IMPROVING LONG-TERM CORAL REEF MONITORING IN THE WIDER CARIBBEAN REGION: INITIAL GCRMN-CARIBBEAN ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Long-term and robust coral reef monitoring coupled with strategic reporting are essential drivers for ecosystem-based management and regional policy processes. The Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) report Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs 1970-2012 highlighted the limitations of regional coral reef monitoring in the Caribbean. To address the urgent need for more effective coral reef monitoring and reporting there has been a move towards revitalizing the Caribbean component of the GCRMN. The foundation for restructuring the network was launched in August 2014, along with concrete proposals for improvements in data collection, archiving and communication. Several technical and scientific solutions have been proposed to address the lack of information and dissemination, and inconsistency in applying monitoring methods and approaches throughout the region. The first two years of the GCRMN-Caribbean has seen the confirmation of a dynamic network, which has been bolstering its presence and regional acknowledgement. An expert steering committee and members-at-large have enabled the network to achieve substantial progress. GCRMN-Caribbean integrated guidelines have been improved and tested at several sites; communication and experience sharing have increased considerably; capacity building actions have been identified and developed; and there has been collaboration with major Caribbean programmes. This paper reports on the progress towards revitalizing the GCRMN-Caribbean, its initial achievements, as well as network challenges and next steps.
Belmont, J. R., SPAW-RAC, Guadeloupe, email@example.com
Edwards, P., NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
McDonald Gayle, K., UNEP-CEP, Jamaica, email@example.com
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