciplinary, multinational working group composed of participants from academia, government and key stakeholder communities with the mutual goals of 1) improving broader understanding of and communication on marine pollution and 2) building better risk assessment and communication tools targeting diverse audiences. Co-organizers listed on this proposal come from diverse disciplinary backgrounds; share a commitment to improving communication about the risks of marine pollution to ecosystems, wildlife and humans; are solutions-oriented and committed to working together to publish an innovative paper on novel, interdisciplinary communication approaches. This working group’s 4 hour collaborative session will be open to all EcoSummit attendees, upon request, up to 20 participants.  

Creating appetite for climate action – the future is now

Rachel Kelly 1,2, Gretta Pecl 1,2


Forward-looking, forward thinking, and imagining going forward: the tools and approaches needed to create and support a mobilising narrative for proactively preparing and responding to climate change are available and being developed on an ongoing basis. This session asks: How can we build appetite for climate action and how can we convince others to take this action? We draw on multi/transdisciplinary expertise and artistic expression (via an interactive panel and other engaging activities) to envision how to build enthusiastic action and discuss how we can better connect people with climate futures. We will explore innovative and creative ways of explaining and visioning the future (think: artistic, futuristic, technologic, pluralistic) and bring diverse expertise and insights together (including: diverse disciplines, non-academics, younger voices) to develop a shared vision for climate action.

Gaming the system: the role of games in facilitating ecological education

Keri Hopeward1, James Hopeward 1, Delene Weber 1, Paul Sutton 2, Sharolyn Anderson 3

1 University of South Australia - Mawson Lakes Campus, Mawson Lakes, Australia. 2 University of Denver, Denver, CO, USA. 3 Australian National University, Canberra, Australia


This proposed working group will provide a space for educators to share about and discuss the different ways in which they have integrated various games as learning tools in their delivery of ecological education with different cohorts from community to tertiary levels. Whether focused on the transformation of our economic and socio-political systems or increasing understanding of our climate and ecological systems, games have potential to increase engagement with the big issues of our time. From SMART phone quizzes and VR headsets, to cards, board games and other activities, games provide an interactive experience that helps make learning fun. This working group will be comprised of ecological educators with the intended output being a short discussion paper reviewing the value of different educational games in various educational settings, a journal special issue or grant application.

Sustainability and resilience of cities

Mahfuzuar Rahman Barbhuiya

Netaji Subhas University of Technology (NSUT), Delhi, India

Cities are facing problems due to reasons which policymakers and planners could not think of a few decades back. With the ever-increasing population and migration of people from rural to urban areas for better facilities and quality of life; cities are facing new problems every year. Poor air quality, drinking water shortage, regular floods, traffic congestion, housing shortage, power shortage and crime etc. are some of the problems faced by almost all cities around the globe. All these problems are because the cities were not designed to accommodate such a huge population. United nation's sustainable development goals talk about seventeen goals; all of these goals are very relevant and crucial for cultural and heritage cities. The immediate focus needs to be given to these goals else we will start losing cities and it will be very difficult to make them habitable again. In this side event, we will be discussing various problems faced by the cities around the world and we will try to find strategies and policy recommendations for the same. These recommendations will be general as well as specific and thus they can be taken up by city administrators for improving quality of life.

Indicators of human and ecological wellbeing

Paul Sutton1, James Hopeward2, Xuantong Wang3, Uma Baysal1, Sharolyn Anderson4

1University of Denver, Denver, CO, USA. 2University of South Australia Library, Mawson Lakes, Australia. 3Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA. 4Australian National University, Canberra, Australia


The University of Denver is embarking upon developing a People's Observatory for the Public Good which will consist of a flagship report and forum on a suite of spatially explicit indicators of human and ecological wellbeing. This report will complement and be juxtaposed with CU Boulder's Leeds Business School's annual assessment of business and economic trends and issues in Colorado by (1) developing a consensus set of measurable indicators of human and ecological wellbeing; (2) preparing an annual/biennial report of trends and related issues; and (3) convening an annual/biennial forum for the release of these findings and an opportunity for discussion concerning their significance. This symposium will present progress on the Denver end and share ideas with others who are developing approaches to monitoring, tracking, and evaluating a variety of indicators of sustainability and wellbeing.

