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Understanding of the links between coral reef ecosystems, the goods and services they provide to people, and the wellbeing of human societies.


Ecosystem dynamics: past, present and future

Examining the multi-scale dynamics of reefs, from population dynamics to macroevolution


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Advancing the fundamental understanding of the key processes underpinning reef resilience.

Coral Bleaching

Coral Bleaching

Coral Reef Studies

From 2005 to 2022, the main node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies was headquartered at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland (Australia)

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The challenge of regional scale systematic conservation planning for local scale implementation in Pacific Island nations


Thursday 30 April 2009, 3:00 pm

ARC Centre of Excellence Conference Room, JCU (DB44)
Morena Mills, James Cook University, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies


The aim of this project is to investigate ways of closing the gap between regional scale marine conservation planning and local scale conservation action in Pacific Island nations.  Several issues have been identified to drive the existence of this gap. This project will address two of those. The first is the scale mismatch between regional conservation planning and local actions.  The second is the general absence of human and social dimensions in the philosophy and practice of both the spatial prioritisation and normative collaborative processes comprising real-world conservation planning into date. To address the scale mismatch between planning and implementation, I will examine the factors that constrain the decisions about scale (e.g. the scale of governance may constrain the size of planning regions) in the IUCN Systematic Conservation Planning framework. I will then investigate how the different limiting factors affect the degree of the scale mismatch between planning and implementation in the context of the Coral Triangle. I will then examine the factors influencing the decisions about scale in Fiji by simulating marine protected area scenarios based on different scale-related constraints. To address the absence of human and social dimensions in conservation planning to date, I will investigate what social variables have been included into regional systematic conservation planning processes and how they have been used.  I will integrate the social factors identified as playing a role in defining opportunity for conservation actions in the Solomon Islands to form an index referred to as implementation opportunity. I will use implementation opportunity to select and schedule conservation actions within the Solomon Islands. By targeting areas where there is opportunity for the implementation of conservation action and planning at the scales that facilitate implementation I intend to increase the likelihood of translating conservation plans to actions and close the planning-implementation gap.


Australian Research Council Pandora

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