CORAL at Resilience Symposium
In April, three CORAL staff—Naneng Setiasih, Coral Triangle Regional Manager in Indonesia, Jenny Myton, Field Manager in Honduras, and Madhavi Colton, Reefs Tomorrow Initiative Program Director—took part in the 2013 Milstein Science Symposium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The three-day symposium brought together resource managers, researchers, educators, island leaders, policymakers, and conservation practitioners to present and analyze real-world case studies of ecological and social resilience—the ability of systems to absorb, resist, or recover from stressors and adapt to change while maintaining critical functions and benefits.
Jenny, Giacomo Palavicini of the Roatan Marine Park, and Ian Drysdale of the Healthy Reefs Initiative, gave a talk, "Supporting resilient systems in the Bay Islands, Honduras," in which they described how they have built partnerships and worked with local communities to enhance social and ecological resilience in Honduras. In a talk titled, "Building reef resilience capacity at a local scale," Naneng spoke about CORAL's work in Indonesia and urged the audience to think about building local capacity to support conservation efforts. Madhavi helped convene a working group about the Reefs Tomorrow Initiative, one goal of which was to better understand what sorts of science-based products would be most helpful to resource managers and conservation professionals.
According to Madhavi, one of the biggest themes to emerge from the symposium is that for conservation to be successful, the human community also needs to be taken into account—and that conservation is most successful when it emerges from and is implemented by a local community. Says Madhavi, "This is exactly the approach that CORAL takes to conservation, and it was great to hear from other experts around the globe that we are on the right track."