Working Group on Cumulative Effects Assessment Approaches in Management (WGCEAM)
The goal of the Working Group on Cumulative Effects Assessment Approaches in Management (WGCEAM) is the development of a common and consolidated CEA framework to implement such assessments in different planning and regulatory context considering the different settings regarding data, knowledge, and decision-processes. Case studies are used to further develop the framework. This work is expected to provide guidance on data and knowledge needs to apply such a common CEA framework in different planning and regulatory settings.
In this report a cumulative effects assessment framework for management was developed and two case studies (i.e. North Sea and the Gulf of St Lawrence) were identified for WGCEAM review in 2020. The case studies will help identify knowledge gaps and science needs in the appli-cation of a common CEA framework in a management context.
As developed, this CEA framework is to be primarily used to identify and prioritize the pres-sures that would need to be managed based on the vulnerability of the ecosystem components to those pressures (rather than predicting their effects). The rationale and setting of the framework means that it differs from a typical ecosystem status assessment where the responses of indicators are assumed to show the effects of human pressures. Furthermore, this framework is not intended to guide regulatory management on a sector by sector basis, but to identify the collective pressures that need to be reduced. Participants summarised current uses and applications of cumulative effects assessments in marine planning and regulatory processes in their countries, to provide insights into impediments.
The CEA framework assesses the vulnerabilities of ecosystem components to cumulative or collected pressures for a given ecosystem and management context. Following standard risk-based assessment practices, vulnerability is determined from the spatial and temporal overlap of the pressures and their effect potential. This is based on the pressure load and the resistance and recovery potential of the ecosystem component.
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