East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group
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May 18, 2009

FROM THE EDITOR

 Dear Katoomba Members,

Welcome to the May 2009 edition of the East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group e-newsletter. Our newsletter aims to keep our readers aware of the latest news and events relating to markets and payments for ecosystem services (PES) in the East and Southern Africa region and around the world.

We welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions, including any articles that you may wish to share with our readers. Please send them by e-mail to aruhweza@forest-trends.org

Yours sincerely

Alice Ruhweza
Coordinator, East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. ESA Katoomba News

2. New PES Related News from the Region

3. Other Related News

4. Upcoming Events

5. Resources & Tools

6. New Publications

ESA Katoomba News

ESA KATOOMBA GROUP COORDINATOR TO JOIN MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT FROM AFRICA AND LATIN AMERICA TO DISCUSS PES IN COSTA RICA

The East and Southern Africa Katoomba Group Coordinator will share PES lessons and challenges at a gathering of 15-20 legislators from Latin America and Africa focused on Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) to be held in Costa Rica from June 4th – 6th, 2009. The meeting or hearing is organized by E-Parliament (www.eparl.net), a global forum that engages national legislators through polls and hearings to exchange policy ideas and to work together across borders on issues of common concern. The Costa Rican PES model particularly inspired legislators at a previous hearing on Climate and Ecosystems held in South Africa.  The hearing in Costa Rica will discuss how that PES model could be implemented in other countries and link with on going REDD initiatives. The hearing is meant to be instrumental and very practical in focus so that MPs can take home specific policy ideas for sustainable forest management and put them forward in their own parliaments.

  – For more on the hearing and the full programme visit

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New PES Related News from the Region

“FOREST AGAIN – COMPASSIONATE CARBON OFFSETS” PROJECT IN KENYA CURRENTLY BEING AUDITED FOR CONFORMANCE WITH CCB STANDARDS.

The “Forest Again” Restoration Project at Kakamega forest in Western Kenya aims to sequester carbon dioxide; increase indigenous forest area and habitat; connect forest islands through indigenous forest corridors; conserve biodiversity of forest dependent species and enhance the livelihoods of local people. Kakamega Forest has been a national forest since 1933. Considerable deforestation occurred in the past, and even though this has reduced, continual degradation has occurred along the edges. The project expects to reverse these losses through enhanced management, reforestation, development of alternative income projects and fuel wood reduction strategies. Above-ground and below-ground carbon sequestration was estimated at 914 tons CO2/ha in 2006. Total carbon sequestration was calculated at 1320 tons CO2/ha. Habitat analyses are still underway with funding by the Hyundai Climate Grant. The project will carry out tree planting in a way that mimics adjacent indigenous forests and result in indigenous forest corridors between existing forest islands. All trees species will be indigenous.

Funds from offsets are predicted to provide for over 200 jobs both directly and indirectly related to reforestation over 40 years. In addition, 25-40% of the offset revenues will fund the expansion of Kakamega Environmental Education Program (KEEP) activities, which include developing non-timber sources of forest-related income (e.g. butterflies, honey, medicines), HIV/AIDS health programs, conservation education, and capacity building to enhance tourism and provide management assistance to the Kenya Forest Service forest station. The project will also use offset funds to help leverage additional funds for clean water and micro-hydropower development in adjacent communities.  An additional 10% of gross seedlings will be produced by the project annually to give to families living adjacent to the forest. This is expected to help with community awareness and acceptance of program, and in the long-term help reduce forest use and leakage.

One other aspect of the project involves employment of “Green Rangers,” an idea initiated, tested, and used by the Nobel Prize organization - GreenBelt Movement in Kenya. “Green Rangers” are hired from the communities to monitor planted seedlings for survival, and are paid based on seedling survival.

The project is currently being audited for conformance with the Second Edition of the Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards and public comments are invited until May 24th, 2009.

  – More details are available on

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MALAWI LAUNCHES PLAN VIVO PROJECT

Mkuwazi Forest Reserve and Nyika National Park Forest Conservation Project aims to ensure continuous forest cover for carbon conservation, protection of biodiversity and watersheds; prevention of soil erosion; increased and continued supply of forest products; provision of sustainable bio-energy from woodlots; and promotion of energy saving stoves.

Nyika National Park covers a total area of 3,134 km2 consisting mainly of Miombo woodland, grasslands and evergreen forest. Mkuwazi Forest Reserve covers 17.7 km2 and is dominated by Miombo species on the lower dry slopes and evergreen forest along rivers. Both contain forests of high importance, not only as carbon sinks, but also for their biodiversity value and for the rural communities that rely on them for their well-being. Communities use the forests for food, income from forest products, energy and also benefit from ‘ecosystem services’ such as watersheds and soil stability.

