Stakeholder perceptions of declining ecosystem service trajectories in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea: human population pressure is more critical than climate change

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Butler, James; Skewes, Tim; Mitchell, David; Pontio, Modi; Hills, T

Butler, James; Skewes, Tim; Mitchell, David; Pontio, Modi; Hills, T


2014-03-01


Journal Article


Marine Policy


46


1


1-13


1-13


Milne Bay Province (MBP) in Papua New Guinea is a key component of the Coral Triangle marine biodiversity hotspot, which is threatened by human population growth and climate change. We applied the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment framework to assess local stakeholders’ perceptions of ecosystem goods and services (EGS), their importance to human well-being, trends in condition, drivers of change and appropriate management strategies to mitigate drivers’ impacts on EGS. Island groups in five subregions were assessed: Dawson, Woodlark, Misima, Trobriands and Louisiades. Results indicated that core EGS were freshwater, garden food production, bêche-de-mer fisheries, coral reefs, reef fish and shark fisheries, but other EGS were also of localised importance. The overall status of EGS was predicted to decline by > 50% by 2030. The primary driver of change in all subregions was human population growth, and climate change impacts were only predicted in two subregions. There was a positive and significant correlation (r = 0.88, p < 0.05) between current human population density and predicted declines in human well-being. Improved garden/agricultural productivity and population control were the highest ranked management strategies. Population relocation was identified as a priority for Dawson and Trobriands. Strategies identified are likely to compliment climate change adaptation by promoting ecosystem-based adaptation and community adaptive capacity. However, maintaining the condition of terrestrial EGS is important to ameliorate transferral of harvest pressure to marine EGS and biodiversity. Community-scale assessments are now required to understand the complex drivers of livelihood system trajectories within islands, and to triangulate our results.


Elsevier


Pacific Peoples Environmental Knowledge


EP117921


Journal article - Refereed


English


Butler, James; Skewes, Tim; Mitchell, David; Pontio, Modi; Hills, T. Stakeholder perceptions of declining ecosystem service trajectories in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea: human population pressure is more critical than climate change. Marine Policy. 2014; 46(1 1-13):1-13.



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