Developing common coral reef monitoring guidelines

The GCRMN wants to reinvigorate a global dialog to develop a common framework for coral reef monitoring.  Methods to measure coral reefs may always vary but the parameters chosen and the classification of information has been in need of some form of standardization for years.  Recent work done by the GCRMN has amassed more than 300 different sources of monitoring data for the Caribbean region to serve as a proof-of-concept for rigorous assessment of coral reef status and trends.  This was the basis of the Regional Workshop held in Panama in April and May of 2012 (see the backstory here).  As part of the International Coral Reef Initiative, the GCRMN plans to hold a second workshop in the Caribbean Region in October, 2013 in Belize to further examine the future of monitoring in the Region and to seek Regional leadership to help coordinate on-going monitoring efforts.  The GCRMN is working with UNEP to develop guidelines that can inform a wide range of practitioners about those parameters, and relevant meta data, that are most needed to be able to compare status and trends across space and over time.  The main objectives of the 2013 Caribbean Workshop (and the 2013 GCRMN Monitoring Guidelines), are to bring together key scientists, managers and governance representatives that have supported the GCRMN in the past, and also those governments and institutions who wish to support the Network in the future, to make significant progress in using universal monitoring standards, to identify champions for the Wider Caribbean region and to reinvigorate a regional and sustainable Monitoring Network for the Wider Caribbean Region.

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