Diseases affecting coral reefs have increased in frequency and severity in recent decades. These diseases combine with existing human induced impacts on coral reefs to compromise their health and sustainability. Up to date information on the global abundance and distribution of diseases is critical in order to predict these impacts, to understand how current reef management practices and human impacts affect the spread and severity of diseases, and to inform policy and management decision making.Resource Type: Tools / Applications
One third of the world’s population lives in coastal areas and rapid development of these areas has meant increased construction of coastal infrastruc- ture (e.g. ports, navigation channels, coastal de- fence) and related activities (e.g. land reclamation, beach nourishment), which has inevitably led to conflicting priorities between coral reef conservation and economic growth. The key impacts of these ac- tivities, if not managed, include:
• Direct loss of coral reef caused by the removal or burial of reefs
• Lethal or sub-lethal stress to corals caused by elevated turbidity and sedimentation rates
Dredging and port construction activities potentially affect not only the site itself, but also surrounding ar- eas, through a large number of impact vectors (e.g. turbid plumes, sedimentation, release of contami- nants, bathymetric changes). Effects may be imme- diate or develop over a longer timeframe and may be temporary or permanent in nature, depending on a large number of factors.
Biologists view Protected Areas (PAs) as natural areas established and managed primarily for the conservation of nature. However, many early Pas were established for aesthetic or socio-economic reasons and received little scientific input to their design. More recently, scientists have identified gaps in PA networks and various contemporary PAs have been established to provide for habitats and species in need of protection.
Scientists have also modelled minimum areas and population sizes that should be protected to prevent extinctions arising from demographic or chance causes. However, these theoretical ideals are difficult to put into practice, particularly as PAs increasingly face more immediate external threats. If scientists are to influence future PA design, and if PAs are to succeed in the long term, these concepts must be applied in practice. Therefore, sufficient protection must be integrated with human needs and aspirations in the design of future protected areas.
The threat posed to coral reefs by biological invasion is unlikely to diminish and should therefore be considered in analyses of the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Economic valuation of marine and coastal ecosystem services is increasingly being considered to be of critical importance for informed decision-making and effective management of marine and coastal resources.
However, the translation of scientific theory to policy in practice can be challenging.
This report provides an overview of the main methods of economic valuation, their strengths and weaknesses, and practical applications. Theoretical concepts are illustrated with a number of practical examples throughout this report, to demonstrate how these approaches can be of practical use across all scales, in policy development, decision making and communication. Practical guidance on how to implement a valuation exercise, and how to overcome common challenges, is also provided.
A European Study on protected area management effectiveness assessments was carried out between May 2009 and March 2010, to provide an overview of existing studies, evaluation methods and results. This study was initiated in response to the Global Study’s insufficient coverage of the European sub-region, and as protected area governance in Europe has distinct characteristics that justified a separate analysis. The study was led by the Universities of Greifswald and Queensland, in partnership with UNEP-WCMC, EUROPARC Federation and the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN).Resource Type: Reports
The Global Study into management effectiveness evaluation was conducted between late 2005 and 2010. In cooperation with many people across the world, it aimed to strengthen the management of protected areas by compiling the existing work on management effectiveness evaluation, reviewing methodologies, finding patterns and common themes in evaluation results, and investigating the most important factors leading to effective management.Resource Type: Reports
Global and regional coral reef area statistics are of considerable value in fields ranging from global environmental change to fisheries to conservation. Although widely quoted, Smith's 1978 figure of 600 000rkm2 is only an approximate calculation. The World Conservation Monitoring Centre has prepared a new estimate of reef coverage by mapping emergent reef crest and very shallow reef systems. These data were rasterised, using 1rkm grid squares, as a means of reducing errors arising from variation in scale. Global and regional reef coverages were calculated from the resultant grid. The total global area is estimated at 255 000rkm2, considerably lower than many previous estimates. Variation in reef area estimates is, in part, a function of variation in reef definition.Resource Type: Journal Papers
The countries affected by the 2004 Asian tsunami contain the most diverse and extensive coral reefs and mangroves of the Indian Ocean, and some of the richest in the world. Not only are these ecosystems among the most threatened in the world, they also provide numerous essential ecosystem services.
It is thus not surprising that reefs and mangroves received widespread attention after the tsunami, with three principal questions posed: Are the tsunami's impacts on reefs and mangroves a further threat to their future survival? Did reefs and mangroves play a role in shoreline protection and reduce structural damage and human mortality? How could reconstruction efforts include actions to maintain these ecosystems and reduce further threats to them?Resource Type: Journal Papers
Coral reefs are the most biologically diverse of shallow water marine ecosystems but are being degraded worldwide by human activities and climate warming. Analyses of the geographic ranges of 3235 species of reef fish, corals, snails, and lobsters revealed that between 7.2 and 53.6 of each taxon have highly restricted ranges, rendering them vulnerable to extinction. Restricted-range species are clustered into centers of endemism, like those described for terrestrial taxa. The 10 richest centers of endemism cover 15.8 of the world's coral reefs (0.012 of the oceans) but include between 44.8 and 54.2 of the restricted-range species. Many occur in regions where reefs are being severely affected by people, potentially leading to numerous extinctions. Threatened centers of endemism are major biodiversity hotspots, and conservation efforts targeted toward them could help avert the loss of tropical reef biodiversity.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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