From hilltops to oceans – the role of coastal habitats for ecosystem resiliencemto anthropogenic change

Jenny Hillman1, Caitlin Blain1, Emily Douglas2, Luitgard Schwendenmann1

1The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. 2National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Hamilton, Hamilton, New Zealand


Human land use is increasing nutrient, organic matter and sediment loads to waterways, with implications for the health and functioning of coastal ecosystems. Key habitats within these ecosystems are hotspots for transformation of nutrients and organic matter at the land-ocean interface. Conserving and restoring such habitats, and the links between them, allow mitigation of the impacts of increasing inputs, as well as future anthropogenic stressors and environmental shifts associated with climate change. Here we look to identify key coastal habitats and assess the capacity of these habitats to mitigate change through ecosystem functions such as denitrification and carbon sequestration. This symposium will feature collaborative research that draws attention to the importance of enhancing healthy coastal habitats and ecosystem functions to solve environmental problems.

A model for sustainable coastal landscapes: policies, programs, and strategies from the University of Florida, Florida-Friendly Landscaping™

Esengul Momol1, Gail Marie Hansen De Chapman2, Susan Haddock3, Lynn Barber4, Taylor Clem2, Tom Wichman2

1University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA. 2University of Florida, Gainesville, USA. 3University of Florida, Seffner, USA. 4University of Florida, Seffner, USA


This symposium proposes to highlight sustainable landscaping practices in Florida, where outdoor water use can consume up to 74 percent of the total household water budget. With 13,500 kilometers of coastline and 14.5 million of its 21-million-person population living in coastal counties, Florida faces significant current and future challenges in watershed and coastal resource protection. Nutrients, including those directly linked to residential fertilizer use, are driving widespread riverine and estuarine algal blooms that are increasing in both frequency and duration. Further, Florida’s population is projected to grow an additional 25 percent in the next 20 years. Consequently, the state of Florida has enacted a statewide water conservation and protection program called Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL). The program promotes sustainable landscape design and maintenance practices that are documented with preventing more than 30,000 kg of nitrogen per year from entering Florida waters. Symposium speakers will overview the FFL program and expand on its core principles that include sustainable yard design, home irrigation systems design and operation, proper fertilization practices that contain nutrients; highlight the Green Industries Best Management Practices (GI-BMP) program that, as mandated by Florida law, provides training to all landscaping professionals who fertilize and, since 2006, has trained over 55,000 landscapers statewide in BMPs; cover the use of FFL mobile web applications to reach specific target audiences and overview several case studies that highlight program successes; discuss elements of sustainable landscape design and strategies to overcome behavioral constraints that hinder residents from adopting sustainable landscaping practices in their yards.

Sustainable productivity and conservation of wild animals on farms in the Pantanal and surroundings

Julio Cesar de Souza1, Carolina Fregonesi de Souza2

1Mato Grosso do Sul Federal University, Campo Grande, Brazil. 2Pampa Federal University, Uruguaiana, Brazil


A region with differentiated scenic beauties and rich biodiversity, allowing the privilege of contemplating these wonders. Its economic base is beef cattle, being practiced for hundreds of years. Governed by the water cycle, the wetland is renewed with each flood and depends on it for its continuity. There are several livestock production systems in this region, where beef cattle production is mainly concentrated. With such interactivity between production systems and wild fauna. Producing efficiently and sustainably is essential for nature conservation. Studies on the jaguar have contributed to and implemented scientific knowledge and the development of important technological alternatives to preserve biodiversity and propose innovative, sustainable, and efficient livestock production systems. The work consists of locating carcasses slaughtered by jaguars, tying them up to prevent the jaguar from dragging them out of focus of the trap cameras, which are installed for photographic records; a covering of branches and leaves is made over the carcass to prevent attacks by scavengers. When the female preys on cattle, her young learn from their mother to do the same. Studies involving the behavior of felines are relevant, as they allow greater knowledge of the species and its behavior. It is important to emphasize the opposition to hunting natural prey that serves as food for jaguars. This competition for food with humans reduces the availability of game, promoting greater predation of domestic animals. Protecting Biodiversity in productive areas are goals for achieving sustainability.

