[Coral-List] MSc Thesis Ideas Imperial

Jeffrey, Laura laura.jeffrey at imperial.ac.uk
Fri Feb 17 04:26:23 EST 2006

Dear All,
I am a postgrad presently reading for an MSc in Environmental Technology
at Imperial College, London.  In April we are due to start our
dissertations and my hope that I would be able to investigate coral
reefs and their current level or protection through policy/initiatives
and such like.  I hold a 1+3 studentship so the hope is that this
project will be the stepping-stone to a PhD in the same field.  I have
attached below my current thoughts and ideas regarding this subject. 
However, I am well aware that I am limited in knowledge on this subject
and  would therefore appreciate any suggestions that come my way.  I was
advised by a colleague that the coral list was the best way to go with
regards finding the right experts to talk to; useful contacts; projects
that are currently underway so that maybe I could join one; advising a
specific region to focus on; further suggestions re the direction of my
ideas so that they mat form a project and such like.
Any help on this matter would be much appreciated!
Yours Sincerely,
Laura Jeffrey
Project Ideas:

Environmental Law/Policy and Biodiversity/Conservation: Coral Reef
Project Ideas


Coral Reefs are not only extremely aesthetically pleasing, but they
support an extraordinary amount of biodiversity and have enormous
economic value.  However, at present coral reefs are at serious risk of
decline considering the current trends in climate change (threats posed
by global warming), coastal development, pressure from over-fishing,
fishing practices such as cyanide poisoning and explosives and tourism,
along with other environmental stressors.  According to The Nature
Conservancy, if the destruction increases at the current rate, 70% of
the world's coral reefs will have disappeared within 50 years.  Such a
loss would have dramatic impacts on marine biodiversity, fisheries,
shore protection, tourism and would be an economic disaster for those
people living in the tropics.



Initially set out to see whether or not the world's coral reefs are
being sufficiently protected by reviewing (investigation into?) the
current level of protection, including MPAs, any policy instruments,
environmental agreements already in place to encourage protection, or
lack thereof.


Given the depth and breath of the subject matter, the study would
invariably have to be selective....zone in on specific area/case study



Is there a role for environmental law (policy/treaties) to tackle the
environmental degradation of coral reefs?  Assess the viability of
transposing legal remedies to environmental protection of this
endangered area with a view that the author would hopefully provide
recommendations/possible options at the end!


Included in thesis/PhD?

*	The best methods of protection are those that are specific to
the problem, therefore explore the role of how science can inform policy
here (make policy makers aware/political science of MPAs). 
*	(From Dr Polunin, Newcastle, "and nearly all the science is
derived from reef habitats that don't apply at al to continental shelf
waters" ???  Significant? 
*	What determines the most viable strategy? 
*	What would influence uptake? 
*	How would this be implemented and enforced?  Specific criteria
for successful implementation. 
*	Interaction between different sectors, national, provincial, and
local community level?

I am aware that America is very forward thinking in this field and has
initiatives in place.  Maybe this would be an appropriate case study?
Again, any help much appreciated!!

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