Coral Reef Protected Coastlines
Coral reefs are abundant features of tropical ocean environments. Apart from the Caribbean Sea, sections of the East African Coast and the Red Sea, most of the world’s coral reef coasts are located off the coast of ADB member states in the Indian and Pacific Ocean.
Coral reefs are among the most biodiverse and economically important ecosystems on the planet and are vital to numerous human societies in the Asia-Pacific region. However, rapid global environmental and socio-economic changes have put many coral reefs in peril as a result of ocean warming, increased CO2 absorption in the ocean (ocean acidification), a gradual rise in sea level, and increasing human-induced stresses resulting from coastal development adjacent to reefs.
Until now, the impact of ocean forcing (tides, waves, wind) on reef systems in developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region has not been studied well, especially when compared to sandy coast environments and coral reef systems in developed nations (e.g., U.S. Pacific and Australia). This lack of focus is detrimental for the region since it deprives regional centers of accumulating knowledge about local systems, prevents capacity building and the ability to forecast local effect of changing conditions.
In order to start bridging this knowledge gap, a week-long workshop on coral reef processes was organized in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, from May 25 until June 1st 2013. The focus was on examining local problems, transfer knowledge, and fostering cooperation among the scientists and managers from Malaysia, Indonesia, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the Netherlands that attended the workshop.
The final outcome of the workshop is a white paper assessing effects of climate change and human-induced development on coral reef physical processes and on coastal management issues in ABD-member states’ coral reef systems, detailing state of the knowledge, knowledge gaps, data needs, and management implications.
Download the report