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WALLACE RESOURCE LIBRARY Lecture 10 – Conservation of Coral Reefs PowerPoint Presentation
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WALLACE RESOURCE LIBRARY Lecture 10 – Conservation of Coral Reefs
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  1. WALLACE RESOURCE LIBRARY Lecture 10 – Conservation of Coral Reefs This is an ‘example’ of a lecture that is given to A level students as part of their academic lecture series whilst on their expedition. It has been produced for the exclusive use of the lecturer conducting the series and is solely intended for educational purposes. Most of the material comes from Operation Wallacea sources and any other material that has been used has been credited (as far as is possible) to the appropriate author wherever possible. This lecture is only to be used for EDUCATIONAL purposes.

  2. WALLACE RESOURCE LIBRARY Lecture 10 – Conservation of Coral Reefs

  3. Conservation of Coral Reefs Summary • The value of coral reefs (re-visited) • Top down management (MPAs, zonation, ICZM) • Bottom up management (ownership, education, community involvement) • Alternative livelihoods

  4. Coral reef value – why should we care? • Income: • Billions of dollars and millions of jobs in more than 100 countries around the world • Habitat: • Home to more than 1 million diverse aquatic species, including thousands of fish species • Food: • For commercial fishing enterprises and for people living near coral reefs, especially on small islands • Protection: • A natural barrier protecting coastal cities, communities, and beaches They’re important! • Medicine: • Potential treatments for many of the world's most prevalent and dangerous illnesses and diseases

  5. Management styles • Top-down Management • Management strategy is designed and implemented by an authoritative organisation (people forced not to damage the environment) • Otherwise known as “command and control” • Bottom-up Management • Management strategy aims to persuade people not to damage the environment by providing incentives • Otherwise known as community management (or co-management)

  6. Top-down management (command and control)

  7. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) • Areas, usually designated by national governments, in which marine resources are protected in some way • Considered one of the potentially easiest ways of protecting coral reefs • There are currently around 2700 MPAs in coral reef areas, covering 27% of all coral reefs • Level of management can vary enormously The main aim of an MPA is to protect the natural environment, although many also try to maintain sustainable exploitation (is this image an impossible dream??)

  8. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) • MPAs require management effort, but many are established but never actually managed (especially in less developed countries) • These are known as “Paper Parks” and this image shows how common they are (estimated at 71% worldwide)!

  9. Multi-Zoned Management: No Take Zones (NTAs) • Many MPAs are divided into zones • Each zone has a different permitted amount of human activity • The strictest zones are “No Take Areas” (NTAs) • Multi-zoned management can be complicated for local communities

  10. The spillover effect and SLOSS • Fish populations are mobile due to their larval dispersal • This means protected populations (e.g. in NTAs) can replenish nearby unprotected reefs • This is known as the spillover effect, and can be an important source of fish recruitment Fished Reefs NTA But this raises an important question: Is it better for an MPA to have a single large NTA or several small ones?? This hotly debated topic is known as SLOSS. What do you think?

  11. Additional MPA zones Protected Core Areas – this is not only an NTA, but a strict sanctuary area where people often aren’t even allowed to enter Protected Marine Park Areas - non-destructive activities are allowed, such as diving and scientific research Protected Buffer Zones – lower level of protection, but targets habitats ecologically linked to the main protected areas Which zones are used will depend on the specific aims of the MPA (and the budget available to police it!)

  12. Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) • Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) involves the management of the whole coastal zone, rather than just the marine component • This means that mangroves and seagrass beds are included • It also allows coastal development to be better managed • ICZM can also refer to management which crosses boundaries (e.g. a area that spans more than one country)

  13. Difficulties associated with MPAs • MPAs are famously difficult to establish successfully, and many end up as “Paper Parks” with no active management • Specific difficulties include: • Adequate Funding – MPAs require funding to set up, but also regular funding to maintain protection (most successful MPAs are self-funded through things like ecotourism) • Lack of compliance – Local communities are unlikely to support top-down management (no incentive to comply) • Compensation - Management will almost always require local communities to stop or reduce natural resource exploitation, which will require some form of compensation

