Webinar Archives

Presented by: Mike Beck of the University of California at Santa Cruz

This webinar will provide an overview of new research on how natural defenses can reduce coastal risk. Key new findings include: 1) the global costs of storms would double if the top 1 m of coral reefs is lost, 2) coral reefs provide $1.8 billion in annual flood protection benefits to the US alone, and 3) globally, if mangroves are lost, 39% more people would be affected by floods and property damage would increase by US$82 billion. This webinar will also show which countries (and hotspots in countries) have the most to gain in flood protection from reef conservation. We will wrap up by describing our work with the insurance industry and FEMA to show how valuation of risk reduction benefits can be used to finance reef and wetland conservation and restoration at scale. [Please note: This webinar significantly updates a May 2018 EBM Tools Network/OCTO webinar with new results and opportunities for implementation in policy and practice.]

This webinar was presented by Andy Cornish of WWF.

Overfishing is a major threat to the world’s 1,200+ species of sharks and rays, and many elasmobranch populations are in decline. Spatial protection in combination with other forms of management is a potent but underutilized tool for protecting them. WWF and James Cook University recently produced A Practical Guide to the Effective Design and Management of MPAs for Sharks and Rays following an extensive review of the effectiveness of existing MPAs for sharks and elasmobranch movement studies. The guide covers the use of spatial protection in coastal and offshore fisheries to reduce fisheries mortality of sharks to sustainable levels and to recover depleted populations. It is targeted at fisheries managers, academics, and NGOs alike. Dr Andy Cornish, leader of WWF’s global shark program and co-author of the MPA guide, will introduce the tool and interactive case studies as well as a companion guide, the Rapid Assessment Toolkit for Sharks and Rays.

This webinar was presented by Chuanmin Hu of the University of South Florida.

The Sargassum Watch System (SaWS) uses satellite data and numerical models to detect and track pelagic Sargassum in near-real time. Sargassum is a pelagic seaweed that floats on the ocean surface and is abundant in the Intra-Americas Sea, the Atlantic, and along the coast of Europe. In the ocean, it provides an important habitat for many marine animals. On shore, it serves as fertilizer for sand dunes and biomass for food and fuel. Excessive amounts of Sargassum on beaches in populated areas can cause problems, however. Sargassum decomposition on beaches smells bad, attracts insects, smothers turtle nesting sites, and causes fish kills, in addition to diminishing tourism. Annual Sargassum inundation events are currently occurring annually along the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean coasts. SaWS monitors Sargassum distribution and abundance in the ocean to aid the study of ocean ecology, help fisheries management, and forecast Sargassum beaching events.

This webinar was presented by Katie Westfall and Rod Fujita of EDF

Pioneering technologies and new platforms can turn fishing vessels into "smart boats" and redefine fishing and how we manage fisheries – leading to greater efficiency, profitability, and sustainability. This webinar will explore EDF’s vision for revolutionizing sustainable fishing in the digital age, share experiences from testing technologies on the water, and provide a glimpse into the Smart Boat Initiative’s next steps. The webinar will also offer a deeper dive into some of the resources and tools available to fisheries practitioners as part of the Smart Boat Initiative. EDF is excited to share updates and information on this exciting new initiative, and we look forward to hearing from participants about how they are using technology to solve sustainability challenges in their own fisheries.

This webinar was presented by Madhavi Colton of the Coral Reef Alliance and Tim Walsworth of Utah State University.

A new study just published in Nature Climate Change shows that management that takes evolution and adaptation into account can help rescue coral reefs from the effects of climate change. The results indicate that managing reefs to facilitate evolution today and in the future can enhance their prospects for long-term survival. Key to successful evolution is management that improves local conditions for reefs by effectively reducing local stressors, such as overfishing and water pollution. Contrary to approaches that are popular today, such as focusing protection on reefs in cooler water, the study shows that protecting diverse reef habitat types across a spectrum of ocean conditions is key to helping corals adapt to climate change. This means creating managed area networks that contain a diversity of coral types and habitats and that effectively reduce local stressors. You can read the paper online at go.nature.com/2J0e8XU or download it at nature.com/articles/s41558-019-0518-5.