Between 1990 and 2005 approximately 38,000 hectares of forest land was lost per year in Malawi, equivalent to an annual loss of 0.9% of forest. Losses have been particularly severe in primary forest land, which includes areas within National Parks and Forest Reserves. Both forests are at risk of deforestation and degradation through encroachment and overexploitation. Smallholder farmers primarily exploit customary land surrounding Nyika National Park and Mkuwazi Forest Reserve.

The project will use the Plan Vivo System (www.planvivo.org) to generate Voluntary Emissions Reductions (VERs) and is already working towards registration under the Plan Vivo Standards. VER Potential is estimated at up to 1,405,000 tCO2 over 10 years. The Plan Vivo System enables communities in developing countries to the carbon market by implementing forestry, agroforestry, forest management and conservation activities.

Malawi Environment Endowment Trust (MEET) will act as the project coordinator and as such be responsible for the overall management of the project. University of Malawi – Chancellor College will be the project’s technical partners, and will lead the monitoring of the project activities.

  – For more information see

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DEMORATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO AND TANZANIA AMONG FIVE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES SET TO RECEIVE UN REDD FUNDS

The Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania and Vietnam have received US$18 million in funding to plan how to implement a proposed scheme to reward countries that protect forests and reduce deforestation. The five countries will share the funds, which will enable them to prepare national action plans to take part in the proposed Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) mechanism — likely to be agreed upon at climate talks in Copenhagen in December this year. REDD will provide financial incentives for countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation while improving the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities.  The UN-REDD programme — a collaboration between the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Development Programme that aims to support preparations for REDD — has provided the funding.

  – For more information see

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AGRO-FORESTRY STUDY LAUNCHED IN KENYA MAY OPEN CARBON MARKET TO POOR

International researchers launched a $12 million study on Monday intended to help many of the world's poorest farmers benefit from multi-billion dollar schemes to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. The 18-month Carbon Benefits Project will examine rural sites in Kenya, Niger, Nigeria and China to see how much carbon is stored in trees and soil when land is managed sustainably. The U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) will lead the study.
Tropical deforestation accounts for a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. Trees soak up carbon dioxide as they grow and release it when they are burnt or rot. Farming contributes, as much to global warming as all the world's planes, cars and trucks, and that will increase as the world tries to feed an extra 3 billion people by 2050. Putting a price on living trees and storing carbon in the soil could give developing countries an incentive to save forests and adopt more climate-friendly farming practices. The new study would measure the impact on soil carbon of such practices, an area that lags measuring carbon in trees.

  – For more information see

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INTERNATIONAL BIODIVERSITY OFFSETS MEETING IN UGANDA

The Uganda Biodiversity Offsets Task Force together with the Wildlife Conservation Society and Forest Trends’ Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme (BBOP) organized an international biodiversity offsets workshop in Kampala on 20th to the 22nd of April 2009. The workshop aimed to identify biodiversity offset opportunities in Uganda; to share experiences from biodiversity offset initiatives in other countries, and to explore how a policy and regulatory framework for biodiversity offsets can be achieved in the Ugandan context.

The participants identified Uganda’s strengths and opportunities that could use biodiversity offsets. They also singled out the challenges and weaknesses of policy and risks to over come if biodiversity offsets were to be promoted in the country. At the end of the workshop participants recommended that a policy has to be developed and it should involve training and capacity building on biodiversity offsets for all Ugandans

  – For more on biodiversity offsets contact

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Other Related News

CLIMATE CHANGE MAY HALVE SOUTHERN AFRICA CEREAL CROP

Cereals production could fall by 50 percent in parts of southern Africa in the long term due to climate change, causing increased hunger and poverty. South Africa is the largest carbon emitter on the continent, mainly due to its reliance on coal to produce most of its electricity. Changes in the region's climate are expected to cause worse flooding in some parts and longer drought in others, reducing crops and raising prices. Other areas may face lower soil fertility, reducing harvests. Parts of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique -- the region's main cereal growers -- could be affected.

Southern Africa relies heavily on agriculture for food and many of the region's economies are dependent on farming exports for economic growth. The U.N's World Food Programme said in January it would need to secure food aid for about 6.5 million people in southern Africa by the end of April, the bulk of them in Zimbabwe which is facing a humanitarian crisis and chronic food shortages. Severe floods in Zambia and Mozambique have also forced governments in those countries to increase grain and cereal imports to feed hungry people in flood-hit areas.

