Regional Coral Reef CSI Training Workshops
Introduction and Ethos
The Coral Reef CSI training programme is a unique five-day field-based training workshop taught in, around, and adjacent to, the near shore coral reef waters at each location. The workshops involve a series of lectures and demonstrations related to the relatively new field of coral reef forensic investigations, along with hands-on field crime scene investigations guided by international professionals in wildlife enforcement, coral reef ecology, and marine natural resource investigation.
The intensive training programme draws upon the 290-page Coral Reef CSI Toolkit. Participants are given the opportunity to practice techniques and equipment use in a series of land based exercises prior to in-water impact scenarios. Role-play within a mock CSI team is also used as a tool to develop participant's awareness and skills relating to each stage of the investigation process. Building on this, participants also take part in a mock prosecution trial conducted under courtroom conditions, to provide first-hand experience and develop understanding of the common shortfalls of natural resource evidence collection and presentation processes.
The workshops gather participants from a wide field of expertise including academics, resource managers, Litigators, enforcement officers and others. Key observers may also be invited to the workshops to raise the profile of the need and importance of practical and applied training in investigation and enforcement methodologies.
Some of the major topics covered in the workshop include:
- Introduction to Crime Scene Investigations (CSI) on coral reefs
- Setting an event perimeter and securing the scene
- Coral reef investigation field kits
- Conducting Rapid Ecological Assessments (REAs) to support investigations
- Sampling for coral reef laboratory forensics
- Collecting physical evidence underwater & documenting damage
- Chain-of-custody issues