The Bonaire National Marine Park (BNMP) was established in 1979 to protect key ecosystems such as coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove forests off the coast of the Dutch Caribbean island, Bonaire. But impacts from climate change threaten the health and productivity of Bonaire’s tropical habitats. To buffer against future impacts and strengthen ecosystem resilience, managers need the ability to identify priority areas for dynamic management interventions and re-zoning, as well as improved methods for monitoring, planning and analytical tools that can give timely warnings of climate events. In this project, researchers from Florida State University and Stichting Nationale Parken Bonaire (STINAPA), the management body of the BNMP, will:
- Estimate climate vulnerability of marine habitats in the BMNP;
- Perform a gap analysis to identify areas where monitoring efforts could be reallocated to detect early warning signs of climate impacts; and
- Develop dynamic management responses and new zoning regulations to enhance resilience.
STINAPA is the management authority for BNMP and is responsible for implementing relevant environmental policy to safeguard natural resources. While it has the capability to adjust the monitoring and management of BNMP, guidance is needed on how to develop tools and capacity that effectively detect and respond to climate threats. This project will provide a comprehensive framework to streamline pathways for monitoring, data analysis, and visualization of climate change impact detection and facilitate rapid management responses.
- Sarah Lester, Department of Biological Science, Florida State University
- Andrew Rassweiler, Department of Biological Science, Florida State University
- Laurel Field, Department of Biological Science, Florida State University
- Caren Eckrich, STINAPA Bonaire
- Roxanne-Liana Francisca, STINAPA Bonaire