Last year, South Africa's government said climate change could cut the maize crop in the biggest producer of maize on the continent by 20 percent within 15 to 20 years. The western part of the country is seen becoming much drier while the east is afflicted with increasingly severe storms. As its western regions dry out, South Africa would have to turn to more drought-resistant strains of maize, or corn, and rely more on the role of genetically modified strains.

  – For more information see

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AFRICA NEEDS $267 BILLION PER YEAR FOR CLIMATE FIGHT

African nations will need at least $267 billion a year by 2020 to fight climate change and adapt to droughts, heat waves and rising seas. The figure, part of a new African text for negotiations on a U.N. climate treaty, is more than double current development aid from recession-hit rich nations that totaled a record $120 billion in 2008. The text sets a 2020 goal of $200 billion in investments to help all developing nations curb their rising greenhouse gas emissions -- for instance via energy efficiency or shifting from use of coal or oil towards renewable wind or solar power.

The African Group, comprising more than 50 nations, said cash needed to help developing nations adapt to climate change, such as building stronger defences against rising sea levels or developing drought-resistant crops, needs to be at least $267 billion a year by 2020. The numbers are above levels of aid discussed by rich nations to curb greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels. A report by the European Commission in January said the worldwide costs of fighting climate change would be around 175 billion Euros ($227.1 billion) a year by 2020.
The African group also said developed nations should cut emissions by at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and by 80-95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. The numbers are beyond goals by almost all developed countries.

The U.N. Climate Panel projects that up to 250 million people in Africa could face greater stress on water supplies by 2020 and that yields from rain-fed agriculture could fall by up to 50 percent by 2020 in some African nations.

  – For more on this story visit

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G8 COUNTRIES, POOR NATIONS SIGN DEAL TO HALT BIODIVERSITY LOSS

The Group of Eight (G8) industrial countries and major developing economies, meeting on the island of Sicily, signed a charter pledging to tackle deforestation, trade in illegal wildlife and to boost research into the rate of species loss. Almost every country in the world in 2002 agreed to a "significant reduction" in the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, but scientists say extinctions are gathering pace.  By some calculations extinction rates are running at 1,000 times their natural pace, due to human influence. Three species disappear every hour, according to U.N. figures.  The Syracuse Charter emphasised the economic value of biodiversity, particularly for developing countries.

G8 countries have suggested $100 billion a year be put aside globally to help poorer nations adapt to a low-carbon technology and face the effects of climate change, but Brazil has said that at least twice this amount is required.
 
The Syracuse meeting grouped for the first time ministers from Australia, Brazil, China, Denmark, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Korea, South Africa and Sweden, in an effort to forge a broad consensus. The Czech Republic was also present as the rotating head of the European Union.

  – For more on this story visit

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Upcoming Events

AUGUST 23-28, 2009; 2ND WORLD CONGRESS ON AGROFORESTRY , "AGROFORESTRY - THE FUTURE OF GLOBAL LAND USE", NAIROBI, KENYA.

The 2nd World Congress on Agroforestry will assess opportunities to leverage scientific agroforestry in promoting sustainable land use worldwide. The Congress will serve as a forum for agroforestry researchers, educators, practitioners and policy makers from around the world to: Share new research findings, lessons, experiences, and ideas that will help influence decisions that impact on livelihoods and the global environment; Explore new opportunities and strengthen existing partnerships in agroforestry research, education, training, and development; Form new networks and communities of practice, and nurture old ones.

  – For more information visit

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AUGUST 12-14, 2009; CLIMATE CHANGE SUMMIT 2009; UNIVERSITY OF GHANA, LEGON, ACCRA GHANA

The Regional Institute for Population Studies [RIPS] and Dept of Geography & Resource Development, University of Ghana, with support of Centre for Human & Environmental Security [CHES] and Ecological Laboratory, Legon, is announcing a 3-Day Summit on Climate Change, Variability and Society. Objectives of Summit include: Appraising knowledge on climate change outcomes on development; Creating awareness and build capacity on impacts of climate events; Defining long-term research and capacity building priorities; Promoting science ˆ policy debates to manage global climate change impacts locally; and Promoting communication strategies among stakeholders. The Scientific Committee invites abstracts of 250 words on any of sub themes.

