US Pacific Coral Resilience Metrics Provide a Robust Standard for Prioritizing Effort under Resilience-Based-Management

Maps of U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands, showing the aggregate Resilience index and the Social Vulnerability indexThese nested maps highlight each U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Island, showing the aggregate Resilience index along the coast and the Social Vulnerability index with sectors on land. We see that many remote areas show relatively high resilience, including many of the islands across the Pacific Remote Island Marine National Monument, but remoteness itself is not a guarantee of resilience, as islands in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument range from medium-high to low resilience. Many areas around population centers in Oahu, Maui, S. Tutuila, and Guam show low resilience. Social Vulnerability indices show low vulnerability in Hawaii and Guam, but higher vulnerability in Tinian, Saipan, and American Samoa.

NOAA CRCP recently released a set of Local Manager Reports summarizing estimates of coral reef ecological resilience and social vulnerability for the US Pacific. Drawing from a broad ecological data from the NOAA National Coral Reef Monitoring Program and social data from the American Community Survey, these reports provide comparable estimate of resilience and social vulnerability across the entire US Pacific. They breakdown both metrics into their component parts, and highlight geographic distinction within and among Pacific regions.

Extending the results of these reports, NOAA researchers compare the resilience metrics to a diversity of other metrics for prioritizing management actions under a regime of resilience-based-management (RBM). Using efficiency frontier analysis, they show that the resilience metrics provide a robust method of prioritizing effort in RBM that successfully generates "win-win" tradeoffs across a diversity of concerns.

Compare results from the Local Manager Reports for Hawai'i, Guam, CNMI, and American Samoa.

To see the efficiency frontier analysis, please download the full report: Spatial Prioritization under Resilience-Based Management: Evaluating Trade-offs among Prioritization Strategies.

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