A marine social ecological systems is the dynamic interplay between society and a marine ecosystem such as the Baltic sea and the nine countries in its drainage basin. One of the key challenges is to secure the ability of the oceans to provide ecosystem services for societal development. While there have been some local successes, current management of marine social-ecological systems has largely failed to achieve this goal at regional and global scales.
The ecosystem approach is based on the importance of preserving the structure, function and resilience of an ecosystem through a management structure that matches the scale of the ecosystem.
One of the key challenges, however, is how to produce the ecological knowledge needed for such an approach. The ecosystem approach is also commonly featured in marine policy documents, but managers struggle with its interpretation and practical implementation.
About Henrik Österblom
Henrik Österblom's research focuses on food-web interactions, trophic cascades and ecosystem regime shifts, as well as governance of marine resources.
He has a PhD in marine ecology from Stockholm University and his thesis work was mainly focused on the effects of fisheries and fish stock dynamics on marine birds, and interest he gained from Triangle Island field station in the North East Pacific.
Since 2009, he has been a member of the Swedish Council for Biological Diversity, a council that functions as a link between the scientific community and policy makers, primarily in relation to the Convention on Biological Diversity.