A global ocean observing system framework for sustainable development Academic Article uri icon


  • Sustainable development depends on maintaining ecosystem services which are concentrated in coastal marine and estuarine ecosystems. Analyses of the science needed to manage human uses of ecosystem services have concentrated on terrestrial ecosystems. Our focus is on the provision of multidisciplinary data needed to inform adaptive, ecosystem-based approaches (EBAs) for maintaining coastal ecosystem services based on comparative ecosystem analyses. Key indicators of pressures on coastal ecosystems, ecosystem states and the impacts of changes in states on services are identified for monitoring and analysis at a global coastal network of sentinel sites nested in the ocean-climate observing system. Biodiversity is targeted as the "master" indicator because of its importance to a broad spectrum of services. Ultimately, successful implementation of EBAs will depend on establishing integrated, holistic approaches to ocean governance that oversee the development of integrated, operational ocean observing systems based on the data and information requirements specified by a broad spectrum of stakeholders for sustainable development. Sustained engagement of such a spectrum of stakeholders on a global scale is not feasible. The global coastal network will need to be customized locally and regionally based on priorities established by stakeholders in their respective regions. The E.U. Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the U.S. Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force are important examples of emerging regional scale approaches. The effectiveness of these policies will depend on the co-evolution of ocean policy and the observing system under the auspices of integrated ocean governance. 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Malone, T. C., DiGiacomo, P. M., Goncalves, E., Knap, A. H., Talaue-McManus, L., & de Mora, S.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Malone, Thomas C||DiGiacomo, Paul M||Goncalves, Emanuel||Knap, Anthony H||Talaue-McManus, Liana||de Mora, Stephen

publication date

  • January 2014