By Reef Check Malaysia
On September 12-14, 2012, Reef Check Malaysia (RCM) hosted its first regional Coral Reef Management Workshop at the Vistana Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
The 3-day Workshop included selected Reef Check representatives, scientists and coral reef managers from around the region, all of whom are doing work related to coral reef management and conservation. Participants included representatives from Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The workshop was meant to be a practical working meeting for a small group of about 30 participants selected based on what they had to share relating to coral reef management.
The goals of the workshop were to:
– Improve networking between Reef Check groups in South East Asia and others engaged in coral reef science and management;
– Learn from each other, focusing on approaches that have worked – and also those that have not;
– Improve ways in which managers work with scientists to use the scientific data available.
The workshop was structured into four themes:
– Monitoring and data sharing within South East Asia;
– Major impacts on coral reefs (e.g. overfishing, destructive fishing, bleaching, diver damage) and ways in which these issues have been addressed;
– Success and failure stories of different coral reef management approaches;
– Fundraising strategies at the local, national and regional levels.
The workshop was successful in many ways. It allowed Reef Check Coordinators and supporters from academia, government and the private sector to interact and learn about fundraising, discuss technical issues, and exchange information on lessons learned. Exchanges were made regarding blast fishing to kids training programs. The group endorsed the idea of pursuing regional level strategies for conservation particularly through simultaneous activities in multiple countries and data sharing. Participants felt that regular regional meetings should be held to help coordination and cooperation.
Thank you for everyone who participated and helped to make the workshop a success!