09 Apr Learning New Tools for the Rapid Assessment of Coral Reef Health and Resilience in Maluku and Bali

Reef Health Monitoring (RHM) is a crucial aspect of coral reef management, serving as a biophysical indicator to assess the effectiveness of marine protected area management. Healthy coral reefs are vital for the well-being of various marine life connected to them, such as fish stocks that are important for fishermen. Monitoring coral reef health is essential to track any changes and inform future management decisions.

The CTC team was greatly honored to learn a new method for measuring coral reef health and resilience from renowned expert Dr. Rodney V. Salm. He joined our team in Maluku from March 23 to 26 and our Bali team from March 30 to April 1, 2024, for in-depth field training on measuring and assessing coral reef resilience.

Dr. Salm is a member of CTC’s Scientific Advisory Board as well as the Senior Adviser Emeritus of the Micronesia Marine Program at The Nature Conservancy. He has over 50 years of experience in international marine conservation all over the world. Dr. Salm is the author of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas: A Guide for Planners and Managers. Published by IUCN in its third edition in 2000, this book serves as a widely consulted reference for researchers and experts on marine conservation. 

During this time with the CTC team, he organized a series of training comprising of both theoretical classroom sessions and individualized coaching during field exercises. The trainings aimed to enhance the understanding of the CTC Team and its partners in the rapid survey method for coral reef resilience. 

The coral reef resilience assessment method used in these trainings were based on techniques developed by Dr. Salm himself and previously employed in surveys at other locations. These methods focus on recording indicators such as coral community stress resilience (resistance and recovery), disease prevalence, and predation rates. 

“In the CTC team, I see great enthusiasm to learn. They see the value of making reefs last over time, and into the future,” said Rod Salm.

The training intended to offer an in-depth comprehension of coral health and monitoring procedures, empowering the participants to conduct surveys effectively in the field and contribute to the effective management of the Lease Islands Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Maluku and Nusa Penida MPA in Bali. The team received detailed guidance on data collection methods and assessing the criteria of a resilient reef. 

The trainings in both areas were highly successful, with active participation from all attendees who sought clarification on data collection parameters. Concluding the training, participants collaboratively analyzed and processed the collected data, demonstrating a deep understanding of coral reef resilience data collection techniques and assessment criteria. Undoubtedly, techniques learned in the trainings would significantly enhance the participants’ field expertise.

Apart from the CTC team, partners from Bali MPA management unit and Sanctum Dive Center-Eco Hero Program also joined the training in the Nusa Penida MPA. In  Maluku, partners from the Provincial Government and Loka PSPL Sorong Satker Ambon also joined the training.

All participants learned new knowledge and skills in assessing coral health indicators and measuring the resilience of coral reefs.  This method specifically is very useful if the aim is to conduct an assessment of a large MPA to compare sites over large areas and detect change in a cost-effective way to inform management and decision-making in a timely manner


Writers: Cikal Qalnar, Wira Sanjaya, Evi N. Ihsan, Nyoman Suardana, Kasman, Purwanto, and Gerald Istia
Photos: Purwanto/CTC, Evi Ihsan/CTC, Rod Salm, Rili Djohani/CTC

No Comments

Post A Comment

Coral Triangle Center