Restoring and rewilding islands that have been decimated by damaging invasive species provides benefits to not only the terrestrial ecosystem but to coastal and marine environments as well.
Restoring and rewilding islands that have been decimated by damaging invasive species provides benefits to not only the terrestrial ecosystem but to coastal and marine environments as well. Linking land and sea through coordinated conservation efforts may offer unrealized and amplified benefits for biodiversity, human wellbeing, climate resilience and ocean health, and provides a microcosm for the untapped potential of ecosystem restoration on a larger scale. This new era of conservation focuses on the interconnectedness of all ecosystems, rather than pursuing individual pieces through siloed efforts.
A new perspective published today, December 5, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) titled “Harnessing island–ocean connections to maximize marine benefits of island conservation” recognizes the critical link between island and marine ecosystems and identifies island and near-shore marine environmental characteristics that promote strong linkages in these ecosystems around the world. The result is a model for effective land-sea conservation and management decisions by governments, foundations, Indigenous peoples, local communities, NGOs and conservationists to harness the power of island-ocean connections that bolster ocean health.
“By applying this knowledge to islands worldwide, we can understand the marine benefits of island restoration projects and maximize returns for our conservation management investments for people, wildlife, and the planet,” said Stuart A. Sandin, PhD., lead co-author of the perspective and a marine ecologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.
Read more at University of California - San Diego
Image: Coral reefs near Sonsorol Island, Palau. (Photo credit Brian Zgliczynski/Scripps Institution of Oceanography)