This webinar was presented by David Meyers of the Conservation Finance Alliance

Coral reefs provide enormous economic value to humanity, and their value for recreation is one of the easiest to capture financially. This webinar will explore the range of existing and emerging tools that protected areas and site managers can use to capture funds from tourism for conservation and management. Specifically the webinar will discuss the use of: 1) entry, activity, and special use fees; 2) commercial concessions; 3) departure taxes; 4) partnerships with hotels; and 5) voluntary donations. This webinar is sponsored by the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), an informal partnership which strives to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems around the world, as part of its collaboration with the Conservation Finance Alliance for promoting innovative financing for coral reef conservation.

Presented by: Harvey Locke of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Beyond the Aichi Targets Task Force

What should global conservation targets be beyond 2020? The Beyond the Aichi Targets Task Force, appointed by the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, is trying to answer this question and is developing a framework for potential use by the Convention on Biological Diversity to help implement post-2020 targets set at the next Conference of the Parties in China. The Three Global Conditions for Biodiversity Conservation Framework proposes to divide the world into three conditions: 1) heavily used areas, 2) intermediate areas, and 3) wild areas. Each of these global conditions requires different conservation and restoration strategies to restore or maintain biodiversity and ecosystem function. The Task Force is currently exploring the applicability of this framework to the world ocean. Dr. Harvey Locke, Chair of the Beyond the Aichi Targets Task Force, will present the results of a global scientific survey on area-based conservation and explore the idea of the Three Global Conditions framework.

Co-sponsors: NOAA National MPA Center, OCTO (MPA News, OpenChannels), and the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe).

Presented by: Trisha Kehau Watson of the Cultural Heritage Resource Working Group (CHRWG), Lauren Wenzel of the NOAA MPA Center and CHRWG, and Joe Schumacker of the Quinault Department of Fisheries and CHRWG

What are cultural resources anyway? Often MPA managers are experts in natural resources management, and lack background in managing cultural resources. The Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee (MPAFAC) developed an on-line toolkit to address this need. Covering topics such as spanning legal authorities, a cultural landscape approach, planning for climate change and natural disasters, engaging stakeholders, and underwater archeology, the group’s Cultural Resources Toolkit provides invaluable insight and strategies for marine and coastal managers and MPA visitors alike. In this webinar, the Cultural Resources Working Group of the MPAFAC provide an overview of the enhanced Toolkit and discuss its role in connecting people to their heritage in special coastal places throughout the US and elsewhere. The MPAFAC provides recommendations to the US Departments of Commerce (NOAA) and Interior for the effective design, establishment, and adaptive management of US MPAs. Learn more at marineprotectedareas.noaa.gov/fac/products.

This webinar was presented by John McManus of the University of Miami.

The South China Sea supplies approximately 15% of the world’s fish and helps support ~38 million coastal residents. Part of this production system includes more than 3,800 square kilometers of the world’s most diverse offshore coral reefs. Since 2011, many of the reef flats have been severely damaged by small boats from China digging up giant clams for the tens of millions-dollar shell carving trade. This practice was not widely known until 2016 when negative publicity led the Chinese government to ban this activity. For the past few years, there have been only occasional reports of the practice continuing. As of 2019, however, a modified version of the practice has emerged in the Pratas Islands and Scarborough Atoll. This talk will describe the current situation and present a proposal for a peace park for the globally-unique Scarborough Atoll to help ensure its protection.

Presented by: David Meyers of the Conservation Finance Alliance and Venkat Iyer of the UN Environment

The Wildlife Conservation Society, in collaboration with the Conservation Finance Alliance and in support of the 50 Reefs initiative, recently released "Finance Tools for Coral Reef Conservation: A Guide" as a resource for protected area managers and others charged with managing and financing reef conservation. The report describes 13 types of finance tools which have either been proven successful at or have great potential to support reef conservation and sustainable management. Some of the finance tools to be covered in this overview webinar include various tourism-based fees, biodiversity offsets, bonds, debt swaps, and conservation trust funds. This webinar will share key findings and recommendations from the report and invite discussion from participants. This webinar is sponsored by the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), an informal partnership which strives to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems around the world, as part of its collaboration with the Conservation Finance Alliance for promoting innovative financing for coral reef conservation.

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