A monitoring 'multi-tool' for managers

Monitoring programs can help managers get the information they need to make timely, appropriate decisions. However, existing monitoring programs often have been designed to address research questions, focus on only certain aspects of interest to reef managers, or require a level of expertise that limits their frequency or responsiveness.  This project drew on experience from the Great Barrier Reef and the Caribbean to identify the information needs specifically required to support good coral reef management decisions.

Reef managers need timely information about reef degradation, the conditions that cause it and the implications for reef stakeholders. This pair of images (1978 & 2011)  from Jamaica shows the type of degradation that has occurred on some Caribbean reefs.  (© James Porter and David Arnold | Marine Photobank).

Reef managers need timely information about reef degradation, the conditions that cause it and the implications for reef stakeholders. This pair of images (1978 & 2011)  from Jamaica shows the type of degradation that has occurred on some Caribbean reefs.  (© James Porter and David Arnold | Marine Photobank).

What the project achieved

The analysis of information needs for managers drove the design of a monitoring protocol that can be used to collect information in a cost-effective and timely manner to support management responses and evaluate outcomes from management actions. The protocol includes indicators from a broad cross-section of issues and disciplines useful to managers. In combination, the monitoring 'multi-tool' can help managers assess and track key aspects of reef ecosystem health, ecosystem services, reef use and drivers of reef condition. It utilises methods for rapid and responsive measurements that are amenable to participation by reef stakeholders. The project links with the social resilience project to include indicators of community wellbeing and social vulnerability, and to provide the foundations for a reporting system tailored to the needs of policymakers. 

For more information about the Monitoring multi-tool collaborative project, please contact paul.marshall00@gmail.com