PICRC Symposium highlights recommendations for marine ecosystem conservation
Palau International Coral Reef Center held a symposium highlighting the work of the Palau Coral Reef and Island Ecosystem (P-CoRIE) Project, over the past five years. The P-CoRIE project is a five year collaborative project between the University of the Ryukyus and PICRC as well as the Palau Community College. Over the past 5 years, the team have conducted various studies in regards to climate change in order to provide science based recommendations to the policy makers in the hopes of ensuring sustainability and resilience in the face of climate change impacts. [restrict]
P-CoRIE project members including Dr. Takashi Nakamura, Dr. Haruko Kurihara, Mr. Chuki Hongo, and Mr. Hiroki Kise, as well as PICRC researchers, Ms. Marine Gouezo and Mr. Lincoln Rehm, presented their work to policy makers and the general public. The symposium was broadcasted live on the radio for those who were unable to attend. During the symposium, researchers were able to highlight and discuss critical information for the conservation of Palau’s marine ecosystem. Each of the presentations highlighted scientific based recommendations to the policy makers.
The main purpose of the symposium was to present recommendations to the public and policy makers. Though the presentations were on various different topics, the take away message of the symposium is: in order to keep our marine environment pristine, we must be more cautious and take proactive actions to prevent further damage to our marine environment.
Some specific recommendations from the P-CoRIE Team was to minimize the local stresses that cause coral reefs to deteriorate, such as sewage outflows and sedimentation. Continued monitoring of climate change impacts, like the rise in temperatures sea level, as well as pH levels, is important in order to prepare for these large scale impacts of climate change. Other recommendations include the need for enhanced capacity for sustainable management in terms of economic development and environmental conservation, i.e. tourism industry.
Palau is home to resilient corals and it is important to protect the areas where these corals are, such as Nikko Bay. Protecting this site will protect the corals and most likely, it will contribute to the future studies of resilient corals in the face of global climate change and ocean acidification. Finally, in a biodiversity study conducted in Palau, a couple new species of marine organisms were discovered and named. This points to the great need to protect and conserve the marine environment for the sake of yet undiscovered species in the future. [/restrict]