Resolutions

Friday, 18 July 2008

SMM Resolution on Climate Change

Written By Vicki Cornish and Raychelle Daniel

The Society has determined that climate change has the potential to have long-term detrimental impacts on marine mammal populations. The Society, therefore, calls on the international community to reduce the generation of greenhouse gases to slow down the rate at which climate change occurs. Society members themselves must take action to better understand the effects of global climate change on marine mammals and implement conservation measures to mitigate these effects. To this effect, and to the extent possible and practical within the constraints of particular research programs, Society members will attempt to:

  • Increase research efforts, data collection, and predictive modeling on the effects of climate change on marine mammal populations, with an emphasis on vulnerable populations;
  • Encourage an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to examining effects of climate change on marine mammal populations and the ecosystems in which they inhabit;
  • Incorporate information on potential short and long-term impacts of climate change on marine mammal populations and adopt adaptive management principles when making policy or management recommendations and decisions; and,
  • Identify and work to reduce other anthropogenic stressors and protect critical habitat and feeding areas to increase resilience of marine mammal populations to climate change.

It will be necessary to accompany Society member interest with an increased availability of funds to accomplish these goals. The Society therefore recommends that private and governmental funding entities also endorse, prioritize and work to support research and management efforts needed to accomplish the goals and outcomes noted above.