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What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' in achieving Target 14.3 and to improve ocean acidification observation?

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Sam Dupont's picture

Sam Dupont said:

Thanks for a nice summary, LibbyThe general challenge is always to develop awareness and capacity to develop the local science and identify key actions. There are several ongoing projects on this but I wanted to highlight something related to the Ocean Conference (sorry, I also posted a same post on the Question 1 but I think it is important).To increase public and policy maker awareness, we are planning a global ocean acidification day organized by the network OA-Africa. I am negotiating to have an exhibition during the conference to highlight this too.Ocean Acidification Day Show your support to the OA-Africa network by joining the ocean acidification day on the June 8, 2017.Ocean acidification is now identified as major threat to marine ecosystems and is one of the SDGs target: “14.3 Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels”. When it comes to understanding, projecting and anticipating the impacts of ocean acidification, some countries or even continents are left relatively unexplored. For example, no studies were performed on ocean acidification impacts along the coasts of Africa despite its biological and socio-economical vulnerability to future global changes.This was the rationale behind the development of an ocean acidification Africa network. OA-Africa has been developed over three training courses (South Africa, Mozambique, Mauritius) and recently launched at a recent ocean acidification capacity building and networking workshop in Dakar, Senegal (13 - 16 February 2017). Prominent researchers representing several African coastal countries discussed the coordination and regional priorities for ocean acidification activities on the continent. Broadly, the network aims to coordinate on ocean acidification related research and monitoring, provide information and guidance to stakeholders and policy makers, and promote and advance ocean research through outreach and capacity building initiatives.The OA-Africa network is leading an African “ocean acidification day”. It was agreed that on the ocean day (June 8, 2017), scientists from all over Africa and in partner countries will join forced to measure pH at the same time, following the indicator of the SDG 14.3: “Average marine acidity (pH) measured at agreed suite of representative sampling stations”. This initiative led by African scientists (Folasade Adeboyejo from Nigeria & Andry Herizo Rasolomaharavo from Madagascar) and facilitated by Sam Dupont (Sweden) and Martin Le Tissier (Ireland) will be broadly communicated through a national and international press and social media campaign.Ocean acidification has no frontiers and you can support this initiative of the OA-Africa network by joining African scientist and:Take a pH measurement on your coast on the June 8, 2017Take a picture of the even and share the data on a large scale social media campaignContact the press to join the event (OA-Africa will provide a press release that will be available in several languages)If you are interested and receive additional information, please contact sam.dupont@gu.se.

Roshan T Ramessur's picture

Roshan T Ramessur said:

Dear Libby and Bronte

I agree with the salient points mentioned. Since OA Research in Africa and in the Indian Ocean is still in its infancy, I believe capacity building with OA researchers and institutions remain important. The development of low cost OA kits and sensors could enhance contribution in the network. So far a number of institutions are still in the stage of upgrading basic facilities, The idea to inform policy makers of the importance of creating OA  awareness and outreach can be initiated in the short term, Objectives need to be defined for short, medium and long term for different regions. I believe that developing research components and projects can encourage for collection of data within different institutions.  Identification of some key areas where expertise can be provided to bridge the gaps is important and  it is good to note that as OA network expands,  coordinated efforts need to be enhanced to meet the 3 key topics within specific countries and  regions.


Libby Jewett's picture

Libby Jewett said:

Dear All,

Thank you for all of your contributions to the discussion on SDG 14.3.  We would like to summarize what has been submitted to the forum (across the questions)  and propose a few key areas where we might focus our attention for the remainder of the discussion.

There are three key topics that have been discussed to date: (1) the need for additional research, (2) education, outreach, and capacity building requirements, and (3) actions that could be taken.

Additional Research

It has been noted that there are some major geographic gaps in our understanding of ocean chemistry. In addition, it has been suggested that a suite of key biological indicators be developed that could be applied across multiple ecosystems. Finally, the need for multi-population and multi-stressor experiments was noted.

Education, Outreach, and Capacity Building

Many participants have noted two major challenges facing ocean acidification researchers today: the lack of public awareness of the issue in many locations and the limited scientific expertise in some countries.


There has been some suggestion of actions that can be taken in order to mitigate against further impacts of ocean acidification. Such actions include raising awareness of the activities that are major contributors to CO2 emissions and advocating for behavior change to reduce the harm from those activities.

Focus for the rest of the discussion

Given that we have now identified a number of issues where effort is needed, for the remaining week of the discussion we would like to propose that we focus on making specific, actionable proposals that address some or all of these issues. For example, what are needs for capacity building, how do we facilitate and coordinate regional and national efforts to build an international observing network, how do we find and tap into new resources to fund our work and what are the mechanisms to share data and deliver information relevant to society. These proposals could be country- or region-specific, and could help our OA community come together and identify areas where international collaboration will be useful for addressing the threat of ocean acidification.

