[Coral-List] cost/value of 'reef restoration'Re: Symposium on Effective Conservation @ICCB2017

lisa carne lisasinbelize at gmail.com
Mon Jul 24 20:25:12 EDT 2017

Dear Nohora, Elisa and Coral-list folks:

Thank you writing into this format, as I was unaware of the recent publications in Ecological Applications-even though I just did a search for economic values/costs of reef restoration.

I write from Belize, where we have been doing acropora 'replenishment' for over a decade. I am constantly asked the cost for restoring reefs per m2 by 'real' funders and private donors: my standard reply is that fuel is our highest cost, and most variable. Not only do we pay between US$5-7/gallon, but sites are 7-12-20->35 nautical miles away; logistics and practicality are one of our many nursery and outplant site selection criteria.

For those that did not reed the thread (perhaps due to subject line which I have edited), Elisa first wrote RE: a publication "The cost and feasibility of marine coastal restoration" (Bayraktarov et al 2016), to which Buki Rinkevich submitted a response on just coral reefs (thank you Buki for kindly sending me said letter), and the authors have now responded to that letter (link in Elisa's original post).

I absolutely agree we need to share real costs and values and am working on pulling out $ values that our work has directly contributed to the local community just since 2013. Costs alone are not even easy as we may have multiple sites, and many grants have outreach etc tied into their budgets/deliverables, and most build on past work as well. Let me point out some frustrations and key points these e-mails have raised for me:

1) confusion between conservation and restoration and specifically artificial reefs. Nohora refers to Varadero reef in Colombia which was only recently 'discovered' (and thanks to colleague Valeria Pizarro who informed me immediately). This reef exists where 'it should not" because of poor water quality conditions, etc yet has extremely high coral cover and diversity. Now it seems to be threatened by development before it can be properly studied-and these reefs do need to be studied to understand why they still thrive when so many others do not. I do agree with Nohora: an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. That said  we are collectively failing so far with prevention.

Restoration is NOT the same as artificial reefs, in Belize we now have in place a Restoration Policy to distinguish these. Also it IS true many developers and governments have (mis) used 'restoration' and/or relocations as in: we need a port/beach let's move all these corals that are in the way. 

2) Also some history: some have publlished on the folly of restoration while collecting $ from govt and/or developers  to do what I just described. Notice I put 'restoration' and 'replenishment' in quotes, because we cannot even seem to agree on terminology/definitions. 

3) colleagues still argue over the need/viability of whatever definition of restoration you want to use. I have heard it all: it won't work, they will adapt on their own, you can never scale up, you cannot restore a reef with just a few species (Caribbean acroporids-but then when I aim to show associated biodiversity-'oh you don't need that everyone knows that"). Moving further along: you must show genetic diversity (done), you must show sexual reproduction (when gamete formation was shown "oh but they might be re-absorbed"), when we documented spawning from nursery grown corals (all three acroporid taxa) oh that doesn't mean recruits are surviving, you must show that. You should use this method, or that method or get divers to pay to fund the work, etc etc

4) so we (community based not-for-profit) struggle to meet 'scientific' requirements (you need to publish more) and financial/organizational needs/capacity building and then are also chastised for not showing costs. working on it!

As some of you may have seen, there is now a regional effort at addressing some of these issues (CRC) but we still do not have: standardized ways of quantifying outplants/success, standardized ways of calculating growth rates, a real guide for where and when "restoration'/'replenishment' efforts should (and if they should) occur and furthermore, a consensus on coastal community involvement and a link to alternative livelihoods/poverty reduction versus academic, govt, and large NGO's staff salaries.

To any that read this whole thing I apologize for ranting and: please look us up, and better yet, come visit our work in Belize! we have already shown an increase in coral cover by > 35% (photo mosaics, thanks to Art Gleason and others) and yes, a level of thermal tolerance/adaptation which I could use help 'proving' /quantifying, with years of temperature and bleaching history/data (and host/symbiont genetic data)

And by all means if any of you out there want to help us with any of these needs (socio-economic studies, associated biodiversity, thermal tolerance data) please drop me a line, but kindly bring your own funding.

Still at it in Belize,

Lisa Carne
Founder/Executive Director
Fragments of Hope, Ltd.
Placencia Peninsula
Stann Creek District
Belize, C.A.
tel: (501) 623-6122

On Jul 21, 2017, at 7:09 AM, Nohora Galvis <icri.colombia at gmail.com> wrote:

Dear Elisa,

By international and national laws coral reefs should be protected
from local and global threats. Justification of unsustainable
development projects with high mortality "restoration projects" in the
current scenario of climate change would not help to "save the natural
coral reefs". You also concluded that.

