Responding to Climate Change: A workshop for Coral Reef Managers

16 June 2009 | News story

 IUCN is organising four-day workshop aimed at coral reef managers is being held in Marsa Alam, Egypt, 18th - 21st June 2009. The focus of this training workshop is on climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation for tourism and coral reefs in the red sea.
For more information please contact Ameer Abdulla, Senior Specialist with IUCN's Global Marine Program;ameer.abdulla@iucn.org / +34 65398 4609

Climate change is now recognised as the most serious threat to coral reefs globally. The signs of a changing climate - including increasing temperatures, acidifying oceans and rising sea levels - are already being observed. Coral reefs are among the most sensitive of ecosystems, with major coral bleaching events and decreased coral growth rates now recorded from major reef regions around the world. The global bleaching event of 1998 alone effectively destroyed 16% of the world’s reefs.

Leading scientists predict that coral-dominated reefs will be rare by mid-century if international efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions fail. Many other parts of the reef ecosystem will also be affected: fish will alter their ranges and diseases will become more widespread, for example. Further, it is inevitable that these impacts will have flow on effects to communities and industries that depend on reefs for their livelihood. The inescapable conclusion is that coral reefs – and those who depend on them - are facing a crisis.

In the face of this global threat, local management actions can seem futile. However, the opposite is true: never before has effective coral reef management been so crucial to the future of coral reefs. The ability of reefs to cope with this global challenge depends heavily on how well we manage reefs at the local scale. Good management can reduce other pressures and buy reefs time to adapt to a new climate. By building the resilience of reefs, coral reef managers can play a major role in helping reefs weather the storm of climate change.

But what can mangers do? How can we make a difference? How do we focus limited management resources in the face of such a huge problem? How can managers reconcile the often competing needs of conservation and resource use by local communities and industries in the face of climate stress? In short, how do we manage for resilience?

These questions are the focus of Responding to Climate Change - A Workshop for Coral Reef Managers. IUCN and partners are bringing leading international experts together with Egypt’s best coral reef managers to review the latest science on climate change and coral reefs, explore how resilience concepts can inform future management, and share experiences in responding to coral bleaching events and other climate change impacts.

In this three-day workshop, coral reef managers will gain a greater understanding of:
Preparing for coral bleaching events
Assessing impacts from coral bleaching events
Communication about climate change
Coral reef resilience
Social resilience
How to build resilience into coral reef management.

PROGRAM
Responding to Climate Change:
A workshop for Coral Reef Managers


Day 1
Introduction
Preparing for coral bleaching events
Assessing impacts from coral bleaching events
Evening presentations - Red Sea resilience and tourism

Day 2
Assessing impacts from coral bleaching events (cont.)
Communication about climate change
Understanding coral reef resilience
Understanding social resilience

Day 3
Building resilience into coral reef management
Field trip. Identifying Resilient Reefs
Evening presentations - communicating about climate change

Day 4
BleachWatch training session (for field staff & rangers)

For more information please contact Ameer Abdulla, Senior Specialist with IUCN's Global Marine Program; ameer.abdulla@iucn.org / +34 65398 4609