Close this search box.

IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC)

Advancing knowledge and cooperation for a healthy ocean and prosperous society

IOC Regional Network of Training and Research Centers on Marine Science

Regional Training and Research Center on Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health

Life originated in the ocean. Since the ocean covers approximately 71% of the planet’s surface, the amount of life in the oceans is enormous. Marine biodiversity, the variety of life in the ocean, plays an important role in supporting the healthy functioning of the planet, and providing the ecosystem functions and services that underpin the health, well-being and prosperity of humanity.


The Western Pacific and its adjacent areas host the highest level of marine biodiversity and endemism in the world. The region is also home to more than two billion people, with more than sixty percent of the population dependent on ocean for food and livelihood. For many communities in the region, the ocean is not just a source of food and livelihood, but as well forms integral part of our history, culture and social wellbeing.


However, our knowledge of ocean biodiversity and ecosystem is highly variable and very deficient. To monitor and assess biodiversity and ecosystem for science-informed decisions, it is important that we gain a much better understanding of where species live, its abundance, and how these factors are changing over the time due to the ever-increasing anthropogenic impacts.


Thanks to the strong commitment of the Government of Indonesia and building on its long years’ considerable experience in monitoring the health of the coral reefs and associated ecosystems, the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) established a Regional Training and Research Centre on Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health (RTRC-MarBEST) at the Research Center for Oceanography, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (RCO-LIPI) in October 2016.


The RTRC-MarBEST Centre is committed to:

  • Developing and strengthening the capacity and capabilities of human resources, particularly young researchers and lecturers from member countries in the Western Indo-Pacific region, through training and research related to marine biodiversity and ecosystems;
  • Researching and developing common methodologies for marine ecosystem health monitoring and assessment, especially coastal ecosystems such as coral reefs, seagrass, and mangroves;
  • Promoting scientific collaborations among experts, institutions and countries in this region and beyond, on marine ecosystem health monitoring and assessment;


Since its inauguration in 2016, RTRC-MarBEST conducted regular trainings including

  • Mangrove Health Index Training, Virtual, 16-21 November 2020
  • 4th WESTPAC Training Course on Assessment of Carbon Stock and Sequestration in Seagrass, Bintan Island, Indonesia, 04 Nov-12 Nov 2019
  • International Training Course on Coral Health Index, Bali, Indonesia, 22 Oct-02 Nov 2018
  • WESTPAC Training Course on Molecular Taxonomy based on Single DNA Barcoding and Metabarcoding, Jakarta, Indonesia, 25 Sept – 06 Oct 2017
  • WESTPAC Training Course on Crustacean Taxonomy, Jakarta, Indonesia, 17-29 October 2016

You can find more details here about the full range of RTRC-MarBEST training and research activities over 2016-2020.