  – For more information visit

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SEPTEMBER 21-22, 2009; 11TH ANNUAL BIOECON CONFERENCE ON"ECONOMIC INSTRUMENTS TO ENHANCE THE CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE USE OF BIODIVERSITY"; VENICE, ITALY

The Foundation Eni Enrico Mattei, in association with Conservation International, DEFRA, Department of Land Economy of Cambridge University and European Investment Bank, announces the Eleventh International BIOECON Conference on "Economic Instruments to Enhance the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity". The Conference is targeted to researchers, environmental professionals, international organizations and policy makers who are interested in working in the management and conservation of biodiversity.

  – For more information visit

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Resources & Tools

SOUTH AFRICA COMPILES ATLAS OF CARBON CAPTURE

An atlas of potential underground storage sites for carbon dioxide emissions is being compiled for South Africa as part of a plan to be using carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology by 2020. The atlas is being compiled by the Council for Geoscience and the Petroleum Agency of South Africa with funding from the South African National Energy Research Institute (SANERI) and a range of energy companies. It is scheduled to be completed in April 2010.
The South African Centre for Carbon Capture and Storage — which will oversee the compilation of the atlas and drive the CCS initiative in South Africa — was launched in Johannesburg last month (27 March). The first planned test injection of carbon dioxide is planned for 2016 and a demonstration plant for 2020. SANERI, a government-funded body, will oversee the process. The atlas will cost two million South African rand (around US$219,000) while 25 million rand (around US$2.7 million) has been raised for the new centre.

  – For more information see

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WORLD ENERGY CREATES “VIRTUAL MALL” FOR CARBON OFFSETS

World Energy Solutions has created a “virtual shopping mall” to put buyers of carbon offsets in control of their trading by allowing them to browse for the offset or compliance unit of their choice. World Energy says broker and “black box” procurement models have limited buyers. While brokers offer consultative selling, they have limited inventory and are not compensated to provide customers the best price, and black box systems simplify transactions but blur individual carbon project distinctions, which has led to the current “rip-offsets” phenomenon, where buyers invest in projects that don’t provide added environmental benefit, said the energy exchange.

To deliver an open-system for buying carbon offsets, World Energy has established relationships with leading registries, certification standards, settlement banks and project developers including the Gold Standard and TZ1 Registry. It also recently announced a collaboration agreement with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) that enables World Energy to offer its exchange services to owners of verified emissions reductions and removals (VERRs) registered on CSA’s GHG Clean Projects Registry. Companies can buy carbon commodities, including Verified Emissions Reductions (VERs), Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs), Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), and other global carbon products, by registering online. Membership is free.

  – For more on this story visit

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GHG MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE - INTRODUCTION TO CARBON MARKETS COURSE

The Greenhouse Gas Management Institute is pleased to announce the opening of its latest course: "Introduction to Carbon Markets" Jointly developed in partnership with Point Carbon, Introduction to Carbon Markets provides a comprehensive overview of global carbon markets from origins as a policy response to address climate change to specific details on established and emerging trading programs. Utilizing its interactive e-learning system, the Institute is able to make this leading carbon market training available to learners across the globe, including Africa, Latin America and Asia. Financial aid and full scholarships are available to eligible applicants.

Course lessons provide key background on climate change policy as well as examine the market design elements that permit greenhouse gas emissions to be openly traded as global commodity. With curriculum that builds from political and practical challenges and fundamental market dynamics to consider more complex and topical issues, such as regional trading programs, international linkages and the voluntary market, Introduction to Carbon Markets equips learners with a breadth of knowledge to understand this fast-growing marketplace.

  – For more information on Introduction to Carbon Markets and other Institute courses, please visit

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UNFCCC: KEY COPENHAGEN NEGOTIATING TEXT AVAILABLE ON UNFCCC WEBSITE


Key UN negotiating texts, which will form the basis of an ambitious and effective international response to climate change, to be agreed in Copenhagen in December, are now available on the website of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

  – To read the text visit

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New Publications

"BUSINESS, BIODIVERSITY OFFSETS AND BBOP: AN OVERVIEW". 

This overview document with its Principles on Biodiversity Offsets has been prepared by the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme (BBOP) to help developers, conservation groups, communities, governments and financial institutions that wish to consider and develop best practice related to biodiversity offsets.

  – The document can be downloaded at
  – Supporting material, including optional methodology Handbooks, Resource papers, a Glossary and Case Studies will be added to the BBOP website in the coming days at

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CLIMATE CHANGE COULD WORSEN AFRICAN 'MEGADROUGHTS' – STUDY WARNS

The recent decades-long drought that killed 100,000 people in Africa's Sahel may be a small foretaste of monstrous "megadroughts" that could grip the region as global climate change worsens, scientists reported recently. The Sahel is an area between the Sahara desert and the wetter parts of equatorial Africa that stretches across the continent from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east.

