In July 2011, the first coral EDGE training course was held on the island of Hoga in Indonesia. The course trained eight early-career marine conservation scientists from the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.
In July 2011, the first EDGE corals training course was held on the island of Hoga in Indonesia. The course trained eight early-career marine conservation scientists from the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Training focused on coral taxonomy, coral reef monitoring, management and action planning skills, as well as project design, implementation and analysis skills.
Course participants included employees from a number of marine conservation organisations including: Reef Check Malaysia, the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries in Indonesia, Ocean-action Resource Centre, and the Haribon Foundation.
The three week intensive training course was hosted by Operation Wallacea in Indonesia and, because the infrastructure for diving and coral reef research was already in place, the research base on Hoga proved an excellent location. With over 200 other researchers and students on site, Operation Wallacea’s facilities also offered a fantastic opportunity for course participants to network with local and international scientists.
The trainees were very excited to receive a coral finder guide, which aids coral identification, as part of the course.
Here we see Grace putting the coral finder guide into action! The guide is also a great way for the course participants to pass their newly found coral ID skills and knowledge onto their colleagues.
Participants learnt how to use stereo videography to take footage along reef transects. This footage can then be analysed when back on land and provide crucial information about the reefs and species living within them.
Course instructor Dave Smith (Director of Coral Reef Unit, University of Essex and Director of Marine Studies for Operation Wallacea) leads the participants in an impression of a puffer fish!
Course participant Sue, who is the Outreach Programme Manager for Reef Check Malaysia, using a well-known diving signal!
As part of the training course, the participants completed a mini project. This is Lely and CM carrying out fieldwork for a project focusing on Heliofungia actiniformis, also known as mushroom coral.
All of the participants successfully completed the training course and were presented with certificates to mark their achievements.
The EDGE team is now working with the course participants to develop EDGE Fellowships. In November 2011 Ditto, who’s pictured here, was awarded a Fellowship to develop and implement a conservation action plan for the mushroom coral in the Polillo Islands in Luzon.