GCRMN Pilot Monitoring Study

Clive Wilkinson C.Wilkinson at pearl.aims.gov.au
Sun Oct 27 01:07:36 EDT 1996


Pilot Monitoring Programme of the IOC-UNEP-IUCN Global Coral Reef Monitoring  
Network: we are launching a one-off pilot programme to monitor reefs around  
the world.  We invite you to participate. 

This call is to marine research groups, senior researchers and others who 
have experience in monitoring coral reefs, particularly in several different 
coral reef regions. 

Our goals are to: 

establish a cooperative network; 

demonstrate to governments, donors and the science community that a network  
can function; and 

assist developing countries get started in reef monitoring. 

We shall ask you to monitor at least one site in your country and a parallel  
one with developing country scientists between December 1996 and May 1997; 
then pool the data so that we can report a snapshot view of reef status as  
part of the International Year of the Reef in June 1997. Methods and protocols  
will either be provided by electronic mail or are in the Manual (see below)  
now being revised for a 2nd printing. 

It is probable that sites monitored this time will constitute the basis for 
a global system of regular long-term monitoring. 


The concept of global coral reef monitoring has been discussed for many  
years. It culminated in June 1992 in Guam, at the 7th International Coral  
Reef Symposium when many reef scientists and managers reported their  
willingness to participate in a 'snapshot' global reef monitoring programme. 
But there was no money to get it started. 


Methods from the Survey Manual for Tropical Marine Resources (Eds. English,  
Wilkinson and Baker, published by AIMS) from the ASEAN-Australia Living  
Coastal Resources Project will form the basis for monitoring.  These were  
chosen as the 'standards' by the UNEP-IOC-WMO-IUCN Meeting of Experts on a  
Long-Term Global Monitoring System of Coastal and Near-Shore Phenomena  
Related to Climate Change, Pilot Projects on Mangroves and Coral Reefs,  
December 1991, and confirmed by the UNEP-IOC-IUCN-ASPEI Global Task Team  
on the Implications of Climate Change on Coral Reefs in 1992.  However, 
during this Pilot project, any comparable methods will be acceptable. 

These biophysical monitoring methods include: 
manta tow (or equivalent for a broad perspective); 

line intercept transect with identification at a minimum of 'lifeform' level  
(or equivalent transect method to gather % cover data); and 

fish censusing,  with emphasis on fisher target species and indicator fish,  
like butterfly (chaetodont) fish. 

Reporting should also include specific events and activities e.g. bleaching,  
predators, dynamite damage, urchin populations etc. Data on these are being 
accumulated by several groups, coordinated by Bob Ginsburg in Miami, Gregor  
Hodgson in Hong Kong, and John McManus of ReefBase in Manila. 

A comparable set of socioeconomic parameters are being assembled. 


The GCRMN was activated by the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI)  
to provide Research and Monitoring information on coral reefs and related  
ecosystems for more efficient management and long-term conservation.  The  
GCRMN has 3 co-sponsors (IOC, UNEP and IUCN), two hosts (AIMS and ICLARM)  
and interacts closely with the ICRI Secretariat. 

The overall objectives of the GCRMN are to: 

     improve the conservation, management and sustainable uses 
     of coral reefs and related ecosystems for peoples of the 
     tropics and the world through assessing the trends in 
     biophysical status and social, cultural and economic 
     values of these ecosystems; 

     provide many people with the capacity to assess their 
     resources and integrate these people into a global 
     network to document and disseminate data on reef status 
     and trends. 

The GCRMN is based on the following principles: 

emphasise the involvement of local communities; 

put equal emphasis on biophysical and social, cultural and economic data; 

function through existing organisations, networks, and monitoring  
programmes, not create new bodies; 

offer a standard methodology, but be responsive to wishes of participants; 

often focus monitoring in current or planned Marine Protected Areas and  
adjacent unprotected areas; 

ensure that data are accessible to all in an understandable format. 


If you want more information, please look up the web site - 


to sign up contact - 

Dr Clive Wilkinson, Coordinator, Global Coral Reef Monitoring 
Network, c/o Australian Institute of Marine Science 
Tel:      +61 77 534 372 or +61 77 724 314 
Fax:      +61 77 722 808 or +61 77 725 852 
e-mail:   c.wilkinson at aims.gov.au 


Dr John McManus, ReefBase Project Leader 
International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management, 
MCPO Box 2631, 0718 MAKATI, Metro Manila, PHILIPPINES 
Tel:      +63 2 818 0466 or +63 2 817 5255 
Fax:      +63 2 816 3183 
e-mail:   j.mcmanus at cgnet.com 

Clive Wilkinson, Coordinator 
Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network 
Tel: +61 77 724314; Fax: +61 77 722808 or 725852 

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