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FutureMARES, the ocean as a pillar of the strategy against climate change

The EU-funded project FutureMARES, which is funded by H2020 programme and seeks to provide socially and economically viable solutions based on ecosystems and the services they provide for the adaptation and mitigation of the effects derived from climate change in marine ecosystems, started on September 1.

First reunion of FutureMARES.The first meeting between the partners was held last week virtually. Researchers from more than 15 countries attended the event via video conference to discuss the project’s goals, approaches (which include actions for effective restoration, effective conservation, and sustainable harvesting of marine resources), workflows and expected results from now to 2024.

FutureMARES is led by the University of Hamburg and is supported by 32 other institutions, including the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC, for its Spanish initials). The researcher at the Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM) Marta Coll is the coordinator of the project at the CSIC, but the ICM researcher Joaquim Garrabou and the IMEDEA researcher Ignasi Catalán, among other researchers, are also involved.

"In the current situation of environmental degradation of marine ecosystems, there is an urgent need to implement nature-based solutions such as the restoration of vulnerable marine habitats, the conservation of marine ecosystems and the sustainable management of fishing", explains Marta Coll, who highlights the importance of developing spatio-temporal ecological models to analyse the accumulated, present and future impacts of climate change and other anthropic impacts on marine ecosystems.

Projects such as FutureMARES are key since they facilitate the analysis of various nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation

The researcher also emphasizes that the development of projects such as FutureMARES is key since they facilitate the analysis of various nature-based solutions implemented jointly. The protection of the oceans is one of the solutions analysed which, according to Joaquim Garrabou, "should be one of the pillars of our strategies for adaptation and mitigation of climate change".

From the IMEDEA, Ignasi Catalán points out that it is important to apply a systematic methodology in all the European case studies to assess marine ecosystem services and their transfer to society. According to the researcher, this will allow to find out how solutions based on nature can help mitigate the impacts of climate change on marine biodiversity and human communities.

FutureMARES seeks to propose marine ecosystem-based solutions for adaptation and mitigation of climate change.FutureMARES seeks to develop these solutions together with the main socio-economic and political agents at local, national and international level, since the co-management model are those that guarantee the success of the policies related to the management of the marine environment.

Within the framework of this project, the ICM will lead a series of studies in the Mediterranean to investigate the effect of the integration of various nature-based solutions: the conservation of marine ecosystems, the restoration of habitat-forming species and the management sustainable fisheries exploitation, and the impact of climate change.

Likewise, IMEDEA will lead, in the Balearic Islands, a case study on Posidonia oceanica and its associated socio-ecological system. The value of existing replanting actions as an instrument for mitigating climate change on this species will also be analysed.