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Free Content Science into policy: Designing coral reef management from the benthos up

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Lack of knowledge about marine ecology and geochemistry perpetuates a strong tendency among policy makers to undervalue coral reefs, both biologically and economically. Moreover, present measures to promote and enhance coral reef research, preservation and restoration are hampered by fragmentation of political authority, rigidity of existing laws and institutions, and lack of precision in priority targeting. Of particular concern is the lack of strong and enforceable international climate accords to reduce risks of increased coral bleaching and declining reef calcification. The authors of this paper develop a set of policy tools, typologies and design approaches for improving public sector responses to coral management problems. Policy options are embedded within a larger framework of science-based decision making that is organized around two overarching issues: the need for action and the ability of governments to influence outcomes. Additional analytical frameworks are provided to assist marine scientists in improving policy and management decisions. Promising policies and programs are evaluated in terms of five key criteria: environmental effectiveness, cost-effectiveness (efficiency), priority responsiveness (targeting), equity, and sustainability.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2001

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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