Healthy coastal ecosystems are essential for healthy communities and a sense of cultural identity for one billion people living in low-lying coastal areas across the East Asia-Pacific region
Coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds and their multitude of services, including reef fisheries, ecotourism, coastal defence, blue carbon sequestration and storage, and water filtration, are under threat from human pollution, unsustainable development, overfishing and climate change.
Unlocking the economic and social value of these ecosystems provides a reason for local communities, businesses and policy makers to preserve them (and their services) for the benefit of future generations.
CCRES (the Capturing Coral Reef & Related Ecosystem Services project) is a knowledge and innovation initiative which will unlock the natural wealth of the coastlines in the East Asia-Pacific.
Why is CCRES important?
More than 450 million people inhabiting coastal communities in the East Asia-Pacific region live below the poverty line on less than $2 a day.
New, sustainable streams of income are needed for these communities, in order to enhance livelihoods and food security, improve community wellbeing and sustain coastal ecosystems in the region.
By assisting communities to capture the value of services provided by ecosystems, CCRES will overcome a key barrier to engaging policy-makers in achieving effective governance, namely that ecological resources are not considered in economic terms and thus have ‘no value’.
How will CCRES work?
CCRES will undertake research to calculate a value for the contribution which natural assets in the coastal environment - seagrass beds, mangroves, coral reefs – make to livelihoods, food security and climate resilience in coastal communities across the East Asia Pacific region.
The project will develop eco-friendly businesses, toolkits and spatial planning models which will harness the value of the coastal natural capital and assist communities to develop new, sustainable revenue streams.
CCRES will involve local, national and regional communities, businesses and policy-makers in the project, so they think differently about what coastal plants, water, organisms and biodiversity contribute to their way of life.
Where will CCRES work?
The East Asia-Pacific is part of a region which is home to the fastest growing population on the planet.
The coastal and marine ecosystem services across the East Asia-Pacific are linked to globally-important marine biodiversity and underpin an enormous part of the region’s economy.
Initially, pilot sites will be established ‘on the ground’ in Indonesia and the Philippines.
The project’s research findings and business innovations will be shared nationally, regionally and globally.
Who’s behind CCRES?
The Global Environment Facility, via funds administered by the World Bank, and The University of Queensland (UQ), which is the project executing agency for CCRES, are the main funders.
The UQ Global Change Institute will manage CCRES.
An international team, comprising leading centres of research, innovation and engagement in North America, Australia and South-East Asia, has been assembled by the UQ Global Change Institute.
The project’s partners are Cornell University (New York State), The University of California (Davis, California), The University of Queensland (Australia), WWF US, Currie Communications (Australia), the University of the Philippines and De La Salle University (the Philippines).
CCRES is 'Phase Two' of the Coral Reef Targeted Research & Capacity Building for Management (CRTR) Program (www.gefcoral.org, 2005-2010) which was joint-funded by the World Bank, the GEF and UQ.