Countries included

Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, US Virgin Islands, Venezuela.


Melanie McField
Co-Chair, Caribbean Steering Committee, and Founder and Director of the Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative (HRI)

Auriane Petit
Marine Ecosystems and Protected Areas Project Officer, SPAW RAC


Regional Context

Importance of Coral Reefs

The Caribbean Region represents only 1% of Earth’s marine environment, but hosts 10% of the world’s coral reefs, including fringing reefs, which are most common; barrier reefs such as the Mesoamerican Reef, which is the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere; bank reefs; patch reefs; and a few atolls.

The Caribbean Network

Since its revitalisation and strengthening in 2014, the GCRMN-Caribbean has been making sustained efforts to ensure the collection of useful and accessible data that can effectively reveal the status and trends of the coral reefs in the Wider Caribbean Region. The GCRMN-Caribbean promotes an integrated approach with socioeconomic data, and create a regular, robust and strategic reporting to influence coastal management decision-making at the regional level, and guide management at the local level.

Join the network and access the dedicated forum by completing the following online form :


The GCRMN-Caribbean is led by a Steering Committee (SC) composed of fifteen regional experts, assisted by members-at-large. The members of the SC represent a variety of technical, scientific, and policy expertise. They include both institutional and individual representation.

The SC is co-chaired by the Regional Activity Center for the Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife Protocol (SPAW-RAC) under the Cartagena Convention and the UN Environment – Caribbean Environment Programme (UN Environment – CEP).

The members-at-large are individuals to whom the SC can turn to for technical advice and support for the implementation of specific actions, and who are kept informed of the activities and deliberations of the network. The members-at-large are regionally and gender balanced and include members of key regional organisations.


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Keys numbers


Total area of coral reefs (km2)


Proportion of the world’s coral reefs


Countries with coral reefs


Marine Ecoregions of the World (MEOW) (i)

(i) Marine Ecoregions of the World (MEOW) is a biogeographic classification of the world’s coasts and shelves (Spalding et al., 2007).

Key figures from the 2020 report

Hard coral cover

Algae cover


  • 2014: promotion of the systematic approach to monitoring social science indicators in conjunction with biophysical monitoring
  • 2014: development of the GCRMN-Caribbean Social and Economic Indicators Guidelines
  • 2016: Finalisation of the GCRMN-Caribbean baseline scientific monitoring guidelines for biophysical monitoring (PDF can be accessed here)
  • 2016: GCRMN-Caribbean Guidelines Capacity Building Workshop: Towards Comprehensive Coral Reef Monitoring,18-22 April 2016, UWI Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory, Jamaica (PDF can be accessed here)
  • 2017: GCRMN-Caribbean Capacity Building for Coral Reef and Human Dimensions Monitoring within the Wider Caribbean Workshop, 10-14 October, 2017, Port Royal Marine Laboratory, Jamaica
  • 2018: GCRMN-Caribbean Guidelines Capacity Building Workshop, 28 May-1 June, 2018, Saint Martin, French West Indies
Philip Hamilton | Ocean Image Bank
Philip Hamilton | Ocean Image Bank


Regional reports and guidelines from the Caribbean