  14. Bottom-up management (community-based)

  15. The importance of ownership • The resources on coral reefs are traditionally “open access” meaning that nobody has rights to them, and communities are free to exploit them • This creates a scenario where stakeholders take increasing amounts of that resource based on the theory that if they don’t then someone else will (this is known as the “Tragedy of the Commons”) • If the number of people with rights to the resource becomes limited, it is known as “restricted access” • Restricted access creates a sense of ownership, which encourages stakeholders to protect the resource as they now feel it belongs to them

  16. Marine Conservation Agreements (MCA) An MCA essentially provides a group/organisation with rights to the waters through an agreement between government and them The organisation protects the water and its ecosystems (which boosts tourism profits to the organisation), in exchange for providing jobs and investment in local economies (removing the need for exploitation)

  17. Registration • Another great example of an ownership scheme is fisher registration • This is where a group of fishermen are registered to fish on a particular coral reef • Generally this takes the form of registering fishing boats so they are obviously recognisable • This prevents fishermen from outside the area from fishing on their reefs → Ownership! • In addition, it can be self-policing which reduces costs

  18. Community awareness Awareness of environmental problems in local communities is the best way to ensure compliance! • “Open access” acts as a barrier to management success, but a lack of community awareness acts as another • If local communities don’t understand the threat their activities are causing, they won’t see the point in conservation • Education programmes provide another incentive to comply with management strategies • One method to achieve this (in the long term) is to initiate education in local schools so the next generation are better prepared to seek sustainability

  19. Community involvement • In top-down management, there is some form of authority that tells local communities how their reefs will be managed • But in bottom-up management, the local communities themselves are given the power to decide • Typically this form of management begins with an education program • They then enter into the management process alongside scientific advisors and local government representatives to plan the management strategy themselves

  20. Alternative livelihoods • If we want local communities to reduce their resource exploitation, we have to provide them with alternatives • Ideally these alternatives should satisfy all the same needs as the original (economic, food security, cultural) • Without alternative livelihoods, local communities will simply return to fishing regardless of rules, laws or management • The most important thing is that they must be ALTERNATIVE and not simply ADDITIONAL livelihoods • If successful, they can provide huge benefits to the whole community (economic development as well as conservation)

  21. Alternative livelihoods: Ecotourism • In recent years there has been a boom in people wanting ecotourism holidays (where they experience the natural environment) • This has provided a new source of income in many areas of the tropics • The main problem is avoiding all the profits ending up in a businessman’s pockets • It is important that local communities benefit, either through job opportunities, or in small businesses like homestays

  22. Alternative livelihoods: Business model • Coral mining has been going on for decades to provide coral for the aquaria trade • Traditionally this involves destroying large areas of reef • However, local communities in some areas have started to farm coral fragments to sell to aquaria owners • Growing coral is difficult in an aquaria, but here the natural environment is used

  23. Alternative livelihoods: Business model • Seaweed is extensively farmed throughout Southeast Asia to produce hydrocolloids • Typically sold for a very small amount by the farmers to a middleman who makes a large profit at the factory • Operation Wallacea are involved in developing a new method to process seaweed • It can be carried out locally, keeping the profits within the community, making seaweed farming more profitable Watch this space!!

  24. Local vs. global conservation • This lecture has described ways of managing tropical marine environments from local threats (particularly resource extraction and coastal development) • However this is only part of the problem, and successfully implementing these ideas will only give some protection to coral reefs and their connected biomes • Global threats are a major issue, and they have to be tackled at a global level (sea surface temperature, ocean acidification, UVB damage etc.) That doesn’t mean we should stop trying – the fewer threats faced by coral reefs, the greater the chance they will cope with them!

  25. Conservation of Coral Reefs Summary • The value of coral reefs (re-visited) • Top down management (MPAs, zonation, ICZM) • Bottom up management (ownership, education, community involvement) • Alternative livelihoods

  26. Questions?