IOC support to reef monitoring

Two projects of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), have supported a series of coral reef monitoring outputs, to support the regional coral reef monitoring networks. The ISLANDS Project (Phase I) had a component on coral reefs, from 2009-13, while the Biodiversity Project, starting in 2014, has continued some of this support. To ensure continuity among marine-focused projects, the IOC has recently established  Marine Programme, through which outputs and investments from any one project are retained and become easily accessible to subsequent ones. Formal documentation of the IOC projects can be found at the IOC website.

The ISLANDS project focused on the five islands of the SWIO (Comoros, French territories, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles) and Zanzibar. Coral reef outputs included the following, many in both English and French, available from the bookshelf below.

1. Documentation:

– reef network support documents: a monitoring manual, a draft Charter for organization of the reef network, concept note;

– national and regional summaries of coral reef monitoring activities to date;

– preparation documents for a reef monitoring workshop in Mauritius, 24-26 February 2015.

2. Database

A database for coral reef monitoring data, the Coral Reef Information System (CRIS) was produced, to host regional data for reporting under the GCRMN in 2015-16.

3. Networking

Under the ISLANDS project, a Facebook page was set up, and space on the reef resilience network pages established for coordination and animation of coral reef monitoring for management in the WIO.

A reef networking meeting was held in Albion, Mauritius from 24-26 February 2015, as a final activity for the ISLANDS Project and an initiation one for the Biodiversity Project. The purpose of the meeting was to revitalize the regional coral reef monitoring network, present the CRIS to network members and undertake a field trial and training in use of the database.

The Biodiversity Project expands the scope of implementation of the ISLANDS Project to Kenya and mainland Tanzania, to promote implementation and use of coral reef products from the ISLANDS project. The following are the major actions under the Biodiversity Project:

1) promoting use of the Coral Reef Information System by coral reef monitoring teams in the WIO.

2) Coordinating the GCRMN regional reporting for coral reefs of the WIO for 2015-16. Please review the related 2016 WIO GCRMN report drafting workshop report and the final 2017 WIO GCRMN coral status report.