Marine and Coastal Biodiversity and Conservation (2008-2017)
In contributions to the High Level Objective of IOC/UNESCO (2008-2013) on the “safeguarding the health of marine ecosystem”, the UNESCO/IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) unanimously approved, at its Seventh Intergovernmental Session in Sabah, Malaysia, 25-29 May 2008, one regionally rooted project on the “Coastal Marine Biodiversity and Conservation”, taking into account broad interests received from its member states.
The project is led by Dr. Suchana Chavanich from Thailand and will work on three areas: Biodiversity and taxonomy of marine organisms, Effect of disturbance and current stressors on biodiversity and Restoration and rehabilitation of ecosystems.
In term of Biodiversity and taxonomy of marine organisms, the project will emphasize on reviewing and identifying taxonomical groups, which need to have more studies. At present, taxonomy is becoming more important as scientists struggle to identify species in order to understand the subtle relationships and complex reactions of ecosystems threatened by human pursuits. The study of taxonomy provides a solid foundation for the research needed for the conservation of marine life.
In terms of Effect of disturbance and current stressors on biodiversity, the project will review and determine regional concerns on disturbance and current stressor on marine biodiversity as disturbance is a major factor contributing to the declining of biodiversity in marine ecosystems that can lead to the species extinction. The examples of disturbance and current stressors concerned among WESTPAC region include introduction of non-native organisms, climate change, rising of temperature, and anthropogenic factors; for the restoration and rehabilitation of ecosystems, due to rapid declining of biodiversity in marine ecosystems.
Restoration and rehabilitation are needed. In this subproject, several techniques of restoration and rehabilitation of marine ecosystems will be identified and evaluated to promote efficient and cost effective implementation on restoration.