Ecosystem services

The ocean and its various stakeholders are usually studied and addressed in isolation. But how all these seafarers and assets interact is vital to consider when asking questions of conservation, enterprise and public policy. How can biodiversity aid coastal defenses? What nature-based solutions can we gain from the ocean? What roles do marine ecosystems play in combating climate change? The Ecosystem Services team was created to join up the dots and help inform win-win solutions for all ocean stakeholders.

Tourism, coastal development, trade, transport, fishing, pollution… Many human activities place pressures on marine and coastal ecosystems. These pressures can reduce biodiversity and the many benefits that these ecosystems provide. As such, we need to look broadly at the ocean’s ecology, consider the many different stakeholders who use it and find ways to sustainably explore it.

The Madeira archipelago lies in an important oceanic area. This area is also very busy in terms of traffic and marine activities. The mission of the Ecosystem Services research group is to contribute to a decision-making system with and for the ocean’s various stakeholders, allowing them to make well-informed choices concerning their many activities in this area of the Atlantic.

Photo credits: Madeira feature image by Diane Esson; Perola de Santa Cruz and underwater fish by João Monteiro