Helen Fox

Helen Fox
Coral Reef Alliance

PhD

About

62
Publications
60,597
Reads
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11,281
Citations
Additional affiliations
June 2004 - October 2014
World Wildlife Fund
Position
  • Managing Director

Publications

Publications (62)
Article
Accelerating ecosystem degradation has spurred proposals to vastly expand the extent of protected areas (PAs), potentially affecting the livelihoods and well-being of indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) worldwide. The benefits of multiuse PAs that elevate the role of IPLCs in management have long been recognized. However, quantitative...
Article
Full-text available
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are considered the go-to tool for marine area-based conservation, having rapidly expanded in many countries, yet an understanding of progress and achievement in implementation remains vastly unexplored. Here, we assess the status and trends of coverage and protection, ecological conditions, marine resource use, human w...
Article
Full-text available
Our ability to completely and repeatedly map natural environments at a global scale have increased significantly over the past decade. These advances are from delivery of a range of on-line global satellite image archives and global-scale processing capabilities, along with improved spatial and temporal resolution satellite imagery. The ability to...
Article
Full-text available
The Bird's Head Seascape (BHS), Papua, Indonesia is located within the epicenter of global marine biodiversity and has been the focus of recent conservation efforts to protect marine resources. Here, we provide an overview of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) progress in the BHS over the past decade, including establishment history, changes in manageme...
Article
Broad-scale studies and regional comparisons of Indonesia’s coral reefs are critical given the relative lack of information about these large, diverse, and threatened ecosystems. Most studies on reef benthic composition and distribution have largely focused on rather short transects spanning relatively small areas. Here, we quantify the shallow lar...
Article
Full-text available
Without drastic efforts to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate globalized stressors, tropical coral reefs are in jeopardy. Strategic conservation and management requires identification of the environmental and socioeconomic factors driving the persistence of scleractinian coral assemblages—the foundation species of coral reef ecosystems. Here, we...
Preprint
Full-text available
In the face of climate change, warming oceans, and repeated mass coral bleaching, coral reef conservation is at a timely crossroads. There is a new urgency to support and strengthen a rich history of conservation partnerships and actions, while also building toward new actions to meet unparalleled global threats. The goal of this white paper is to...
Article
Full-text available
As conservation shifts to meet the challenges of our globalized world, approaches for planning and evaluating interventions must evolve to account for the increasing complexity of conservation problems and the dynamic, multiscalar relationships between humans and the environment. Systems thinking offers approaches that could help conservation be mo...
Book
Full-text available
In the face of climate change, warming oceans, and repeated mass coral bleaching, coral reef conservation is at a timely crossroads. There is a new urgency to support and strengthen a rich history of conservation partnerships and actions, while also building toward new actions to meet unparalleled global threats. The goal of this white paper is to...
Article
It is necessary, yet challenging, to manage coral reefs to simultaneously address a suite of global and local stressors that act over the short and long term. Therefore, managers need practical guidance on prioritizing the locations and types of conservation that most efficiently address their goals using limited resources. This study is one of the...
Article
Full-text available
In the face of climate change, warming oceans, and repeated mass coral bleaching, coral reef conservation is at a timely crossroads. There is a new urgency to support and strengthen a rich history of conservation partnerships and actions, while also building toward new actions to meet unparalleled global threats. The goal of this white paper is to...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental conservation initiatives, including marine protected areas (MPAs), have proliferated in recent decades. Designed to conserve marine biodiversity, many MPAs also seek to foster sustainable development. As is the case for many other environmental policies and programs, the impacts of MPAs are poorly understood. Social–ecological systems...
Article
Sufficiently rigorous monitoring and evaluation can assess the effectiveness of management actions to conserve natural resources. However, costs of monitoring can be high in relation to program budgets, so it is critical to design monitoring efforts to ensure a high return on investment. To assess the relative contribution of different monitoring s...
Article
Background The integrity of ocean ecosystems are currently under threat from a suite of anthropogenic drivers including climate change, over-fishing, land-based pollution, and resource exploitation. Recent research has shown that this degradation is likely to lead to negative, long-term livelihood, biodiversity, and economic impacts. In view of the...
Article
Full-text available
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly being used globally to conserve marine resources. However, whether many MPAs are being effectively and equitably managed, and how MPA management influences substantive outcomes remain unknown. We developed a global database of management and fish population data (433 and 218 MPAs, respectively) to asse...
Article
Full-text available
