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Compendium on methods and tools to evaluate impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change

Reef Resilience Toolkit

The R2 Toolkit is a ‘living’ toolkit that provides practitioners with the latest tools, strategies, and protocols to address coral bleaching, conservation of reef fish spawning aggregations, and general principles of adaptive management that are critical to respond to climate change.

The toolkit is designed primarily for use by Marine Protected Area (MPA) managers, trainers, and policymakers. Entrusted with protecting coral reefs, they face significant challenges because these ecosystems are highly vulnerable to the demographic, economic, and environmental changes expected during the next century. R2 builds on the principle that effective management is fundamental to ensure reef survival.

Currently comprised of two extensive streams – Coral Bleaching and Reef Fish Spawning Aggregations – the toolkit will help practitioners begin to build resilience into their coral reef conservation programs so that these valuable natural systems can survive anticipated rapid changes and provide for escalating human needs. During 2007 and 2008, the R2 Toolkit is undergoing a major revision, with new developments in science and management being added, as well as topics relating to other tropical habitats and social issues. The next version will be launched at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona in October 2008.

Appropriate Use

The R2 Toolkit is most appropriate for tropical coastal and marine resource managers, and especially helpful to coral reef managers and fisheries managers.

The R2 Toolkit includes a great deal of information that is helpful to those designing protected areas and networks, as well as information on developing monitoring programs, engaging stakeholders, and more. The R2 Toolkit can be useful to managers at any time/stage as it addresses both the beginnings of protected area work as well as adaptive management and monitoring.

Scope Although this tool is designed primarily with tropical coral reef systems in mind, the principles can be applied to almost any marine system. The information is relevant at both local and regional scales.
Key Output There is no specific output or final product from the R2 Toolkit, given that it is a series of steps and information that helps to guide managers to design and develop sound management practices that are flexible and support adaptive management in the face of climate change.
Key Input There are no inputs or information required to use the tool. In cases where there is limited or no data, expert and local knowledge can be used. There is always a ‘low-tech’ option for places that have limited information and resources when one is trying to build resilience to climate change into management activities and strategies.
Ease of Use The R2 Toolkit is easy to maneuver and understand, and is supported by a range of practitioners and experts that can be consulted for advice and lessons learned. However, to effectively apply the principles to resource management requires skill, experience, and a commitment to developing a robust management structure to adapt to climate change and other unpredictable changes at a site or in a region.
Training Required There is no training required to use these resources. The R2 Toolkit is in a website format so any person familiar with the internet should be able to navigate the tool.
Training Available

A series of regional training sessions have been held in the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, Western Pacific, South Asia, and Western Indian Ocean. Additional training has occurred in American Samoa, Australia, MesoAmerican Reef, and the Red Sea.

These training sessions covered the application of resilience principles to real-world situations and problems. There are no sessions currently scheduled. Future training may occur once the toolkit is revised (Oct 2008) and a demand for the training develops.

Computer Requirements

Certain applications will be needed to view the Toolkits rich-media including: QuickTime, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Arc Explorer, and Microsoft Office (Word and PowerPoint). The CD-ROM includes these media applications.

For specific questions on web browser requirements please contact Stephanie Wear at
System requirements for:
MAC OS X A 400 MHz PowerPC G3 or faster Macintosh computer, at least 128 MB of RAM, Mac OS X v10.2.5-10.3.x. Mac OS 8.6/9. A PowerPC processor-based Macintosh computer, at least 128 MB of RAM, Mac OS 8.6 or later.
Windows. A Pentium processor-based PC or compatible computer, at least 128 MB of RAM, Win 98/Me/2000/XP.

Documentation There is no user guide, but there is help embedded within the R2 Toolkit.

The principles of resilience highlighted in the R2 Toolkit have been applied in numerous tropical locations around the globe. Examples of applying resilience principles to the design of marine protected area network include Kimbe Bay - Papua New Guinea, MesoAmerican Reef, and the British Virgin Islands. Examples of developing resilience and bleaching monitoring programs include the Florida Keys, MesoAmerican Reef, and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The toolkit currently includes case study examples and continues to add new examples on a monthly basis. All of these can be found at (As of March 2008).

Contacts for Framework, Documentation, Technical Assistance

Stephanie Wear

The Nature Conservancy in collaboration with numerous partners. email: or

Cost Free. CD ROM set available on request and also available at Please note: user must have reasonable internet connection to use some features of the website (e.g., video).

Publications discussing the use of the tool are expected in the early part of 2008. Some related documents can be found at:

pdf-icon IUCN Publication: Coral Reef Resilience and Resistance to Bleaching.

pdf-icon  IUCN Publication: Managing Mangroves for Resilience to Climate Change.

pdf-icon Joint Partner Publication: Reef Manager’s Guide to Coral Bleaching.