Sebastian Ferse | Foto: ZMT

04/02/2020 | On Saturday, 8 February, reef ecologist Sebastian Ferse will give a talk on "Humans and Reefs" at 11 a.m. at the Haus der Wissenschaft. Ferse is Executive Director of the international network Future Earth Coasts and heads its project office at the ZMT. He is also a member of the organizing committee of the ICRS 2020, the 14th International Coral Reef Symposium, which will be held in Bremen from July 5 to 10 - the first time in Germany. The talk is part of the ICRS supporting programme.

The talk

How do people in the tropics use coral reefs and how do the reefs react to these influences? If one pursues this question, one learns a lot about the ecosystem services of coral reefs for the local population, such as coastal protection, nutrition and tourist attraction. If the use of coral reefs is not sustainable, it inevitably leads to damage. In his talk, the speaker will use many examples to explain which local stress factors are threatening the reefs today and what concrete effects they have.

Two thirds of all coral reefs are already damaged by local threats such as overfishing, coastal development and nutrient discharge. What sounds frightening at first sight also has a positive side, because, in contrast to climate change, these local human influences can be brought under control easily and quickly with the right protective measures.

Here, scientific research can help to design the right and most effective coastal management plans. Another advantage: Various studies show that reefs that are protected from human influences are more resistant to the threats of climate change.