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly employed worldwide to conserve marine resources. However, information on the role of governance mechanisms, in particular those associated with compliance , in shaping ecological condition inside MPAs at the regional scale remains deficient. An exploratory data analysis was conducted to evaluate links...
Article
Full-text available
Quasi-experimental impact evaluation approaches, which enable scholars to disentangle effects of conservation interventions from broader changes in the environment, are gaining momentum in the conservation sector. However, rigorous impact evaluation using statistical matching techniques to estimate the counterfactual have yet to be applied to marin...
Article
Interacting drivers and pressures in many parts of the world are greatly undermining the long-term health and wellbeing of coastal human populations and marine ecosystems. However, we do not yet have a well-formed picture of the nature and extent of the human poverty of coastal communities in these areas. In this paper, we begin to fill the gap and...
Article
Full-text available
The Sunda Banda Seascape (SBS), located in the center of the Coral Triangle, is a global center of marine biodiversity and a conservation priority. We proposed the first biophysical environmental delineation of the SBS using globally available satellite remote sensing and model-assimilated data to categorize this area into unique and meaningful bio...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Implementing successful marine protected areas (MPAs) requires an understanding of local marine ecosystems, fisheries and human communities. A rapid assessment conducted in October 2006 was used to identify resource use patterns in the Primeiras and Segundas (P&S) archipelago in Mozambique, by examining data on local marine fisheries, demographic a...
Article
Full-text available
Without effective management, protected areas are unlikely to achieve the high expectations the conservation and development sectors have for them: conserving biodiversity and alleviating poverty. Numerous marine protected area (MPA) assessment initiatives have been developed at various spatial and temporal scales, including the guidebook How is yo...
Article
Full-text available
Reef fishes and other marine species occur in patchily distributed benthic populations that are interlinked by a larval stage where individuals disperse throughout the pelagic environment. This larval connectivity will play a critical role in determining whether marine protected area (MPA) networks can effectively promote the persistence of increas...
Article
The relative paucity and heterogeneous distribution of marine protected areas (MPAs) indicates the need for better understanding of factors that foster MPA establishment at local, sub-national, and national levels. The relationship between national-level MPA establishment and geographic, ecological, social, and political factors that may drive patt...
Data
Full-text available
Larval fish recruitment is generally highly variable in space and time, and can significantly influence adult population abundance, density and distribution, as well as community structure in coral reef systems. We investigated relationships between reef fish recruitment (data from the West Hawai'i Aquarium Project) and oceanographic and meteorolog...
Article
Full-text available
Larval fish recruitment is generally highly variable in space and time, and can significantly influence adult population abundance, density and distribution, as well as community structure in coral reef systems. We investigated relationships between reef fish recruitment (data from the West Hawai’i Aquarium Project) and oceanographic and meteorolog...
Article
Full-text available
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are often implemented to conserve or restore species, fisheries, habitats, ecosystems, and ecological functions and services; buffer against the ecological effects of climate change; and alleviate poverty in coastal communities. Scientific research provides valuable insights into the social and ecological impacts of MP...
Article
Full-text available
Marine protected areas (MPAs) and MPA networks are valuable tools for protecting coral reef habitats and managing near-shore fisheries, while playing an essential role in the overall conservation of marine biodiversity. In addition, MPAs and their networks are often the core strategy for larger scale and more integrated forms of marine resource man...
Article
Full-text available
The fisheries data supplied to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) by national agencies have served as the primary tool for many global and regional studies. However, it is recognised that these data are incomplete and often underestimate actual catches, particularly for small-scale fisheries. This study reconstructed...
Article
Blast fishing has destroyed many coral reefs in Southeast Asia by creating large fields of dead coral rubble where new coral recruits settle but cannot survive and grow. Possible management responses include reef rehabilitation of damaged areas, and/or increased enforcement to protect still-living ones. Here we show that in Komodo National Park, In...
Article
Full-text available
Our results provide an important first step toward a full assessment of how human activities act cumulatively to affect the condition of the oceans. Fisheries (and climate change) impacts are some of the hardest to map and measure accurately. Consequently, species-specific considerations and fine-scale analyses should be left to more nuanced region...
Article
Full-text available
The management and conservation of the world's oceans require synthesis of spatial data on the distribution and intensity of human activities and the overlap of their impacts on marine ecosystems. We developed an ecosystem-specific, multiscale spatial model to synthesize 17 global data sets of anthropogenic drivers of ecological change for 20 marin...
Article
