Ecosystem Services and its vulnerability to Climate Change: a communication tool to support Ecosystem-Based Management implementation in beaches

Marina R Corrêa, University of São Paulo, Institute of Energy and Environment, São Paulo, Brazil, Mariana Martins Andrade, University of São Paulo, Oceanographic Institute, São Paulo, Brazil and Alexander Turra Sr, Oceanographic Institute - University of São Paulo, Brazil
Global changes such as Climate Change (CC) and its effects on ecosystems have led to the development of new management strategies such as Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM): a holistic and adaptive approach to diagnose socioecological vulnerabilities and early respond to them. Among the challenges for its implementation, the lack of a systemic and long-term vision among managers is intensified in the management of complex environments, such as sandy beaches. Beach management tends to disregard ecological processes and the effects of CC on human well-being. Thus, this research aimed to understand how managers comprehend the Ecosystem Services (ES) provided by sandy beaches and its vulnerabilities to CC, an important step to map the limitations and opportunities of EBM implementation. We developed a methodology to access the managers’ perception on beach ES and its vulnerability to CC. A five-step workshop was developed and conducted with beach municipal managers in four Brazilian coastal cities utilizing a multi-method approach based on the integration of the Focus Group methodology with the Influence Network Mapping (Net-Map) methodology. The workshop proposed a discussion about the human-nature connection based on the CICES ES cascade framework and how those will be affected by CC. In addition, it promoted a dialogue about the current beach governance network and the changes needed to sustain ES provision in the future. The managers claim that the workshop helped them better visualize how beach ecosystem works and how beach management is performed and should be performed in their municipality in order to guarantee ES provision in the future. Moreover, the managers stated it was possible to better understand what is necessary to achieve a long-term and holistic management perspective. Therefore, it is argued that the developed methodology opened space for the scientific community to introduce more information on EBM principles and values in municipal beach management.