Axis 3 leaders: 

  • Alex Lira (UFS)
  • Jacques Panfili (IRD-MARBEC)

Axis 3 focuses on the uses and impacts of global environmental pressures, such as pollution, on the marine environment and its associated resources. The axis aims to provide a synthetic assessment to managers and decision-makers to make fair choices for conservation and sustainable use.

Problematic and Gaps

The oceanic and coastal environments of the southeastern Atlantic are subject to diverse uses and various pressures, including climate variability, increasing salinity, and human impacts. Microplastics and mercury are among the most prominent pollutants found in aquatic ecosystems, which can cause deleterious effects on the sensory, behavioural, and immune systems of marine organisms. The transport of these pollutants in the food webs and their fate in ecosystems remain unclear. The lack of knowledge about the current effects of external and human pressures is the main gap in conserving marine environments and associated biodiversity, and better knowledge of the uses and impacts is a prerequisite to improving the balance between the need to protect the marine environments and the needs of indigenous people and local communities (IPLC) from exploiting the resources.

Main Objectives

Axis 3 encompasses the uses and impacts of global environmental pressures to provide information on fair and sustainable conservation of the environment and associated resources. Its main goal is to evaluate the different uses and anthropogenic impacts (e.g. pollution) in the various compartments of the biota, from the estuarine environments to the deep sea. It will provide a synthetic assessment in the context of interdisciplinary sciences, facilitate the intersectoral implementation of information for conservation, and provide an accurate assessment to managers and decision makers.

It will also reinforce the links between Axes 1 and 2, by combining the data of the main environmental pressures and the most impacted species.

Main Topics  – Five main topics are  being addressed:

  • The dynamic and impact of contaminants such as heavy metals and organic contaminants, macro- and micro-plastics on oceanic and coastal systems;
  • The uses of coastal ecosystems including mangroves, which are good examples for external pressures associated with degradation, and the implementation of co-benefits from conservation;
  • The habitat degradation along the coastline of North-Northeast Brazil including main threats on biodiversity conservation;
  • The indicators for fisheries and resources status and the needs for effective conservation;
  • The actions towards Marine Spatial Planning (MSP).

Main tools

To facilitate the implementation of its objectives, Axis 3 will develop an interdisciplinary critical analysis with an assessment of the different impacted habitats and their uses. For each of the five main topics, a database will be constructed and released in open access. The methods supporting the analysis will be diverse depending on the studied impacts, but will include societal surveys, GIS, and modelling (MPS for particles, fisheries, conservation, etc.).