Best regards,

Libby Jewett and Bronte Tilbrook

Fazal Akbar's picture

Fazal Akbar said:

Efforts are needed on the part of human to take action and prevent the disastrous effects of ocean accidifcation. We can reduce the burning of fossil fuels, the burning of coal for producing electricity, we can conserve electricity, can reduce transportation by abandoning own sources and using public transport system or can use fuel-efficient cars and check their tyres and servicing cars regularly, we can protect the wild-life that responds to climate change, we can monitor pollution and nutrient run-off that protects coral reefs, we can purchae products that are developed in co-existence with forests so that the need for deforestation can be reduced, we can eat sea-food for a healthy sea life and last, but not the least, we can go for green options and environment-friendly things/technology that can help in prevention of CO2 emissions.

Antoine De Ramon N'Yeurt's picture

Antoine De Ramo... said:

Dear Bronte, 

There is indeed a great need to increase the capacity and technical means to monitor Ocean Acidifications in Small Islands Developping States (SIDS) especially in the South Pacific, as these nations are most at risk from the negative effects of climate change. I was fortunate to be a part of the 3rd GOA-ON Science Workshop in Hobart, and become involved in the Pier2Peer collaboration network. At the local scale, I think we need to increase the national and institutional financial resources for investing into OA monitoring equipment and the setting-up of observation networks (accurate and reliable sensors that can be left in the field are expensive) as well as build the capacity for local expertise in the monitoring and reporting of ocean carbon chemistry. At the regional scale, there needs to be concerted data sharing and the availability of OA information in online centralised databases.

Libby Jewett's picture

Libby Jewett replied:

Dear Antoine

 Thank you for your comment. I definitely agree that there are some very big gaps in OA monitoring capabilities, including in the South Pacific, which we can clearly see when we examine the data portal of the Global Ocean Acidificaton Observing Network. Also as you stated, both the cost of the equipment and the training required to generate useable data are substantial. We envision that the GOA-ON network which is a community of scientists all working towards the same goals might facilitate this work. Hopefully, together we can continue to build OA monitoring and research capacity around the world to fill in those gaps including through identification of potentially new funding resources in our respective countries?  Libby

Bronte Tilbrook's picture

Bronte Tilbrook replied:

Dear Antoine, Your comments on the needs for the SIDS region are key considerations in developing SDG14.3, and also apply to other locations. The many organisations coming together to tackle capacity building and network development are examples of a pathway to implement SDG14.3. Thank you for the comments. Regards, Bronte

Bronte Tilbrook's picture

Bronte Tilbrook said:

Dear Ariel, A key objective of OA networks are to develop key biological indicators to integrate with OA monitoring. The SDG14.3 target on OA is aimed at providing the foundation to establish OA exposure, and this is a first step to identifying the response for biological systems to OA.There is a considerable amount of effort being directed at what key species should be included in a coordinated monitoring network and pteropods are certainly part of this. Thank you for the input. Regards, Bronte

Ariel Kozlowski's picture

Ariel Kozlowski said:

Last year I've read a paper called something like this "Pteropods as indicators for Cumulative Ocean Acidification", and I think that if all the OA networks around the globe start to use those indicators in a collaborative way, we can accelerate both process of scaling public awareness and provoke policy makers to start making decisions based on the environmental and intergeracional justices, stricly connected to ocean acidification (and warming).

Sam Dupont's picture

Sam Dupont replied:


The problerm with that approach is that it neglects local adaptation and it is very unlikely that you'll have one key species indicator that will work everywhere.

I am part of a biology working group (GOA-ON) that reflects on this question. Instead of a species, we are trying to develop some simple indicators that could be used globally. For example, ratio of calcifiers.

I agree that having a common strategy would help !

Ariel Kozlowski's picture

Ariel Kozlowski replied:

Hi Sam!

I'm not a biologist, neither an oceanographer, I actually studied economics, but I'm very interested in the subject and this question has always intrigued me. Many thanks for your comment, in fact, ratio of calcifiers makes enough sense!

Anyway, here's the link to the article that I mentioned before: "New ocean, new needs: Application of pteropod shell dissolution as a biological indicator for marine resource management"

All best!

Bronte Tilbrook's picture

Bronte Tilbrook said:

Welcome to the online forum on ocean acidification, SDG14.3. The forum will contribute to the SDG-14 Ocean Conference in June 2017, and we are excited to moderate your input on SDG 14.3.

