Final report on data needs to support decision-making relevant to coral reefs

Kimberly Jeffries

Following a collaboration between the World Resources Institute (WRI), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), National Geographic (NGS) and Vulcan Inc. a report entitled Data Needs to Support Decision-making Relevant to Coral Reefs has been produced.

This collaborative research has produced detailed descriptions of some of the key data needs for decision-making relevant to coral reefs for four audiences:

  1. Coastal hazard/risk analysts and insurance sector (RISK)
  2. Coastal planning and management authorities (CZM)
  3. Marine Protected Area managers and authorities (MPA)
  4. Scientists and practitioners from NGOs implementing marine and coastal protection and restoration (NGO)

Through interviews, an online survey and literature review, the researchers explored the types of decisions each audience is making and key data needs for decision making – both regarding data currently used and data desired to inform decisions. The research also explored how users prefer to interact with the data: what tools or models are commonly used for a specific type of decision; and what (other than data) is currently impeding better decision-making for better protection of coral reefs. They also explored the data needs of international targets relevant to coral reefs (e.g. the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Sustainable Development Goals). Results of this research will be used to improve information platforms to support decision-making in coastal areas. Existing platforms which could benefit from this research include NGS’s Geographic Visualization Lab’s Earth Pulse, Vulcan Inc.’s Allen Coral Atlas, WRI’s Resource Watch, and TNC’s Mapping Ocean Wealth.

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