Droughts, some lasting for centuries, are part of the normal pattern in sub-Saharan Africa. But the added stress of a warming world will make these dry periods more severe and more difficult for the people who live there, the scientists said. Researchers studied sediments beneath Lake Bosumtwi in Ghana that gave an almost year-by-year record of droughts in the area going back 3,000 years. Until now, the instrumental climate record in this region stretched back only 100 years or so. The researchers found a pattern of decades-long droughts like the one that began in the Sahel in the 1960s that killed at least 100,000 people, as well as centuries-long "megadroughts" throughout this long period, with the most recent lasting from 1400 to 1750.
The scientists also described signs of submerged forests that grew around the lake when it dried up for hundreds of years. The tops of some of these tropical trees can still be seen poking up from the lake water.

During the recent Sahel drought, the lake's water level dropped perhaps 5 yards (meters). By contrast, during megadroughts the level fell by as much as 30 yards (meters). The most recent decades of data culled from Lake Bosumtwi show that droughts there appear to be linked to fluctuations in sea surface temperatures, a pattern known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, or AMO, the researchers said. They also said the added burden of climate change could make this kind of drought more devastating.

Temperatures in the Sahel are expected to rise by 5 to 10 degrees F (2.77 to 5.55 degrees C) this century, the scientists said, even if there is some curbing of the greenhouse emissions that spur climate change.

  – The study is available at

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STUDY: GLOBAL CARBON MARKET MAY APPROACH $700B BY 2013

While the total value of the global market is expected to drop in 2009 due to lower carbon prices because of decreased manufacturing and general economic prospects, the increasing adoption of cap-and-trade programs by the United States and other nations is expected to push the market to $669 billion in 2013. According to “Carbon Emissions Trading Markets Worldwide,” a report by SBI Reports, the global market is expected to be $84 billion in 2009, down from SBI’s 2008 calculation of $118 billion.  SBI states that the global carbon market ballooned at a 256 percent compounded annual growth rate since 2004. A compliance-based system in the United States alone could create a carbon market worth $117 billion by 2013. After 2009, the global market is expected to grow an average 68 percent annually, according to the report.

  – The report is available at

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EAST AFRICAN REEFS “UNUSUALLY RESILIENT” AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE, STUDY SAYS

In a study announced by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) at the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) recent meeting in Thailand, researchers show that some coral reefs located off East Africa are unusually resilient to climate change. The high resilience is believed to be caused by geophysical factors in combination with improved fisheries management in these waters. A network of "super-reefs" off east Africa are unusually resilient to climate change and could provide important lessons for coral conservation in other parts of the world. Experts say the planet has lost about a fifth of its corals and warn that many of the remaining reefs could die in the next 20 to 40 years, unless greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.

The experts found Tanzania's corals recovered quickly from a 1998 "bleaching" event -- when colourful algae in corals die -- that wiped out up to 45 percent of the region's coral. Researchers attributed the recovery in part to management measures, including closures to commercial fishing. They also found the reefs' structure played a major role in their resiliency. Tanzania's reefs are particularly complex, with unusual water current and temperature variations. Scientists warn further coral loss would have alarming consequences for the half billion people who depend on reefs for their livelihood. They cannot say how much of the loss in recent years is due to global warming, but agree climate change is the biggest threat to reefs

Compared to many other coral reefs around the world, Tanzania’s reefs are used to considerable variations in both current and water temperature that has turned these reefs into an unusually complex web of different coral species. This bio-diverse ecosystem includes several different species known to quickly re-colonize an area after a bleaching incident.The authors of the study believe that reefs in other parts of the world subjected to similarly diverse environmental conditions might have the same high ability to recover from large-scale climatic and human disturbances. The study provides additional evidence that such “super reefs” can be found in the triangle from Northern Madagascar across to northern Mozambique to southern Kenya and the authors suggest that these reefs should be a high priority for conservation efforts since they may come to play an important global role in the future recovery of coral reefs worldwide.

The study also stresses the impact of direct management measures in Tanzania, including closures to commercial fishing. Algae is known to easily smother corals, but researchers found how areas with fishery closures contained a rich profusion of algae eating fish species that kept the corals clean. The few sites without any management measures remained degraded, and in one of them the population of sea urchins had exploded. Sea urchins feed on corals and can therefore worsen the problem for an already suffering reef.


  – The study is published in the online journal Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems at

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