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Socio-economic impacts

The impacts of ocean acidification on marine organisms and ecosystems could also have ripple effects on human populations, potentially affecting both local and global economies and people’s way of life. In some areas, the entire population’s lifestyle centres around the oceans, including the food they eat, their art, and even elements of their language.

Some communities have adapted to the degradation of their marine environment, and for example have started eating different types of fish and even modifying their touristic activities. However, not all countries have the same possibilities for change, and the consequences for the local culture could be significant. For example, the loss of coral reefs could lead to profound societal changes. This human dimension is an important factor to consider when discussing ocean acidification. The OA-ICC promotes interactions between natural and social sciences as an important step towards understanding its impacts on human society, and developing mitigation and adaptation strategies. 

An effort to address these issues led the IAEA and the Centre Scientifique de Monaco to start working together in 2010 on the economic valuation of ocean acidification. Together the two entities organise a series of international workshops which aim to move the discussions from science to solutions. Participants come from diverse backgrounds, such as natural and social sciences, and represent governments, NGOs, as well as the private sector. Past workshop focuses have included the impact on coral reefs, fisheries and aquaculture, and coastal communities.  
 

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