On April 2, 2012, Minister Harry Fritz formally adopted a monitoring protocol for marine protected areas that have been incorporated into the Protected Areas Network (PAN). These PAN sites are required by regulations to implement monitoring activities in order to gauge the status of resources within the site. Since the inception of the PAN act, however, states have not been given any guidance on how to initiate and develop monitoring programs.
The monitoring protocol is intended for site managers and conservation officers. It is a step-by-step guide to establish a monitoring program at the state level. It includes a minimum set of indicators, including fish, invertebrates, corals and seagrass. It also includes standardized methods for counting and/or measuring these indicators. The protocol was developed by the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) in collaboration with JICA "Capacity Enhancement Project for Monitoring Coral Reefs" (CEPCRM) and has been tested in pilot MPAs here in Palau and Micronesia. It anticipates the growing need for assistance by states to meet reporting obligations of PAN and therefore continue to be eligible for PAN funds.
SOURCE: PALAU INTERNATIONAL CORAL REEF MARINE CENTER, Carol Emaurois, Contact