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Capacity Building for Sustainable Coral Reef Management

Principal Investigators:

  • Bernhard M. Riegl, Ph.D.
  • Samuel J. Purkis, Ph.D.

WWF and NCRI officials and staff engaged in capacity building and trainingWhile coral reef conservation and management has found its way into the laws of most countries, many places lack the trained personnel to effectively enforce sustainable management of coral reef resources, particularly in countries with significant economic pressure on reef resources and a relatively small population. The Arabian Gulf harbors extensive coral areas that are among the most heavily impacted in the world. In order to avoid significant losses of coral reefs in this high-latitude environment, improved management of the resource is required.


Together with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), NCRI is engaged in capacity building and training of officials and staff for the environment-management agencies of Abu Dhabi and Qatar. The goal is to transfer the latest of scientific information and technology applicable to the region's reefs to local managers to assure that they have the most efficient tools available to safeguard the future of their respective countries' coral reefs and fulfill their legal mission of sustainable marine resources management. The scarcity of trained personnel poses a challenge for local managers, which will be alleviated by providing in-country training.

Implications for Management

NCRI staff and officials from the environment-management agencies of Abu Dhabi and QatarAvailability of trained personnel and enough information about the resource that is to be managed are key, however difficult to achieve in many countries. NCRI, as an internationally operating research institute, is in a strong position to provide advice as well as information about an area's reefs. NCRI scientists have been actively involved in research and management of Arabian Gulf coral reefs for over a decade and have participated in the planning of marine reserves and the development of management plans.

  • World Wildlife Fund
  • Qatar Supreme Council for the Environment & Natural Reserves
  • United Arab Emirates Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency
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