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Work Package 3: Marine Indicators

Through the Darwin Plus project Turks and Caicos Islands technical assistance programme for effective coastal-marine management (DPLUS119), JNCC, the Turks and Caicos Islands Government Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR), and the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI) are working together to improve the evidence base and build local capacity to support sustainable coastal and marine management approaches in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Work Package 3 is developing marine indicators which can be used to monitor and assess changes in coastal and marine natural capital.

Background

Ecological indicators are scientific tools used to monitor ecosystems by measuring trends in metrics, such as the extent and condition of habitats and species, the pressures impacting them, and the management responses. Incorporating indicators into environmental management is important for informing management decisions, evaluating the impact of decisions, and tracking progress towards environmental objectives.

Through Work Package 3, this project is developing marine indicators which can be used to monitor and assess changes in coastal and marine natural capital. Indicators will support decision-making for the effective management of coastal-marine habitats and the implementation of the Turks and Caicos Islands' Environment Strategy.

This work is being delivered in partnership with the Project Advisory Group (PAG) to ensure that outputs are informed by local knowledge and to build local capacity for monitoring, updating, and managing indicators under the Government's coastal-marine monitoring programme.

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Outputs

Work Package 3 is scoping suitable marine indicators for the Turks and Caicos Islands and developing plans to deliver at least two marine indicators through this project.

Literature Review

Through Work Package 3 the scientific literature and existing local, regional, and global datasets were reviewed to provide an overview of which marine indicators are suitable for monitoring coastal-marine natural assets in the Turks and Caicos Islands. A range of ecological indicator methods and data types were explored to determine which applicable datasets already exist and which data are still required to develop certain indicators. This process underpins the prioritisation of indicators for development.

Photograph of a mangrove forest in shallow water with young mangroves growing in the foreground (copyright Janine Robinson, JNCC)

A range of ecological indicator methods and data types were explored to determine which applicable datasets already exist and which data are still required to develop certain indicators. This process underpins the prioritisation of indicators for development.

Read more about the literature review process in JNCC Report No. 693: Marine indicators to monitor changes in marine-coastal natural capital – Review of indicators from the literature.

Indicator Development

The choice of which marine indicators to develop is based on evidence from the literature, the natural assets prioritised for monitoring by the PAG, and whether the relevant datasets exist or are still required. Through Work Package 3 the indicators which have the potential for development have been summarised and a plan has been outlined for how these can be adapted to the context of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Read more about the marine indicator scoping process in JNCC Report No. 698: Marine indicators to monitor changes in marine-coastal natural capital - Indicator scoping.

The indicators shortlisted in this report were reviewed and prioritised through discussions with members of the PAG with the aim of delivering at least two marine indicators during the project.

A capacity-building approach will be taken for developing indicators and an information management plan will be developed for managing the environmental data. This will support government capacity in using marine indicator tools in the long term.

Series of three undersea photos: two turtles swimming above seagrass; reef fish swimming among coral; a sting ray swimming above the seabed (Copyright: Dr Julian Tyne, SAERI)

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Reporting

Work Package 3 outputs delivered to date include:

The following outputs will be published when delivered:

  • Indicator Development Plan
  • Indicator Development Reports
  • Indicator Verification Workshop Report
  • Indicator Data Management Plan

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Categories:

Turks & Caicos Islands Marine-Coastal Management

Published: .

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