Building Social Resilience in the Caribbean

Inspiring coral reef managers in the Caribbean to formally incorporate the human dimension into their day-to-day decision making processes.

Most coral reef managers are intimately familiar with their own reefs; they are aware of the drivers that change it, understand the pressures that impact it, and are mindful of the negative impacts that reef degradation can have on the well-being of reef-dependent people.

The Australia Caribbean Coral Reef Collaboration – in partnership with the Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and CARICOM nations of the Caribbean - are using this knowledge, supported by formal datasets, to  develop a Social Resilience Handbook to help managers increase transparency, reduce uncertainty around decision making and make for better outcomes for coral reefs and reef communities worldwide.

The strategy is to provide reef managers with a simple but well-founded social science framework that can be used to approach a range of management concerns or issues. The framework, developed originally for the Great Barrier Reef and based on the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, considers how people use a reef, are dependent on it, derive well-being from, and relate to the reef.

Members of the project team led workshops, undertook surveys and conducted interviews with reef users and managers in the Caribbean to inform the drafting of the Handbook. Focusing on four key reef management strategies to decrease human pressure on coral reefs - specifically Caribbean coral reefs - it will explore how the human dimension can be better integrated into decision-making.

The Handbook is currently being drafted with an expected release date in May this year. For more information on the project  check out the wor the Handbook, please contact the team on climateandreefs@gmail.com