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Community reef monitoring in Vanuatu
Can community monitoring provide real-time information for local decision-making?

Support from SPC, FFEM, AFD, Experiment and SPREP has enabled the development of a Community Marine Monitoring Toolkit to monitor and manage local marine resources. This important community conservation initiative originated in Vanuatu to deliver a Monitoring Toolkit that can be applied by communities throughout the Pacific.

Coastal habitats support marine animals, including fish and shellfish that Pacific communities rely on for food and income. Using the standardised Monitoring Toolkit, communities can collect data on reef condition, fish catches, invertebrates, seagrass, mangroves and crown-of-thorns starfish to inform local management. This local monitoring toolkit requires initial training and then can be used as needed by communities. It is supported by a Marine Management Guide that can inform local actions to protect, manage and restore habitats and promote sustainable fisheries to provide food and income security for communities, particularly as climate change impacts ecosystems.

Benefits that communities have reported include: instant results that can be shared and discussed in communities, increased local awareness of coastal and marine issues, early warning of impacts, larger locally managed (no take) areas, greater food security, and new income opportunities, e.g. eco-tourism.

Contact us if you want to know more about the Toolkit and how it can be tailored to your location and training delivered.