An ecosystem is a geographic area that includes all the living organisms (people, plants, animals and micro organisms), their physical surroundings (soil, water and air) and the natural cycles that sustain them. All of these elements are interconnected. Managing any one resource affects the others in the ecosystem.
The ecosystem approach places human needs at the centre of biodiversity management. It aims to manage the ecosystem based on the multiple functions that ecosystems perform and the multiple uses that are made of these functions. The ecosystem approach does not aim for short-term economic gains, but aims to optimise the use of an ecosystem without damaging it.
The ASCLME Project aims to implement an ecosystem approach to management of the LME resources through information-driven governance and policy reforms at the regional level, in partnership with the member countries and other stakeholders.