Andy Hughes traveled to Mauritius to work with TAGSCAPE and Plymouth Marine Lab on the project Coral Communities. Within the project, a team of interdisciplinary researchers drew on expertise in environmental and health economics, social sciences, development, social psychology, marine geosciences, marine biology, art (including concept and design development and film making) and religious studies.
Improving the resilience of communities and coral reefs to changes anticipated as a result of climate change is an issue of huge global importance. Hundreds of millions of people rely on coral reefs to provide essential services such as food and coastal protection. These ecosystems also contribute significantly to national economies through sectors such as tourism. This interdisciplinary project drew together a network of UK-Western Indian Ocean (WIO) collaborators to address evidence gaps and support the development of resilience strategies across the WIO.
The team were a partnership between PML, the Universities of Exeter and Cardiff, Indeva Consulting, The Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES), Mwambao Coastal Community Network, Zanzibar and two freelance artists in the UK and Reef Conservation in Mauritius..
A literature review, assessing the extent to which the initiatives used to manage coral reefs are successful in building community and reef resilience.
A stakeholder workshop in Mauritius, to identify ways in which these initiatives can be refined to better build resilience.
Development and pilot of a novel, arts-based approach for assessing perceptions of the environment and the socio-cultural risk associated with different resilience strategies.
A second stakeholder workshop in the UK, to identify possibilities for future collaboration..