Session 2: Strengthening Coral Reef Resilience to Climate Change and Human Impacts
Co-moderators: Thamasak Yeemin, Ramkhamhaeng University (Thailand)
Takashi Nakamura, University of the Ryukyus (Japan)
About this session
Coral reefs and associated ecosystems are among the most valuable resources on the earth. They contain the highest biodiversity and provide many important ecosystem services, especially the protection of coastlines from storms and erosion, provide jobs for local communities, source of food, tourism benefit to local businesses, source of nitrogen and other nutrients for marine food chains, and new medicines. However, coral reefs are severely affected by natural disturbances, particularly heavy storms, diseases and predators, and anthropogenic disturbances, including sedimentation, pollution, destructive fishing, overfishing, and climate change, which is resulting in elevated seawater temperatures and ocean acidification. Coral bleaching events affected most coral reef ecosystems worldwide. To reverse the global coral reef degradation trends, scientists have required better management strategies that focus on strengthening coral reef resilience, people to rely on, and economies. Resilience is defined as the capacity of a system to withstand stressors, maintain its structure and function in the face of disturbance, and adapt to future challenges. It may be useful as a guiding framework for coral reef management in the face of rapid global change. In this session, scientists and researchers are invited to exchange their experiences in research, management, monitor and conservation aspects, focusing on coral reef resilience, including current and future applications, and any aspects to strengthen coral reef resilience to climate change and human impacts. The presentation aspects may include, but are not limited to coral reef monitoring, biogeochemical and ecological processes for enhancing coral reef resilience, impacts of climate change and other human activities on the health of corals, coral bleaching, reduction of local threats, coral restoration, sustainable use and management of coral reefs, and innovative studies.