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SWIMS Distinguished Lecture - Coastal Ocean Under Intensifying Human Activities and Changing Climate: from Science to Sustainability
The Swire Institute of Marine Science (SWIMS)

SWIMS Distinguished Lecture - Coastal Ocean Under Intensifying Human Activities and Changing Climate: from Science to Sustainability

Theatre 3, G/F, Meng Wah Complex, HKU Main Campus

  Situated between the land and the open sea, the coastal ocean plays a crucial role in our world. These areas, ranging from the shoreline to the continental shelf/break, are greatly influenced by land-based runoff and possess rich spatial, economic, and biological resources, as well as diverse ecosystems. They provide invaluable services for human society. The land masses adjoining the coasts are home to over 50% of the world’s population and are the world’s most economically invigorating areas, driving global economic development, especially in Asia, over the past 50 years, contributing to approximately 50% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). However, pressures on this vital region from human development and climate change have intensified ever since the Industrial Revolution. These pressures have adversely impacted human society and impaired the regional sustainability of the coastal oceans, which in turn affects the global ocean ecosystem. The continued degradation of this region could have severe consequences for the ocean ecosystem and could further affect various aspects of human society. In this lecture, Professor Minhan Dai will provide an overview of our current understanding of the health of the global and regional coastal oceans, as well as their ecosystems. He will then zoom into the East Asia Seas, including the Greater Bay Area, to identify key knowledge gaps that need to be addressed for sustainable ocean use and management. From there, he will emphasize the importance of cross-sectoral partnerships, scientific innovation, and seamless knowledge transfer in achieving a tangible integration of science, governance, and society. He will explain why these factors are key to tackling the coastal problems both at global and regional scale. Additionally, he will present the progress of an on-going project entitled ‘Coastal Zones Under Intensifying Human Activities and Changing Climate: A Regional Programme Integrating Science, Management and Society to Support Ocean Sustainability (COASTAL-SOS)’. This project has been endorsed by the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development Program (2021-2030). The project aims to advance scientific understanding of critical coastal ocean health issues and translate scientifically acquired knowledge to provide feasible solutions, including evolved integrated ocean management strategies, and empower industrial enterprises to adopt best practices of sustainable development in ocean usage.

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