GCRMN: An evolving approach for coral reef monitoring to support ICRI, management & policy

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1 GCRMN: An evolving approach for coral reef monitoring to support ICRI, management & policy Jeremy B.C. Jackson, Science Director, GCRMN Andy Hooten Global Coordinator, GCRMN Vivian Lam Deputy Coordinator, GCRMN

2 OUTLINE 1. Background & context since GM26 2. Tropical Americas Workshop Panama Findings & Outcomes Workshop Report 3. GCRMN Regional Networking & Support

3 Improvement of coral reef management requires a permanent commitment and an adaptive approach. ICRI Framework for Action 3 June 1995

4 Core Team Members Jeremy B.C. Jackson, GCRMN Science Director Vivian Lam, Research & Deputy GCRMN Coordinator Katie Cramer, Data Analyst Mary Donovan & Alan Friedlander, Data Analysis, Fishes Andy Hooten, GCRMN Global Coordinator

5 Two broad objectives 1. Scientific re-evaluation Compile all available rigorous quantitative data for corals, algae, fish, and mobile invertebrates for each ocean region - iconic reef sites Misali Island, Pemba, Zanzibar, March Convene interactive regional workshops participation by data contributors & GCRMN regional network members

6 Workshops to enhance capacity & strong communication Data contributors Academics Within the region leaders Others with monitoring/research experience in the region GCRMN Nodes & network members, local monitors Increase regular dialog & consultation exchange of views & information joint publications & reporting

7 Tropical Americas Region Workshop held in Panama, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute 36 participants, 18 countries Belize ICRI Co-chair participated Other GCRMN Network Members

8 Scientific objectives new GCRMN 1. Document status and trends for all major components of global coral reef ecosystems to determine extent to which protection from local impacts may increase resilience to climate change 2. Build effective standardized infrastructure for future monitoring and assessment 3. Make assessment results widely available to help guide policy and action

9 Phase 1: Status and trends for Caribbean reef ecosystems Three basic questions: 1. How much variability exists among reefs in different places and settings? 2.To what extent is this variability determined by differences in the kinds and extent of human disturbance? 3.How can we most effectively use the results of these analyses to reduce or reverse coral reef decline?

10 253 data sets, >60 contributors, 29 countries, hundreds of scientific papers

11 Temporal Distribution of Benthic Data at 7 sites N = 4711 surveys total Number of surveys Bonaire Curacao Cayman Islands Jamaica Puerto Rico FL Keys USVI

12 Caribbean-Wide Change in Major Reef Benthos Percent cover Corals Macroalgae Diadema antillarum

13 Caribbean-Wide Change in Major Reef Benthos Percent cover Diadema density (number / m 2 ) Corals Macroalgae Diadema antillarum

14 Caribbean-Wide Change in Major Reef Benthos Percent cover Diadema density (number / m 2 ) Corals Macroalgae Diadema antillarum

15 High variability among regions Percent coral cover Bonaire Curacao Cayman Islands Jamaica Puerto Rico FL Keys USVI

16 High variability among regions Percent coral cover Bonaire Curacao Cayman Islands Jamaica Puerto Rico FL Keys USVI

17 High variability among regions Percent coral cover Bonaire Curacao Cayman Islands Jamaica Puerto Rico FL Keys USVI

18 High variability among regions Percent coral cover Bonaire Curacao Cayman Islands Jamaica Puerto Rico FL Keys USVI

19 High variability among regions Macroalgae Diadema Percent macroalgal cover Diadema density (#/m2) Bonaire Curacao Cayman Islands Jamaica Puerto Rico FL Keys USVI

20 Macroalgae versus corals Percent macroalgal cover = = = = = = = = Bonaire Curacao Cayman Islands Jamaica Puerto Rico FL Keys USVI Percent coral cover

21 Summary preliminary Caribbean GCRMN 1. Meta-analysis of ecological change combining data from different sites obscures ecologically important differences. 2. The Caribbean isn t hopeless although the situation is dire. Some places have considerably more coral than the average for the GBR [where coral cover also varies several-fold with distance from shore and along the coast away from direct human impacts]. 3. Caribbean reefs with the highest surviving coral cover and least macroalgae are small, moderately populated and prosperous islands with little land based pollution and varying protection from fishing. 4. Thus a combination of very large MPAs and strong regulation of fishing and pollution could significantly increase Caribbean coral reef health.24

22 Products for Caribbean 1. Workshop report end July Synthesis Report draft December 2012 and completed report in print and online 1 March Overview paper to Science by end Additional science and social science papers in 2012 and Caribbean GCRMN member workshop to evaluate reports and coordinate regional responses mid 2013

23 Subsequent objectives 1. Australian GBR, Coral Triangle, and Southeast Asian data gathering and regional workshops Indian Ocean/Red Sea and Central Pacific data gathering and workshops Global synthesis workshop 2016 in conjunction with the 13 th ICRS in Hawaii in 2016

24 Network Communication Broadcast communication to GCRMN membership listing based on existing GCRMN contact database Coral List Systematic personal contact with all GCRMN Network members (i.e. biophysical & social) & Skype Regular Consultations Visits to Regions & Networks

25 GCRMN Funding IUCN Plans & Strategy underway Prospects researched & identified Meetings in August/September seeking additional funding

26 Summary 1. Workshop model successful as proof of concept (Tropical Americas Region) 2. Participation and transparency are crucial as a guiding principles 3. Ideas & feedback requested to proposed phases & workshop plans Tuesday evening gathering

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