In September 2022, at Reef Futures (Florida, USA), coral reef regulators, policy-makers’ and permit managers, convened by the Australian Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP), gathered to find ways of advancing restoration regulation and permit application processes. This was in response to the recognition that current coral restoration regulations and the policies guiding practitioners and marine park management are limited and, in some cases, non-existent.
Thirty-one experts from 12 countries participated, ranging from Reef managers to regulators, policy-makers, directors and permit executives. The countries and nation-states included the USA; Cayman Islands; Australia; Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Guam, Bonaire; Caribbean Netherlands; US Virgin Islands, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; Hawaii; Mexico; Belize and Turks & Caicos Islands.
Participants shared experiences, challenges, collaboration ideas, and knowledge gaps to effectively regulate and permit coral restoration and more systemic governance and adaptation needs. Other issues included ways to address climate change, adaptation, environmental factors, funding, education, and capacity building.
The forum also explored practical outputs, including developing guidelines, checklists, and strategic ways to ensure coral restoration regulation and permitting practices are fit for purpose.
Building on the outputs of the side event, a working group will be established to help steer a collaborative approach towards best practice regulatory strategies and permitting guidelines. In addition, the working group could investigate current knowledge gaps and find ways to supply practical advice and tips for regulators, practitioners, policy-makers, and restoration scientists.
Anyone with regulatory, policy, or permitting expertise interested in joining the working group, or if you would like more information, please get in touch with the RRAP Regulatory subprogram co-lead.
To access the latest coral reef restoration guidelines and resources, visit ICRI’s Restoration Hub highlighting the work of the ICRI Ad Hoc Committee on reef restoration.