The scientific community should be encouraged and empowered to present
their knowldege to preserve the coral reefs that are refuges of
climate change and that are resilient to local threats. Being optimist
means being proactive to promote effective conservation that should be
included in the local and regional plants of development. If that
happens unsustainable developers with still hire scientists to advice
them to find antohter alternatives and to guide them not to destroy
coral reefs.

The symposium is based on case studies.  One of those, the Varadero
Resilient reef that is about to be destroyed by a dredging plan and
the destruction is about to be justified with a "restoration project"
that will consist in breaking very few coral colonies from the 10000
located at South of Cartagena Bay to place them in Horno, where
already the mortality is high and none threats are controlled since as
it is an unprotected area. We visited yesterday the area and verified
the reports of our volunteer reporters within our citizen science
program involving scuba diving operators.

Join the petition

2017-07-20 23:08 GMT-05:00, elisa.bayraktarov <elisa.bayraktarov at gmx.de>:
> Dear Nohora and Coral List,
> While seeing myself as an advocate for an ecologically, socially and
> economically meaningful conservation of global coral reefs, I think we
> should acknowledge that smart and effective coral conservation will always
> include elements from both protection and restoration.
> There are scenarios under which restoration may be more cost effective and
> provide more benefits than protection over time (see Possingham et al.
> 2015).
> Which approach to use will always depend on the specific situation, whether
> the natural recovery of coral reefs can be supported through management and
> the available budget that we have to actively intervene. I am curious to
> know what the other coral listers think.
> At the ICCB2017 in Cartagena, I will present a 'Synthesis on coral reef
> restoration efforts' in the symposium on Policy and Practice on Tuesday 25th
> 11:30 - 13:00 in Arsenal.
> Further readings can be found here:
> https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Elisa_Bayraktarov/publication/317631929_Response_to_%27Rebutting_the_inclined_analyses_on_the_cost-effectiveness_and_feasibility_of_coral_reef_restoration%27/links/5949d4e44585158b8fd5c015/Response-to-Rebutting-the-inclined-analyses-on-the-cost-effectiveness-and-feasibility-of-coral-reef-restoration.pdf
> http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1890/15-1077/full
> Looking forward to catching up at ICCB!
> CheersElisa
> Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
> -------- Original message --------From: Nohora Galvis
> <icri.colombia at gmail.com> Date: 20/7/17  01:35  (GMT+10:00) To: Coral-List
> <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> Subject: [Coral-List] Symposium on
> Effective Conservation @ICCB2017
> Dear 9,400 members of the Coral-List,
> The ICCB2017 is starting soon in Cartagena, we will moderate the
> knowledge café on "Voices of Conservation" Monday at 14:30.
> We will also have a Panel to discuss threats to coral reef
> preservation as a natural ecosystem as organizers of the Symposium on
> Effective Conservation.
> We will not refer to restauration as building one coral species as
> that is a theme for other kind of meetings on artificial reefs because
> for us Active Conservation involves the unanimous recommendations in
> the abstracts to protect effectivley the coral reef refuges such
> #VaraderoColombia and stop / diminish the local and global threats as
> the way to effectively save more coral reefs with a natural ecosytem
> function with multi-species complex structure keeping the
> #OceanOptimism #ConservationOptimism #GlobalBehaviorChange
> #GlobalBehaviOURchange
> Specifically we invite you to attend the first talk of the Symposium
> 157 on Tuesday 25th of July to be aware of the Psychosocial Phenomena
> some coral reef scientist are facing, such as the bystander effect and
> diffusion of responsibility when they are less likely to offer help in
> conservation campaigns leaving other leaders to take action. The
> priorities of some coral reef scientists are measured with units of
> USD $$ as they receive funding to justify unsustainable development
> allowing coral reef destruction while they offer "SAVING THE REEF" by
> breaking some coral colonies to paste them some place else without
> futher monitoring to follow the survivorship, morbility and high
> mortality of ALL taxonomic groups at the natural coral reef ecosystem.
> The coral reef divers who want to join us at diving at
> #CoralesBahíaCartagena #ClimateChangeRefuge please contact me as I am
> staying at
> http://www.coralesdeindias.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3KKthdWV1QIVxySBCh2PJgTkEAAYASAAEgJeHfD_BwE
> --
> Cordial saludo,
> Nohora Galvis
> Directora Observatorio Pro Arrecifes
> Fundación ICRI Colombia
> Coordinadora Red Internacional de Observadores Voluntarios del Arrecife
> Facebook.com/ICRI.COLOMBIA
> Twitter @ArrecifesCoral e @ICRIcolombia
> _______________________________________________
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Cordial saludo,

Nohora Galvis

Directora Observatorio Pro Arrecifes
Fundación ICRI Colombia
Coordinadora Red Internacional de Observadores Voluntarios del Arrecife


Twitter @ArrecifesCoral e @ICRIcolombia
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