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Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research

Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research

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Project • CBA2010-15NSY-South

Global Change and Coral Reef Management Capacity in the Pacific: Engaging Scientists and Policy Makers in Fiji, Samoa, Tuvalu and Tonga

Sustaining healthy coral reefs is vital to the livelihoods of the peoples of the Pacific Islands. Global change is having increasing impacts on Pacific coral reefs, leading to increased vulnerability of coastal communities (Reefs at Risk Revisited, 2011. World Resources Institute). Integrating global change into policies across various national government sectors, and then translating this into actions that lead to sustainable management of coastal ecosystems is an enormous challenge. The project targeted four countries all heavily dependent on their coral reefs: Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu. This challenge was addressed through face-to-face dialogue between reef experts and government personnel responsible for coral reef management policies. For each country a national dossier was developed, leading into two-day workshops. The dossier included a series of issues (including gaps) pertinent to each country which were used in the development of national coral reef plans. Countries were re-visited to review progress on the plans. Although progress varied in the four countries, it was evident that collaboration between relevant government departments needed to be improved and that there was a need for the establishment and implementation of management systems that will be on-going and self-financing given the resources available.

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