Project title Reversing the Decline of Coral Reefs in The Bahamas
Implementing Institutions The Bahamas National Trust
The Retreat Gardens, Village Road
Nassau, Bahamas
Country(ies) The Bahamas
Abstract The project links directly to IPBES capacity building need to develop the capacity to carry out and use national and regional assessments. National capacity to conduct Rapid Ecological Assessments (REAs), map and rank sites adjacent to coral reefs that have greatest impact to reef health, and conduct coral reef, mangrove, and seagrass habitat rehabilitation activities will be improved through the implementation of the Reversing the Decline of Coral Reefs Project.
Project Description Critically endangered corals Acropora palmata and A. cervicornis are the major reef-building species in The Bahamas. Populations have been reduced by 90% due to a myriad of threats and natural stressors. The Reversing the Decline of Bahamian Coral Reefs project aims to address a series of these threats and stressors to increase the coral cover while improving coral reef resilience to the impacts of climate change. Through integration of research, conservation, policy and education, the Bahamas National Trust will conduct reef assessments throughout The Bahamas, research connectivity between reefs via larval transport, establish coral nurseries, and rehabilitate adjacent ecosystems that have the greatest impact on coral reef health. Each phase of this project will require training locals in relevant data collection and handling methodology. Rapid Ecological Assessments will have to be conducted in the coral reefs, seagrasses and mangroves throughout The Bahamas to facilitate much of the project. Another capacity building need the project can address is mapping and ranking priority habitats for rehabilitation, and rehabilitating higher ranked sites. A few local organizations have conducted basic coral reef survey training but there is national need to develop advance skills. Coral nursery installation training has also been conducted in country but not at a national scale. Mangrove and seagrass specific REA training, and rehabilitation training for these habitats have not been conducted. Core partners will be trained in Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation
Project Objectives and expected Achievables Objective 1 Core project partners are efficient in using Miradi /Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation (January 2016 – December 2016)

Achievable a) Software purchased and installed for core project partners

Achievable b) Project partners trained to use Software

Achievable c) Trained partners submit progress reports to the BNT

Objective 2 A local team is available to conduct REAs (Coral Reefs, Mangroves and Seagrasses) in the Northern, Central, and Southern Bahamas.

Achievable a) Local team in Northern, Central, and Southern Bahamas identified for REA survey training for each habitat

Achievable b) Each team trained in methodology

Achievable c) Teams conduct REA and submit data to The Bahamas National Trust as needed

(February 2016 – December 2018)

Objective 3 Mangrove and seagrass habitats are mapped and sites with greatest impact on coral reef health are identified. (December 2015 – December 2018)

Achievable a) Mangrove and seagrass habitat information is groundtruthed and GIS information updated

Achievable b) Mangrove and seagrass habitats are overlaid with REA data to determine reef habitat connectivity

Achievable b-i) Assessment method for determining habitat connectivity and impact on reef health established.

Objective 4 Mangrove and seagrass habitat with the greatest impact to coral reefs are rehabilitated, if necessary, and recommended for protection. (January 2016 – December 2017)

Achievable a) Appropriate mangrove and seagrass habitat rehabilitation methodology identified

Achievable b) Plan to rehabilitate higher ranked sites is developed

Achievable b-i) Plan to include direct engagement with adjacent communities, if applicable

Achievable c) 3 – 5 year monitoring plan for site is developed and community, if applicable, committed to implementing monitoring plan.

Timeframe 2 years
Geographic Scale National
Seeking Resources for: Project implementation
Type of Resources/Support needed: Financial
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Project relevance: 
Projects and activities of interest to IPBES and partners