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FORCE : Future of Reefs in a Changing Environment: An ecosystem approach to managing Caribbean coral reefs in the face of climate change


The Future of Reefs in a Changing Environment (FORCE) Project partners a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from Europe and the Caribbean to enhance the scientific basis for managing coral reefs in an era of rapid climate change and unprecedented human pressure on coastal resources.
* First, a series of experimental, observational and modelling studies are carried out to understand both the ultimate and proximate drivers of reef health and therefore identify the chief causes of reef degradation.
* Second, the project assembles a toolbox of management measures and extends their scope where new research can significantly improve their efficacy.
* Third, focus groups and ecological models are used to determine the efficacy of management tools and the governance constraints to their implementation.
* Lastly, the exploitation and dissemination of results benefits from continual engagement with practitioners. Objectives are to provide coral reef managers with a toolbox of sustainable management practices that minimise the loss of coral reef health and biodiversity. An ecosystem approach is taken that explicitly links the health of the ecosystem with the livelihoods of dependent communities, and identifies the governance structures needed to implement sustainable development.

Project information


Alterra Wageningen University, Netherlands; Bar-Ilan University, Israel; CARMABI-Caribbean Research and Management of Biodiversity, Netherland Antilles;ECOSUR–El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Mexico; IMARES-Wageningen Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies, Netherlands; IMM-Integrated Marine Management, England; NIOZ-Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek der Zee (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research), Netherlands; Stichting Koninklijke Rotterdamse Diergaarde (Rotterdam Zoo), Netherlands; UCME - Centro de Ecologia Marina de Utila, Honduras; Universidad Autonoma de Mexico; Universidad de Costa Rica, Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología Costa Rica; University of Exeter, England; University of Newcastle, England; University of Queensland, Australia; University of the West Indies, Barbados; Universiteit van Amsterdam, Netherlands; Wageningen University, Netherlands; ZMT- Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology, Germany

Source of funding
FP 7

Reference information



Adaptation measures, coral reefs, marine ecosystems



Climate impacts

Extreme Temperatures


Adaptation Measures and Actions, Adaptation Plans and Strategies


Marine and Fisheries

Geographic characterization


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