Full-text available
Marine protected areas (MPAs) and MPA networks are valuable tools for protecting coral reef habitats and managing near-shore fisheries, while playing an essential role in the overall conservation of marine biodiversity. In addition, MPAs and their networks are often the core strategy for larger scale and more integrated forms of marine resource ma...
Article
Full-text available
The conservation and sustainable use of marine resources is a highlighted goal in a growing number of national and international policy agendas. Unfortunately, efforts to assess progress, as well as to strategically plan and prioritize new marine conservation measures, have been hampered by the lack of a detailed and comprehensive biogeographic sys...
Article
Full-text available
Scenario analysis is a useful tool for exploring key uncertainties that may shape the future of social-ecological systems. This paper explores the methods, costs, and benefits of developing and linking scenarios of social-ecological systems across multiple spatial scales. Drawing largely on experiences in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, we sug...
Article
Dynamite or "blast" fishing is one of the most immediate and destructive threats to coral reefs worldwide. However, little is known about the long-term ecosystem effects of such blasts or the dynamics of recovery. Here, we examine coral reef recovery in the simplest case of acute single blasts of known age, as well as recovery from chronic blasting...
Article
Full-text available
Several international conservation organizations have recently produced global priority maps to guide conservation activities and spending in their own and other conservation organizations. Surprisingly, it is not possible to directly evaluate the relationship between priorities and spending within a given organization because none of the organizat...
Article
Illegal fishing with explosives has damaged coral reefs throughout Southeast Asia. In addition to killing fish and other organisms, the blasts shatter coral skeletons, leaving fields of broken rubble that shift in the current, abrading or burying new coral recruits, and thereby slowing or preventing reef recovery. Successful restoration and rehabil...
Article
Widespread blast fishing destroys living scleractinian corals and creates vast fields of shattered coral rubble that can only recover to coral dominance through a successional process that includes coral recruitment. Given the extent of damaged areas on many SE Asian reefs, successful recruitment and survival of juvenile corals will be important co...
Article
This paper presents initial results from a study of factors that inhibit or enhance hard coral recovery in rubble fields created by blast fishing in Komodo National Park and Bunaken National Park, Indonesia. Within nine sites monitored since 1998, there was no significant natural recovery. Levels of potential source coral larvae were assessed with...
Article
Full-text available
One of the most devastating threats to reefs in Southeast Asia comes from dynamite or "blast" fishing. Inexpensive homemade bombs not only kill fish, but also pulverize coral skeletons, leaving fields of broken rubble. This study was conducted in blast-damaged areas of Komodo National Park, Indonesia, which has recently seen a decrease in blasting,...
Article
Full-text available
Many aspects of reproductive physiology are subject to regulation by social interactions. These include changes in neural and physiological substrates of reproduction. How can social behavior produce such changes? In experiments reported here, we manipulated the social settings of teleost fish and measured the effect (1) on stress response as refle...
Article
In November 1994, 955 colonies of scleractinian coral occupied approximately 17% of a 15 x 7 m study area which formed part of an intertidal platform near the reef crest at Heron Island Reef off the NE Australian coast. Of these colonies 468 (49%) were massive corals and 487 (51 %) were non-massives. When 50 colonies belonging to unidentified speci...
Article
Full-text available
Scenario analysis is a useful tool for exploring key uncertainties that may shape the future of social-ecological systems. This paper explores the methods, costs, and benefits of developing and linking scenarios of social-ecological systems across multiple spatial scales. Drawing largely on experiences in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, we sug...
Article
1. Summary Pressures from rapid population and economic growth in Indonesia have brought many reef ecosystems to the point of collapse. One of the most devastating threats to reefs comes from dynamite or "blast" fishing, in which homemade bombs are detonated over the reefs. Blast fishing not only kills organisms within the blast radius, but also pu...
Article
Full-text available
The available literature related to designing and implementing networks of marine protected areas is increasing as more governments and institutions are scaling up their marine conservation efforts. Overall, the main elements that are critical to designing ecologically-functional and socially-sustainable MPA networks include: representation and rep...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Archived project
The interdisciplinary research initiative “Solving the Mystery of Marine Protected Area Performance” seeks to answer the question of why some MPAs are successful and others fail to provide win-win benefits of conservation and poverty alleviation. We are a collaboration of social and ecological scientists helping to facilitate and analyze results from well-designed quasi-experimental monitoring in Indonesia and leading global synthesis studies. Our overall hypothesis is that better governance leads to better outcomes. We have a growing list of publications and other resources as we seek to provide decision-makers with the knowledge they need to design and implement policies that promote the long-term sustainability of marine resources.