Since its inception in 1997, the Global Socioeconomic Monitoring Initiative (SocMon) has played an integral role within the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), which was created in response to the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) call for increased research and monitoring of coral reefs.
SocMon’s primary focus lies in coastal and island communities, collaborating with various stakeholder to support the management and conservation of coral reefs. Over the past two decades, SocMon has successfully operated in seven regions worldwide, including the Caribbean, Central America, Brazil, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Western Indian Ocean, and the Pacific Islands.
In 2023, SocMon released its “Global SocMon report 2022” providing insights from more than 20 years of socioeconomic assessments, challenges, and opportunities. This report serves as a continuation of the initial Global SocMon report titled ‘Socioeconomic conditions along the world’s tropical coasts: 2008’ (Loper et al., 2008, Download PDF). The main objective is to provide a concise overview of the socioeconomic research conducted with coastal and marine communities worldwide, encompassing the types of data and information collected, as well as valuable insights gained through this process.
Section 1 of the report sets the stage by offering essential contextual background information about the SocMon initiative. Section 2 presents a comprehensive synthesis of all SocMon assessments conducted over the course of 22 years. Section 3 and 4 adopt an introspective approach, highlighting the outcomes of a survey administered to regional SocMon coordinators. The survey aimed to gather their perspectives, experiences and reflections on the initiative, specifically focusing on challenges, opportunities, and future prospects.
In addition to this report, an updated Strategic Plan for 2022 – 2026 has also been released. This included revising the original mission and vision statements, updating strategic goals and objectives, and prioritising specific actions for improving SocMon and its impact on coastal and marine management decision-making.
‘People are an integral part of coastal ecosystems. Their actions may influence pressures upon the ecosystem, but they are also the benefactors of the services produced by that ecosystem.’
The following SocMon Strategic Plan for 2022-2026 focuses on five main areas:
- Capacity building
- Integrated socioeconomic and biophysical monitoring
- Sustained financing for long-term monitoring
- New tools and approaches
- Communication for holistic decision-making and management