Hundreds of University of Hawai‘i (UH) faculty and students conduct research projects focused on the natural resources of Hawai‘i’s upland, coastal, and marine ecosystems each year. However, the consistency with which community perspectives and cultural practices are integrated into research efforts and decision-making processes that impact Hawaiʻi’s resources and ecosystems is highly variable.
Coral reefs provide food and livelihoods for hundreds of millions of people as well as harbor some of the highest regions of biodiversity in the ocean. However, overexploitation, land‐use change and other local anthropogenic threats to coral reefs have left many degraded. Additionally, coral reefs are faced with the dual emerging threats of ocean warming and acidification due to rising CO2 emissions, with dire predictions that they will not survive the century.
Strong decreases in greenhouse gas emissions are required to meet the reduction trajectory resolved within the 2015 Paris Agreement. However, even these decreases will not avert serious stress and damage to life on Earth, and additional steps are needed to boost the resilience of ecosystems, safeguard their wildlife, and protect their capacity to supply vital goods and services.
Canadian local governments face a perfect storm of limited capacity, aging infrastructure, and climate change impacts. Leaders and staff are experiencing increasing public pressure to ‘future-proof’ communities from the projected impacts of dangerous climate change by both reducing emissions (mitigation) and preparing for impacts such as flooding, sea level rise, and heatwaves (adaptation). Although mitigation and adaptation have often been planned separately, there are major benefits to integrating them, using a lens we refer to as low carbon resilience, or LCR.