Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network Workshop Report

In line with the International Coral Reef Initiative and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network guiding principles, the GCRMN in the Caribbean region has been growing as a renewed and dynamic network of coral reef experts sharing the goal of revitalizing and strengthening coral reef monitoring to ensure the collection of useful, comparable and accessible data that can effectively reveal the status and trends of the coral reefs in the region, for regular, robust and strategic reporting to influence coastal management decision-making at the regional level.

In this context, we are very glad to report on the first GCRMN-Caribbean integrated Coral Reef Monitoring Workshop held from 18-22 April under the framework of the UNEP’s Caribbean Environment Programme (UNEP-CEP), and with the support of UNEP Coral Reef Unit, the SPAW-RAC, the University of the West Indies and a number of regional organizations and programmes.

Thirty-five coral reef scientists and coastal managers from several institutions as the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) at The University of the West Indies (UWI); Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego; the Waitt Institute, Reef Check Dominican Republic; Universidad Simon Bolivar; and the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program were gathered at the Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory, Centre for Marine Sciences, University of the West Indies, on the north coast of Jamaica to participate in this scientific capacity-building event « GCRMN-Caribbean Guidelines Capacity Building Workshop: Towards comprehensive coral reef monitoring ».

The first objective of this event was to increase capacity for effective integrated coral reef monitoring among GCRMN-Caribbean countries through the use of bio-physical and socio-economic data for coastal management decision-making and for improved standardized and strategic reporting at the regional level. Therefore, participants were introduced in one of two training components, the GCRMN-Caribbean bio-physical guidelines and socio-economic monitoring framework and benefited from several opportunities during plenary sessions for sharing experiences from each component to strengthen the integration of all participants of this Caribbean regional network. This event was also a means to train and identify future trainers, especially for future GCRMN-Caribbean workshops, and to build new long-term collaborations between islands while reinforcing local/national networks. A great example of this is the Jamaica Coral Reef Monitoring Network (JCRMN), for which Jamaican participants developed recommendations and next steps for improving and strengthening their national monitoring efforts.

Recommendations and post workshops suggestions for actions were defined for each of the countries/sites represented, in order to help implement the guidelines and reinforce integration and develop a specific guidance/guidebook. The GCRMN-Caribbean plans to replicate this initiative at the national or sub-national levels throughout the region over the coming years.


Please have a look on the SPAW-RAC page for more detailed information about this event. We encourage all coral reef experts and conservation practitioners to get in touch with us, by contacting directly one of the Steering Committee members,637 or the regional coordinator (