[Coral-List] Coral Reef Research Needs - Human Dimensions

Peter Edwards horlicks_1989 at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 20 10:00:42 EDT 2011

Hello Jim and Julian

Jim, your list sounds very familiar, where have I heard it before? (smile).

If I may I would like add a few more thoughts to the human dimensions, social science, resource economics research element.

Social scientists continue to move forward on estimating society's value for these 
resources.  Ecological monitoring is critical to some valuation 
approaches (stated preference methods-surveys) because researchers must 
be able to describe the observed or expected changes to the resource to 
respondents. It is the value of this CHANGE that we are typically attempting to estimate. That is society's willingness to pay to prevent a decline in quality OR conversely willingness to pay for an improvement from some status quo.  ... the value of the change.

Improvements in ecosystem and bio-economic modeling is also a critical research 

For eg. reef area X can produce Y lbs or fish Z which has a dockside value of $

Or B area of coral reef sea grass assemblage under C conditions will generate  D metres cubed of beach sand.....which translates to $ beach front value property. This will assist models such as Marine InVest et alto better predict scenarios for policy and management purposes.

Like you said Jim, it is important to monitor HOW society interacts with the
resource.  Monitoring damage, pollution
and resource exploitation are all directly linked to human levels of use.  It is also important to monitor the broader economic benefits
of coral reefs to society. Benefits can be separated into use benefits
(direct/indirect, recreational) as well as perceived benefits or general
“welfare” or non-use benefits (existence, option use values etc).  

In addition to monitory how society interacts with the resource suggests we also need to understand WHY they are interacting in the ways they do..  This requires some assessment of public’s perceptions and preferences wrt coral reef resources.  Understanding perception  is important because it gives an insight into their observed behavior
(uses and impacts).  Understanding public perceptions
also helps managers to plan for public education and the information has the
potential to increase the effectiveness of raising awareness and influencing
positive behavioral changes.  

My two cents
Peter E.T. Edwards, PhD. 
Natural Resource Economist 
NOAA, NMFS - Office of Habitat Conservation 
1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD


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Today's Topics:

   1. Protect Our Reefs Grants (Dave Vaughan)
   2. Coral Reef research needs (Jim Bohnsack)


Message: 2
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2011 14:59:04 -0400
From: Jim Bohnsack <jim.bohnsack at noaa.gov>
Subject: [Coral-List] Coral Reef research needs
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Message-ID: <4E988678.3070005 at noaa.gov>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

Coral reef health can be defined as the sustained self-renewal of the 
community and conservation as the effort to understand and promote the 
capacity for self-renewal (Leopold, 1949).  Science deals primarily with 
the "understanding issues" and management deals primarily with 
"promoting the capacity for self-renewal".  As an ecologist I submit 
that the most important current research need is to fill the human 
dimension gap by answering the following questions for management 

*Human activities*
What types of human activities use or impact coral reefs?
      How many people participate in each activity?
      Where  (the spatial footprint - locations, spatial distribution, and concentrations)
      When (diurnal, weekly, and seasonal patterns)?
      At what intensity and duration?
      What goods and services are provided by each activity (i.e. measured social and economic benefits)?
      What are the absolute and relative impacts and costs of each  activity (i.e. environmental, social, and economic -- low, medium, or high)?
What activities are compatible, incompatible, conflicting, or unsustainable?
How to human activities respond to changes in coral reef quality?

*Employment *
What is the diversity of employment supported by coral reefs (job types 
and numbers employed)?
What is the quality of employment (economic revenue and satisfaction)?
How does employment respond to changes in coral reef quality?

*Environmental ethics *
     What types of environmental ethics are practiced by each sector and 
in what proportions? (i.e. frontier development, romantic preservation, 
utilitarian conservation, or ocean biotic ethic).
    How do ethical practices respond to changes in to resource quality, 
quantity, value or education and understanding?
    What is the level of compliance with management practices and how 
can it be most effectively improved?

Bohnsack, J.A.  2003. Shifting baselines, marine reserves, and Leopold's 
Biotic ethic.  Gulf and Caribbean Research 14(2): 1-7.
Hyun, K.  2006.  Matters of consequence: Looking at marine fisheries 
management through Leopol's land ethic lens.  Fisheries 31(4): 188-189
Leopold, A.  1949.  A sand County Almanac.  Oxford University Press, 
Inc. London 226 p.
Williams, C.D.  1997.  Sustainable fisheries: Economics, ecology, and 
ethics.  Fisheries 22(2): 6-11.

James A. Bohnsack, Ph.D.
SEFSC, NOAA Fisheries Service
75 Virginia Beach Dr.
Miami, FL  33149
"All ethics so far evolved rest on a single premise: that the
individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts."
   Aldo Leopold.

Message: 8 Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2011 09:07:05 -0400
From: Arthur Paterson <arthur.e.paterson at noaa.gov>
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Coral Reef research needs

Julian, This list seems short on social science research requirements. 

Arthur Paterson On 9/28/2011 7:57 AM, Julian @ Reefcheck Malaysia wrote:
> Hi listers
 If I were to put together a list of the most important research needs in
  coral reef science and management, what should be on the list? What 
are the  most pressing or important areas that need to be looked at? In my 
ignorance, some areas that stand out are:

> -          Resilience
> -          Connectivity
> -          Economics
> -          Rehabilitation
> -          Climate change/acidification.
> But I am sure listers can improve greatly on this list. I would 
appreciate  your thoughts.
> Thanks and regards,
> Julian Hyde
> General Manager
> Reef Check Malaysia Bhd
> 03 2161 5948
> www.reefcheck.org.my
> Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rcmalaysia
> "The bottom line of the Millenium Asessment findings is that human 
actions  are depleting Earth's natural capital, putting such strain on the
> environment that the ability of the planet's ecosystems to sustain future
> generations can no longer be taken for granted."
> _______________________________________________
> Coral-List mailing list
> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list


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