Biodiversity Conservation, Habitat Protection and Pollution

This working group is being co-led by Juliet Karisa (Kenya), Cretus Mtonga (Tanzania) and Gildas Todinanhary (Madagascar). This working group highlighted the need to cover ecosystem evaluations, blue carbon initiatives, threats by maritime traffic and integrating environmental monitoring with biodiversity assessment.

Juliet Furaha Karisa is a Marine Ecologist at Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) and pursuing a PhD in Biodiversity at National Taiwan Normal University and Academia Sinica in Taiwan. She has diverse research experience on coral reef ecosystems including; coral reef monitoring, biodiversity assessments, resilience assessments, habitat mapping, habitat restoration and community training on marine resource use. Juliet’s PhD study is focused on the resilience of coral reefs to climate change and other anthropogenic disturbances. She holds a master’s degree in Fisheries Management and a bachelor’s degree in Aquatic Sciences.

Gildas Todinanhary is based at the Toliara University. The research conducted by Gildas and his team concerns critical habitats and ecosystems such as coral reefs. The subjects covered range from the study of biodiversity (identification of scleractins and black corals), ecology (state of health, resilience) and biology applied to the restoration and fishery (coral culture, reefs artificial diseases) and management tools (remote sensing, community outreach, education).

Cretus is a Postgraduate student in Marine Biology laboratory at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium. His research interest lies in marine ecology, conservation and ecosystem management particularly the application of molecular tools to unveil information on population structure and ecology. His currently research is on delineation of the commercially important big blue Octopus (O. cyanea) stock in Tanzania and Mozambique coastal waters. He is an alumni of International Ocean Institute (IOI) Canada 2018 Ocean Governance, Law, Policy and Management training program. He is also the chairman of Awareness for Responsible Ocean Governance Network (AROGN), a network of alumni of IOI training program focusing on raising community awareness and capacity building on issues pertaining ocean governance in the Western Indian Ocean region.