Improving the resilience of communities and coral reefs to changes anticipated as a result of climate change is an issue of huge global importance. Hundreds of millions of people rely on coral reefs to provide essential services such as food and coastal protection. These ecosystems also contribute significantly to national economies through sectors such as tourism.
This interdisciplinary project drew together a network of UK-Western Indian Ocean (WIO) collaborators to address evidence gaps and support the development of resilience strategies across the WIO.
Within the project, a team of interdisciplinary researchers drew on expertise in environmental and health economics, social sciences, development, social psychology, marine geosciences, marine biology, art (including concept and design development and film making) and religious studies. The team were a partnership between PML, the Universities of Exeter and Cardiff, Indeva Consulting, The Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES) and two freelance artists in the UK and Reef Conservation in Mauritius.
- A literature review, assessing the extent to which the initiatives used to manage coral reefs are successful in building community and reef resilience.
- A stakeholder workshop in Mauritius, to identify ways in which these initiatives can be refined to better build resilience.
- Development and pilot of a novel, arts-based approach for assessing perceptions of the environment and the socio-cultural risk associated with different resilience strategies.
- A second stakeholder workshop in the UK, to identify possibilities for future collaboration.
Download the Mauritius workshop summary report (May 2017)
Download the UK workshop summary report (Sept 2017)
View photographs from the workshop
Coral Communities Film from andyhughes on Vimeo.
Coral Communities: Socio-ecological Resilience of Fundo Islanders
Coral Communities: Socio-ecological Resilience of Fundo Islanders from mwambao network on Vimeo.
Which resilience strategies?
The researchers were interested in strategies that support coral reef ecosystems and the communities who interact with them to cope with external stresses and disturbances. These strategies range for those entirely focused on community development (e.g. introduction of new technology, health programmes and microfinancing) to fisheries management, financing and certification schemes, marine protected areas and reef restoration (e.g. coral gardening).
How can you get involved?
- Offer feedback on the structure and content of the project's literature review, to ensure the evidence gathered is relevant to your work.
- Test out the arts-based approach for assessing resilience strategies developed by this project.
If you would like more information, please contact PML's Dr Caroline Hattam (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kathy Young from Reef Conservation (email@example.com).
View images and video from the project on Instagram or follow the hashtag #coralcommunities on Twitter.
Click here to view full biographies of the team
This project has been completed
Funder: UK Global Challenges Research Fund
Project start date: February 2017
Project end date: October 2017
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