Ocean acidification is a threat to the health and sustainability of marine ecosystems from the polar seas to tropical reefs. SDG 14.3 is a unique opportunity for the global community to develop an integrated approach to observe ocean acidification and to counter the impacts on ecosystems. For question 2, we are interested to receive your input on What do you see as the priority actions which we can all rally around in global 'Calls for Action' in achieving Target 14.3 and to improve ocean acidification observations? What actions from local to global scales are needed to develop and support the observational network? What actions have already been taken in your region/country? What new actions are needed for capacity building, knowledge and data sharing, and policy to further assist in delivering to the needs of communities and the environment?

This forum will remain open until 30th March and we will monitor the inputs and provide moderation to ensure the discussion makes a substantive input to be carried to the Conference in June. Summaries of the responses will be compiled at the end of the discussion period and posted on the platform.

Your voice matters! Make it count as the global community converges in June 2017 to commit to action to realize Sustainable Development Goal 14 to sustain Life Below Water for our and future generations!

Ashwini Sathnur's picture

Ashwini Sathnur replied:

As the percentage of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere increases, its quantity of absorption by the oceans increases. This is due to the fact that more amount of Carbon Dioxide is present near the surface of the ocean. 

Water + Carbon Dioxide -> Carbonic Acid

Since this is an acidic compund formation, the pH value of the ocean reduces [As pH value of acid is in the range of 1 to 3]. As the quantity of Carbonic Acid increases, the acidity of the ocean increases, thus reducing the pH value further.

This occurrence is due to the concept of Green House Gas emissions. Thus the requirement arises at the global level, to reduce the amount of Green House Gas emissions, leading to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal. This would take into consideration, the emissions from transportation vehicles, automobiles, factories and industries, including the chemical industries etc.

There would be a necessity of knowledge building and awareness building activities for the communities, locally and regionally, to bring about the positive change in terms of SDGs. Capacity building activities, with an addition of creating platforms for research articles, educational, and knowledge artifacts enabling a wider target audience is primary for achieving the mandates. Thus leading to the implementation of the SDGs and building of a more robust environment !

Bronte Tilbrook's picture

Bronte Tilbrook replied:

Dear Aswini, Thank you for the comments. I agree we need to understand what is changing in the environment in order to respond to any threats that might pose to the environment. Capacity building and data sharing are recognised as important for SDG14.3. Regards, Bronte

Roshan T Ramessur's picture

Roshan T Ramessur replied:

Hi Bronte

After my participation in the Hobart meeting, I coordinated The ApHRICA project and Mauritius Workshop which enabled participants in the South Western Indian Ocean to learn methodologies in OA monitoring under U.S State Department and The Ocean Foundation Funding. Some African participants were also funded by IAEA to attend. The exchanges between mentor and mentee will help develop monitoring program and  research projects. I am maintaining  collaboration and meetings between local institutions eg Albion Fisheries Research Centre, the University of Mauritius,  the MOI and The Ministry of Ocean Economy and the Ministry of Environment and SD. Some basic OA kits still need to be sent to enhance the monitoring program. At the University we have a prototype iSAMI sensor which was used for demo to Mauritius workshop participants.

Modules covered pH determination, carbonate chemistry and some biological monitoring. At present the various labs are being set up for continuous OA monitoring. I had a meeting with AFRC recently where research scientists  are working on an IAEA project on HABs and OA component has been included. The MOI is also collaborating and funds are required to acquire pH sensors for OA monitoring in outer islands.I am sure future workshops in Mauritius and funds for research projects will enhance the regional observational network and contribute to GOA. I am contributing to the national ICZM committee with updates on OA.

Bronte Tilbrook's picture

Bronte Tilbrook replied:

Dear Roshan, The developments of the ApHRICA project and associated workshops are a great example of what can be achieved in building capacity. The drive of individuals like yourself are important. Regards, Bronte

Linwood Pendleton's picture

Linwood Pendleton replied:

Hi Bronte:

Across the board, I think we have failed to collect good, global data on the human dimensions of coral reef ecosystems.  Thus, we are quite limited in our ability to monitor how OA has, is and will affect people.  Working with the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, I think GOA-ON could begin collecting a limited set of social/economic data as part of its observations (e.g. data on reef fisheries or low elevation coastal populations that depend on coral reefs for shoreline protection).  Without these social and economic data, we will continue to struggle to demonstrate the “so what” of the impacts of OA on coral reef ecosystems.  The same argument can be made across the board for other ecosystems and biomes.  (My colleagues and I will expand on these ideas in a forthcoming editorial for the journal “Biodiversity.”)


Bronte Tilbrook's picture

Bronte Tilbrook replied:

Dear Linwood, Thank you for the comment on the needs to link observations to social and economic consequences of ocean acidification are recognised. The broader goals of the entire UN sustainable development goal on the oceans (SDG14) do help expand to the topics you mention.http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/oceans/#85c08f1d8562f598a . I look forward to your editorial in biodiversity and appreciate the input. Regards, Bronte