An overview of problems and issues of coral reef management

This paper considers issues and problems of coral reef management for coastal communities. In particular, it looks at the links between coral reef management and livelihood dependence, poverty and the vulnerability of coastal communities. It also focuses on the risks and impacts of various scales of threat to coral reefs, and how these could affect the livelihoods of coastal communities. The management of coral reefs can be influenced by valuation studies that reflect various forms of perceived and realized benefits from coral reefs. The paper describes how various methods to value and determine policy for coral reef management are used, with reference to a number of papers in this volume. Institutional issues of devolution and decentralized policy-making are considered with respect to the empowerment of economically poor coastal communities. In particular, there is a focus on the legal frameworks that help or hinder local stakeholders access resources and maintain their livelihoods. The paper concludes that research methods that improve people’s understanding of coastal livelihoods, and that incorporate associated values should be encouraged. It further concludes that policy instruments and management tools that empower local stakeholders and support the livelihoods base of coastal communities dependent on coral reefs should be promoted.


Ahmed, M., Chong, C.K., Balasubramanian, H. (2004)
Economic valuation and policy priorities for sustainable management of coral reefs