Regional communication strategy for coral reef management in South Asia
Coastal and marine ecosystems support very rich speciecs diversity in south Asia as the region has numerous estuaries, lagoons, mangrove areas, coral reefs, sea-grasses and coastal wetland that provide essential habitats for many rare and valuable species, which in turn provide vital goods and services to millions of people. In South Asian region, countries like Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have coral reefs, which are facing numerous threats due to natural and anthropogenic factors. The livelihoods of many reef dependent communities are at risk as the coastal resources are rapidly shrinking. Increasing demand and declining productivity of coastal bio-resources make the issues more complex. The management and conservation of coral reefs is one of the most challenging tasks for conservationists and marine bio-resource managers in South Asia. South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP) initiated specific programmes to deal with the management and conservation issues by establishing the South Asia Coral ReefTask Force (SACRTF) and in the first meeting of SACRTF, the members realized the need for a comprehensive communication strategy for coral reef management in South Asia. This task was assigned to Gujarat Ecological Education and Research (GEER) foundation, India.