Advancing an Ecosystem-Based Management Decision Support System (EBM/DSS) in the Caribbean
AuthorsJulian Walcott;Hyacinth Armstrong-Vaughn;Maria Pena;Shelly-Ann Cox;Kareem Sabir;Marco Falcetta;Edoardo Scepi;Martha Prada;Monica Borobia-Hill;Patrick McConney Download PDF Open PDF in Browser
Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is a process that considers ecosystems as units with many ecological and social links and promotes a movement away from conventional management approaches where single issues or species are the primary focus. EBM has been progressively adopted at international, regional and national levels, evidenced by its inclu-sion in many agreements, policies, laws and plans inter alia, but implementation still is low. Within the Caribbean region, operationalization of EBM remains in early stages with many countries advancing mostly at national level, not at the re-gional level. The UN Environment (UNEP) through its Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP) and the Centre for Re-source Management and Environmental Studies - University of the West Indies (CERMES-UWI) are working together to further promote and advance EBM via an EBM Decision Support System (DSS) approach. A DSS is a systematic process of making choices based on information organised within an interactive computer-based application which can simplify EBM applications for decision makers and stakeholders and ultimately promote quality decision-making. In this study, the Integrated Spatial Planning 5.0 DSS (process and software) was examined as a viable approach for implementing EBM in some Caribbean English speaking countries. The approach is based on five methodological steps which provide analytical methods and tools that support the implementation of EBM. Two pilot sites within the Dominican Republic were utilised for testing the EBM/DSS approach and regional workshops were held for information sharing and critical feedback. We present a review of the EBM/DSS methodology, lessons learned and recommendations for better understanding and future actions.