September 2017 – Global Coral Reef Partnership Workshops, Cambridge, U.K.

The UK organisation behind the international coordination of Green Fins (Reef-World) was part of the design and coordination of a series of workshops that took place at the World Monitoring Conservation Centre (WCMC) based in Cambridge, UK from the 26th to 29th September.

The workshops involved a variety of partners who have been involved with Green Fins for many years and were able to provide valuable insights and knowledge to two themed workshops. In partnership with UN Environment and WCMC, a two-day (26- 27 September) workshop on the development of guidance on the formulation of coral reef measures and action plans/strategies in the context of the 2030 development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) took place.  Policy makers, planners and coral reef management practitioners all familiar with Green Fins were able to shed light on case studies that demonstrated how specific management measures were able to help achieve certain SDG’s. The outcome was the development of recommendations for implementation of measures and action plans/strategies in the context of SDG planning and/or SDG implementation.

Following this was another workshop titled ‘Harnessing citizen behaviour change to support coral reef conservation’ and was a first of its kind to be held forging a new approach to coral reef conservation. Using case studies from the Green Fins initiative, participants discussed opportunities where citizen behaviour change interventions could be used as a policy tool to promote the conservation and sustainable use of coral reefs. The outcome was a briefing note that is to be used by the UN Environment to support governments to look at ways to influence citizen behaviours to positively influence the marine environment by understanding the choices that people make. There are of course many applications for this approach but lessons learned from looking at this approach in the context of coral reefs will be implemented in both existing and new Green Fins countries.