December 11, 2010
Ten Years Of Protection, Five Years Of Research
Hawai"Ëi Institute of Marine Biology Celebrates its Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Research Partnership
Last week, managers from the 43 marine sites on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) met in Hawai"Ëi to explore ways of strengthening marine conservation. This engagement also coincided with the official inscription ceremony for the new PapahÃÂnaumokuÃÂkea Marine National Monument World Heritage site. The manager's visit included an afternoon at the University of Hawai"Ëi at MÃÂnoa's Hawai"Ëi Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) touring the facilities and learning about the science that has been an important component of the research partnership with the PapahÃÂnaumokuÃÂkea Marine National Monument.
Celebrating the 5th anniversary of this partnership, both managers and scientists continue to work together offering research support and new scientific knowledge for ecosystem-based management. Scientists are working to characterize the marine resources in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, determining levels of coral health, and monitoring ecosystem threats such as climate change. Dr. Jo-Ann Leong, director of HIMB refers to the partnership as a, "highly productive partnership that has not only made huge advances in science, but demonstrates what can be accomplished when scientists and managers work together". She also adds "we have been incredibly productive in the last five years, generating ten science reports and hosting four large research symposiums".
This partnership has not only been beneficial for scientists and managers, but has provided amazing learning opportunities for students. Over 55 students at HIMB have either received funding, research support, or student internships related to Northwestern Hawaiian Islands research. Both formal education and informal community programs have also been central to the partnership objectives, as demonstrated by the long running community education course at HIMB showcasing the science of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands with hands on labs. From 2007-2010 the partnership has participated in numerous community events reaching over 20,000 people. Whether it is education, or directly informing management decision making, good science is essential to the effective management of large marine ecosystems, as demonstrated by the Hawai"Ëi Institute of Marine Biology Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Research Partnership. And with so many milestones to celebrate this year, big congratulations are in order.
Image Caption: Coconut Island (Moku o Lo"Ëe) in KÃÂne"Ëohe Bay, home to the Hawai"Ëi Institute of Marine Biology. Photo Credit: Douglas Peebles.
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