Long-term and robust coral reef monitoring coupled with strategic reporting are essential drivers for ecosystem-based management and regional policy processes.
The GCRMN-Caribbean is an open and growing network of coral reef scientists and managers involved with coral reef monitoring in the region. Following on the publication of the "Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012"report, it has taken the initiative to strengthen or revitalize coral reef monitoring in the region, to ensure collection of useful and accessible data that can effectively reveal the status and trends of the coral reefs in the region.
The initiative to revitalize the Caribbean network was launched in August 2014 in Curacao, along with concrete proposals for improvements in data collection, archiving and communication. Several technical and scientific solutions are proposed to address the lack of information and dissemination, and inconsistency in applying monitoring methods and approaches throughout the region.
The GCRMN - Caribbean wants to be instrumental as an information and exchange platform center for monitoring groups and relevant actors of the whole region. Led by the SPAW-RAC /UNEP-CEP as regional coordinator and chair, it is structured around a Steering Committe, composed of a dozen of members, that reflects the cultural and geographical diversity of the region, and represents a variety of technical, scientific and policy expertise.
Identified tasks of this core group members include regular reporting, communicating on the network and its mission, evaluating data standards, identifying and setting up a regional central database, encouraging more countries to join the network and identifying possible funding sources. The Caribbean GCRMN also specifically addresses building local capacity through organising training programs and expert support.
GCRMN-Caribbean Steering Committee Composition:
Co Chair : Maria Pena - CERMES,University of the West Indies, Barbados & Regional SocMon Coordinator for the English-speaking Caribbean
Melanie McField - Healthy Reefs For Healthy People - Meso-American reef
Paul Hoetjes – Policy Coordinator Nature Conservation for the Caribbean Netherlands
Ruben Torres – Reef Check - Dominican Republic
Andy Estep - Director/Science Manager - Waitt Institute
Mark Vermeij - Director of CARMABI -Curaçao
Marcia Creary Ford- University of the West Indies - Jamaica
Diana Gómez - INVEMAR- Colombia
Jean-Philippe Maréchal - IFRECOR - French West Indies