About the Working Group

Objectives of the CCCR

The objective of the CCCR is to use coral reefs as a model ecosystem to: identify priority information gaps and issues to be addressed through parallel workshop and research tracks, provide a mechanism to focus scientific contributions from different leading research groups, and to synthesize the relevance of resilience to coral reefs and climate change. The Working Group thus aims to bridge gaps between theoretical science and management application in order to fast-track the development and use of tools that would improve the protection of coral reefs under the threat of climate change and interacting or synergistic human threats. It provides a forum to facilitate the reciprocal flow of information between scientists and managers to continually update and improve recommended management practices for mitigating climate change threats to coral reefs. At government and inter-governmental levels, policy outputs from the Working Group will seek to inform at the highest levels the possibilities of mitigating climate change impacts on coral reefs and thereby empower management efforts at local, national and regional levels.

Structure

As a host for the CCCR, IUCN provides a global reach combining technical, policy and management structures backed up by governments and IUCN member organizations, and targeting the needs of coral reef managers of all ranges of expertise, resources and social/political contexts.

The following aspects form the focus of the group’s structure and activities:

1. Climate change and coral bleaching – the group incorporates the latest information from research on coral bleaching into management options, tools and practices; revises these as new knowledge is generated; and feeds priorities and emerging questions from management to researchers;

2. Resilience – the group interprets and promotes research on climate change and coral bleaching into a resilience framework; articulates management questions and challenges into a socio-ecological systems (SES) resilience framework to facilitate research; collaborates with leading resilience experts to develop practical products oriented to assist managers with broadly ranging skills and expertise to ask and answer questions on climate change and resilience-based management.

3. Management – the group builds on latest management practices, training and concept development; provides more efficient knowledge transfer between researchers and management practitioners; develops training opportunities to build capacity in coral reef management and conservation; promotes uptake of key messages in policy circles to support and empower effective management of coral reefs at all levels.

The CCCR is chaired by Dr. David Obura in Mombasa, Kenya. It comprises of a fluid network of leading scientists and management practitioners whose work provides source material within the scope of the Working Group. Through their ongoing work, members provide key linkages for the Working Group to other projects and initiatives with similar objectives to ensure synergy and coherence of outcomes, limit overlaps or conflicts and potentially provide testing opportunities through management trials or research.

Working Group members are leading scientists and management practitioners whose work provides source material within the scope of the working group. Through their ongoing work, members provide key linkages for the Working Group to other projects and initiatives with similar objectives to ensure synergy and coherence of outcomes, limit overlaps or conflicts and potentially provide testing opportunities through management trials or research.

ITMEMS 3

The 3rd International Tropical Marine Ecosystem Management Symposium provided an international platform for managers to interact with scientists to share experiences and identify gaps and priorities for future action and research. A workshop based on the theme ‘Building resilience into coral reef management’ was facilitated by leading professionals in the field and included presentations by several coral reef management experts, including members of the Working Group. The proceedings of this workshop provide a great starting point for the Working Group to begin identifying management priorities, to determine how resilience principles are currently being integrated into management strategies and to identify gaps in knowledge. The case studies proceeding from ITMEMS3 will provide a basis for the Working Group to formulate management hypotheses, to produce a synthesis of current management strategies, and to take the first step in bridging the gap between resilience science and management in the field.

Outputs

CCCR outputs will comprise a broad set of publication types oriented towards documenting Working Group findings, contributing to scientific literature and generating outputs useful for management and policy. This will include technical reports from coral reef resilience assessments conducted by the CCCR in three major regions (Western Indian Ocean, Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean). Taking advantage of IUCN’s members network of governments and international organizations, policy and management syntheses and briefs and programme for streamlining the uptake of technical recommendations at policy and management levels is being prepared. Policy and management outputs were released at the 4th IUCN World Conservation Congress, which took place in Barcelona in October 2008. The outcomes of the project are also being used to identify continuing and follow-on activities to be pursued by the Working Group and IUCN. Scientific results and conclusions from the global rapid resilience assessments and their potential impacts on management and policy strategies will be presented at the International Marine Conservation Congress in Washington DC, May 2009.

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