Capacity Building for Coral Reef Conservation and Management

The 1997 Reef Check Global Survey was the first to scientifically document that the rate of damage to coral reefs has increased dramatically in recent years, resulting in a global coral reef crisis. The major impacts are over-fishing, pollution, sedimentation and global climate change. Coral reefs are now known to be one of the most sensitive biological indicators of global climate change. Reef Check is the only standardized global coral reef monitoring program and is operating more than 50 countries worldwide. The three main objectives of this project are:

1. Reef Education: To educate Indonesian school children (Grades 2-6) about the value of coral reefs, threats to their health and solutions to these problems.

2. Reef Check: To train volunteer Thai and Indonesian community leaders in Reef Check methods and to survey the basic health of coral reefs in Thailand and Indonesia using Reef Check methods.

3. Regional Training Center: To establish a coral reef monitoring and management training center at Phuket Marine Biological Laboratory to serve the region, including Indonesia and the Philippines.

In addition a small grant was provided to document the impacts of the 2000 mass coral bleaching event in Fiji.