Indigenous peoples, water values, and biocultural conservation

Pamela Katic1, Tania Martinez-Cruz2

1Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Chatham, UK. 2Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium


For millennia, Indigenous Peoples have developed place-based traditional ecological knowledge and cultural values that promote ecological sustainability and equity. While today Indigenous Peoples are recognised as essential to meet internationally agreed goals for biodiversity conservation and sustainable water use, such recognition has not yet been fully embraced by mainstream water, conservation, and development policies. This session will assess what is needed to achieve a radical transformation towards rights-based collaborative approaches for water justice and biocultural conservation. The session will address topics such as mechanisms to bridge Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge systems, governance approaches that facilitate and safeguard Indigenous Peoples’ contributions to water stewardship, and Indigenous Peoples' innovation networks in water management.

Organizational culture and environmental crimes for Mongolian customs

Bayarmaa Gur1, Kenichi Matsui2 

1Graduate school of Science and Technology, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan. 2Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan


An illicit international trade of environmentally sensitive commodities has become growing concerns for customs organizations in developing countries, which are yet ill-informed about exotic wildlife items and sophisticated trade networks in various parts of the world. Customs organizations are expected to have sufficient capacity and knowledge for detecting, stopping, and preventing environmental crimes at the border. However, as rapid economic growth has enriched a certain proportion of people in developing countries like Mongolia and extended their socio-economic networks into various parts of the exotic world, environmental crimes have become more complicated and challenging to be detected. Therefore, it is necessary to enhance the capacity of customs officials. This paper examines the extent to which relevant policies and organizational culture affect customs officials in Mongolia in dealing with environmental crimes. It first discusses the result of our examination about past national policies and law that are pertinent to environmental crimes. We then discuss the results of a questionnaire survey among Mongolian customs officers. The results show that although the national statistics shows a declining number of environmental crimes in Mongolia, customs officials had limited work experience in detecting illicit items under the CITES. These workers expressed their need to be further trained to identify animal and plant species that are covered by the CITES. Given these results and more, we discuss how an organizational culture can determine the way, in which officials perform duties and how this culture may affect capacity building practices for Mongolian customs and beyond.

Climate change adaptation and resilience amongst migrants and displaced people: Towards the fortification of at-risk communities against climate hazards

Lazarus Chapungu1, David Chikodzi1, Claris Mudzengi2, Kaitano Dube3, Godwell Nhamo4

1University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa. 2Great Zimbabwe University, Masvingo, Zimbabwe. 3Vaal University of Technology - Upington Campus, Upington, South Africa. 4University of South Africa School of Management Sciences, Pretoria, South Africa


Climate change-induced hazards’ effects on human mobility, migration, and displacement across the world are substantial and diverse in nature. The IPCC AR6 predicts a medium to high-risk chance that climate change will exacerbate migration and displacement. This compromises the social, economic, and physical security of individuals, pulling back the world’s ability to attain sustainable development goals by 2030. Relief programs have not provided sustainable solutions that enhance the capacity of migrant communities to adapt and be resilient. Migration due to climate-induced disasters is not gender-neutral with women, and girls often being disproportionately affected. This symposium seeks to unpack frameworks and strategies that can be used in intervening with actions that enhance the sustainable social, economic and physical security of at-risk communities and individuals.

