While current prediction tools on thermal stress are useful and widely used, new research is showing alternative approaches and variables that might vary in importance from one region to another. To maximize the utility of early warning to management, and its use in Project 2, a sub-group of experts conducting thermal stress and prediction work will be established to compile best-practise recommendations that regional partners, developing countries and/or MPA planners/scientists can use in predicting bleaching risk.
This project is developing a coral reef rapid response monitoring protocol applicable to developing country Marine Protected Areas. This will linked with regionally coordinated bleaching warning networks and the establishment of contingency funding for implementation of emergency responses where resources are lacking.
The bleaching monitoring protocols will be targeted at implementation within the constraints of most developing country coral reef MPA systems. These constraints include limited human and financial resources, variable backgrounds and baseline data sets on coral reef health, and a broad spectrum of users and stakeholders in coral reefs. Furthermore, a data management system will be put in place, with analysis and reporting through national, regional and global nodes for coral reef monitoring.
A primary objective for this project is to implement the rapid response capability during the potential bleaching season of 2007, covering the Western Indian Ocean, South Asia, Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean.
Useful links: Western Indian Ocean Bleaching Update 2007.