Hotspot of multiple stressors (HOTSPOT2)

Project summary

The Gulf of Guinea suffers from activities including intense shipping, offshore oil exploration, discharge from mining and industry, infrastructure projects such as port expansions, and sewage from coastal communities. These create a hotspot of environmental challenges, which place intense stress on the environment and on the coastal population relying on marine resources. HOTSPOT2 focuses on the stressors that are predicted to intensify due to the climate-induced increase in precipitation, as well the new emerging stressors where even basic knowledge is missing, and their interaction with increasing temperature. Degradation of the marine environment has far-reaching consequences for social and economic development, employment, health and nutrition, disaster management and maritime safety. The overall objective of HOTSPOT2 is to generate the environmental and socio-economic knowledge that can form the basis for the sustainable development of coastal communities, and to use this knowledge to develop management, mitigation and adaptation strategies at the different levels of the society. The new knowledge includes both mechanistic understanding of the functioning of the tropical marine ecosystem under environmental stress and an understanding of the structures and functioning of coastal communities that rely on artisanal fisheries, while the exploitation of the knowledge will also need two-way interaction and competence building of academics and environmental professionals. Socio-economic and environmental fieldwork will be conducted in the Central Region of Ghana in two fishing communities (Cape Coast and Anomabo ) where small-scale fishing is a primary livelihood activity. The ecological field studies will be backed up by laboratory and mesocosms experiments in the laboratory facilities established at UCC during HOTSPOT1. HOTSPOT2 results are disseminated to the authorities through an established platform in Centre for Coastal Management and through collaboration with the Ghana Environmental Protection Agency.

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