Valorizing Sargassum sp. in the global south: Turning the crisis into opportunities

Precious Agbeko D. Mattah

Africa Centre of Excellence in Coastal Resilience, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana


Marine systems worldwide are being invaded by macroalgae especially the Sargassum sp.. Exponential blooms and influx of the Sargassum sp. are recorded in the Atlantic Ocean annually. This phenomenon is negatively impacting aquatic and coastal resources worldwide invariably affecting economic sectors such as ocean transport, fisheries and coastal tourism among others, particularly in the global south. The session brings together experts from academia, industry, civil society organizations, governments, regional and international bodies and interested parties to deliberate on this emerging menace of Sargassum sp. and its impact on national and regional economies, share experiences and ideas on its economic potential and options for valorizing this seaweed to enhance development in the global south. Presentations in the symposia will include the overview of global sargassum invasion, quantification techniques, challenges and opportunities. The working group will seek to develop a roadmap for addressing this emerging problem towards reducing its impact on the developing economies within the global south.

Ecosystem-based management of deep-sea mining

Jayden Hyman1, Oz Sahin1, Jeffrey Dambacher2, Piers Dunstan2, Malcolm Clark3

1Griffith University, Southport, Australia. 2CSIRO, Hobart, Australia. 3NIWA, Wellington, New Zealand


Deep-sea mining is a nascent industry that promises to diversify the global supply of critical metals. Our understanding of the effects of mining activities on the marine environment, however, remains uncertain. Extensive research is currently taking place in prospective mining areas to establish environmental baselines to understand and monitor potential environmental impacts. In this symposium, we apply the ecosystem approach to the monitoring and management of deep-sea mining, with a focus on predicting the effects of mining pressures on marine ecosystem structure, functions, and services. We emphasise the need for informative indicators to monitor potentially harmful effects, as well as ecological thresholds to establish a “safe operating space” for adaptive management.

Sustainable circular economy and bioeconomy in management, economics, and policy

Magnus Fröhling1, Sebastian Goerg1, Jennifer Yarnold2, Justus Wessler3

1Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany. 2University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. 3University of Wageningen, Wageningen, The Netherlands


The Circular Economy (CE) and the Bioeconomy (BE) are important cornerstones to achieve global, national and regional, and corporate sustainability goals. Thereby, the bioeconomy aims at a biologisation of economic activities. This is achieved through a shift towards renewable biogenic raw materials and energy carriers, the use of biochemical and biotechnological processes and taking nature as a role model to mimicking designs, organizational principles and processes (‘biomimicry’). The Circular Economy aims to achieve the sustainability goals by slowing, closing, and narrowing material loops. Both concepts should not be seen as separate but as overlapping and complementary to each other. As the bioeconomy and the circular economy are gaining momentum, their consideration in management, economics, and policy science becomes more important. Behavioral changes, business model adaptation, and economic system transformation in ways that deliver true sustainable activities are facilitated and encouraged. Some existing work evaluates technologies and concepts in a rather attributional way. However, potential consequences are broader and include, among others, the benefits and costs to consumers and producers, externalities on uninvolved third parties, and environmental damages. Regarding the future success, identifying potential barriers and enablers that might limit or enhance the potentials becomes crucial. Such factors could be the support and attitudes of different stakeholders (e.g., consumers, workers, member of communities) or regulatory frameworks and to develop a scientific basis of the CE and the BE from the perspective of management, economics and policy sciences.  The proposed workshop and associated special issue of Ecological Economics on ‘Sustainable Circular Economy and Bioeconomy in Economics, Management, and Policy’ aims at bringing together researchers from management, economics, and policy fields to share and discuss these topics from different angles. Thus, we want to provide an overview of this important field for the further development of the bioeconomy and the circular economy, discuss existing works, research needs and envisage approaches for potential solution. In doing so, we welcome submissions from researchers with backgrounds in the behavioral sciences, circular economy, industrial ecology, and other relevant areas of management, economics and policy. Case studies, observational studies, (field) experiments, large scale RCTs as well as methodical works for simulation, optimization and policy analysis are welcomed.