Caribbean

Photo Credit: The Ocean Agency

Countries included

Countries of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Governance

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 group is regionally and gender balanced and includes members of key regional organisations.

The GCRMN-Caribbean network has more than 200 members who share experiences, information and knowledge within an online platform.

Activities 

GCRMN-Caribbean online forum

The online platform for the GCRMN-Caribbean supports information dissemination, experience sharing, continuous technical assistance and advice. The forum is open to all interested in coral reefs, and more than 200 members are currently part of it. It aims to exchange monitoring methods, best practices, to provide advice and to circulate general information such as funding calls, or relevant fora and conferences.

To join the forum, please, contact Mike Hélion: mike.helion@developpement-durable.gouv.fr

Main results/accomplishments

GCRMN-Caribbean guidelines for coral reef biophysical monitoring & guidelines for integrated coral reef monitoring

The GCRMN-Caribbean published minimum as well as preferred coral reef monitoring guidelines for ecological and socio-economic data collection, to be disseminated within the Wider Caribbean region. Both sets of guidelines provide a multi-level framework for existing and developing monitoring programmes to contribute data that support a regional understanding of status and trends of Caribbean coral reefs which will help guide management and decision-making.

Harmonised data collection

Since its revitalisation in 2014, the GCRMN-Caribbean focused on developing biophysical and socio-economic guidelines to ensure the collection of useful, comparable and accessible data that can effectively reveal the status and trends of the Caribbean’s coral reefs in the near future. Since 2016, the GCRMN-Caribbean aims to disseminate these guidelines and train managers, coral reef scientists and practitioners to this integrated monitoring.

SPAW-RAC / UN Environment – CEP GCRMN-Caribbean Integrated Coral Reef Monitoring Workshops

The first GCRMN-Caribbean Integrated Coral Reef Monitoring Workshop was held at Discover Bay Marine Laboratory, Jamaica in April 2016, entitled, “GCRMN-Caribbean Guidelines Capacity Building Workshop: Towards comprehensive coral reef monitoring”.

Thanks to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s support, a training workshop was implemented in October 2017 at Port Royal Marine Laboratory, Jamaica, which trained 16 participants from Jamaica and Cuba to improve coral reef monitoring as well as regional cooperation and information sharing. A third workshop was held in Saint Martin in 2018 and trained 12 participants from Saint Martin, Sint Marteen, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Saint Barthélémy.

As a follow-up to these workshops, a grant will be allocated for biophysical and socio-economic monitoring site assessments for each participating training site, based on capacity and resource needs. These assessments will strengthen the GCRMN-Caribbean’s efforts towards enhanced data collection and archiving in the wider Caribbean.