|Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN)||
Maintained by IOC
|Why Monitor Coral Reefs?|
|Coral reef ecosystems are, next to rainforests, the most biodiverse ecosytems on the planet. They are valuable not only to the wealth of marine life they support, but also to people, many of whom depend on and receive benefits from the reefs. Coral reefs provide jobs, food, protection to coastal settlements, as well as significant revenues from their cultivation and tourist related activities. Furthermore, like their terrestrial counterparts the rainforests, they are home to a fountain of scientific information whose significance and applications are only beginning to be understood. Coral reef ecosystems are sensitive to natural, anthropogenic, and climatic pressures. Assessments as to late 2000 are that 27% of the world's reefs have been effectively lost, with the largest single cause being the massive climate-related coral bleaching event of 1998. This destroyed about 16% of the world's coral reefs in only 9 months, during the largest El Niño and La Niña climate mode ever recorded. While there is a good chance that many of the 16% of damaged reefs will, with time, recover, it is estimated that half of these decimated reefs will never recover to full health. These losses will add to the 11% of the world's reefs already lost to human impacts such as sediment and nutrient pollution, overexploitation and mining of sand and rock, blast fishing, and development on and reclamation of coral reefs. Photo of reef courtesy of NOAA |
|How Does the GCRMN work?|
|The Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN)is the operational unit of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), which was born out of the UN Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Islands Developing States (Barbados, 1994). As its name implies, GCRMN is a global network comprised of governments, institutions, NGO's and individuals who have resolved to observe, communicate and disseminate data and information regarding the health and ecology of the world's coral reefs. Co-Sponsor's of GCRMN include the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), and the World Bank. More information is available at the GCRM website at http://www.gcrmn.org. |
GCRMN's daily operation takes place via 16 regional Nodes. These Nodes act independently to: coordinate capacity building, data assimilation and analysis, monitor, disseminate information, and the train local participants to effective coral reef monitoring. In addition, the Nodes coordinate exisiting coral reef programs with their own activities and information services. The Global Coordinator of the GCRMN synthesizes the reports of all the Nodes, assists the Nodes in securing funding and generates the products of the GCRMN, which include bi-annual reports on the status of the world's coral reefs as well as manuals and references geared to ecological and socio-economic management of coral reef ecosystems.
printed on 2013/05/18 21:03:20