Impact of human activities on Marine Functional Connectivity: International symposium to discuss latest findings


Impact of human activities on Marine Functional Connectivity: International symposium to discuss latest findings

Impact of human activities on Marine Functional Connectivity: International symposium to discuss latest findings 710 397 Ocean Decade

Recently endorsed as an official activity of the UN Ocean Decade, the international symposium Human Impacts on Marine Functional Connectivity (HI-MFC 2023) will take place on 22-25 May 2023, in Sesimbra (Portugal).

This 4-days event is co-organized by the Ocean Decade Project Unifying Approaches to Marine Connectivity for improved Resource Management for the Seas(SEA-UNICORN) and the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). It will bring together a large group of worldwide scientific experts, marine managers and policymakers, to share and discuss the latest findings on the impact of human activities on Marine Functional Connectivity (i.e. all the exchanges of genes, species, matter and energy among sites or habitats resulting from the movements of marine organisms).

The first three days of the event, split into five thematic sessions, will allow for exchanges around oral presentations and poster on past, present, and predicted changes in the distribution and movement of marine species in response to varied anthropogenic pressures, at different spatial and temporal scales, and their implications for the functioning and sustainable management of our oceans and seas. Through global and transdisciplinary exchange of knowledge and experience on MFC changes, this will advance (1) ecosystem science and global knowledge on connectivity within and across realms, (2) our understanding of the impact of pressures that alter the structure and function of marine ecosystems, and (3) marine management and conservation frameworks, by proposing new adaptation and mitigation measures.

On the final morning, two parallel workshops will be held to collectively reflect on the new knowledge and tools presented at the conference. The first one, at the science-society interface, will consider how best to apply geohistorical data/knowledge to explore pre-industrial changes in MFC patterns, to better anticipate future changes in species distributions and their consequences for ecosystem services. The second, at the science-policy interface, will specifically discuss how to better engage with government and NGO stakeholders, in the co-creation of actions and tools incorporating MFC data to enhance the decision-making processes, planning, and policy for sustainable development. Special emphasis will be given beyond the single-state level to address geopolitical challenges and cross-border cooperation, as well as international efforts.

Registration and abstract submissions are now closed for scientists, but interested stakeholders (e.g. NGO representatives and marine managers or policymakers) and journalists are still welcome to join the event. This will be a great opportunity to better understand Marine Functional Connectivity and its importance for sustainable marine management and policy.

For more information, visit here.

For more information, please contact: Dr. Audrey Darnaude, SEA-UNICORN Action chair | Email:


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