WESTPAC Training Workshop on Research and Monitoring of the Ecological Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Coral Reef Ecosystems, Phuket, Thailand, 19-21 January 2015

The IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) aims to establish regional research and monitoring network on ocean acidification in the Western Pacific and its adjacent regions, and develop a regional program, as one regional component of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON), to monitor the impacts of ocean acidification on coral reef ecosystems, mainly through a series of regional trainings & workshops, selection of pilot areas, and transfer of knowledge and technology among experts, institutions within and outside the region. To this end, upon the generous support of the National Commission of Thailand for UNESCO, the first regional training workshop was scheduled for 19-21 January 2015 with the host of the Phuket Marine Biological Center.

The workshop brought together 25 participants from 10 countries of the West Pacific region, with expertise in marine biology (with focus on coral reefs and coastal ecosystems) and marine chemistry (with a specialization in carbonate chemistry).

The first regional training workshop aimed to improve the understanding, and develop regional capability of research and monitoring on ocean acidification in the Western Pacific and its adjacent regions. It also sought to establish an ocean acidification monitoring and research network among scientists, institutions, and agencies in the region and share existing and proposed monitoring and research approaches, methods, and techniques, while identifying existing gaps.

Based on outputs of the first workshop, the second regional workshop, supposed to be organized about 6 months after the first one, will focus on defining and agreeing upon a suite of metrics, which could discern, to the extent possible, attribution of changes to coral reef ecosystems in response to ocean acidification; recommend the most efficient, robust, and cost-effective monitoring approaches for these defined metrics; map gaps in current capabilities; and select pilot study areas for the application of the identified monitoring approaches.

The third workshop, one year after the second one, will be convened to evaluate and refine monitoring approaches, provide solutions to any technical problems incurred, and come up with a roadmap for the future.

More information on the workshop can be found here.

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