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Topic 3. Understanding and Managing the Resilience of Coral Reefs and Associated Social Systems (MaCoRAS)

MaCoRAS pursues a holistic interdisciplinary investigation of coral reef dynamics under a range of environmental constraints and scenarios of anthropogenic exploitation and pollution.
It focuses on four key goals:

a) determine key ecological processes and key environmental factors linked to local reef ecosystem functioning and resilience,
b) identify the key social drivers of coral reef based social-ecological systems dynamics,
c) establish tools for analysis of coral reef dynamics and for the management of coral reefs, and
d) strengthen human and institutional capacity to cope with threats to coastal systems and to support social-ecological resilience.

The integration of diverse forms of knowledge is of crucial importance in our approach: A novel modelling framework will be developed as a tool to link knowledge and data from the fields of ecology, genetics, environmental sociology and maritime anthropology. This includes integrating different forms of knowledge as an underlying principle behind our site-specific and multidisciplinary field research. Within our research regions (Spermonde Archipelago, Sulawesi and Savu Sea) specific marine research sites will be selected jointly during the first research phase.
We will analyze sources and drivers of resilience and vulnerability, potential conditions for phase-shifts in coral reefs and the possible long-term social-ecological trajectories associated with different management schemes in the context of environmental and social change. The project aims to support the development of a governance framework and of management strategies for Indonesian coral reefs that are feasible, adaptive and sustainable. German and Indonesian partners will cooperate closely to achieve the common project goals.

Subproject 1
Coral reef functioning and environmental drivers
Subproject 2
Connectivity of coral reefs
Subproject 3
Social drivers of coral reef resilience and their social-ecological repercussions
Subproject 4
Modelling reef dynamics and implications of changing associated social systems
Subproject 5
Strengthening human and institutional capacity to cope with threats to coastal systems



in Germany


Dr. Hauke Reuter
Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT)
Fahrenheitstr. 6
28359 Bremen


in Indonesia


Dr. Agus Heri Purnomo
Research Center for Marine and Fisheries Socio-economic
Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (KKP)
Jl. KS.Tubun, PetamburanVI