During the period of 1998-2002, the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) South Asia, sponsored socioeconomic assessments and monitoring training for sites with significant coral reef habitats in the region and followed this up with community based socioeconomic monitoring demonstration projects at five sites where some biophysical surveys had been carried out: three in India (Andaman Islands, Lakshadweep Islands and the Gulf of Mannar) and one each in Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Each team received practical training in using the GCRMN Socioeconomic Manual for Coral Reef Management (GCRMN Manual) and to establish a monitoring programme at their field sites. A drawback of the manual was that while it dealt with methods for socioeconomic assessments, it did not touch upon the issue of monitoring. Hence the South Asia field teams were not clear on how to conduct monitoring. They requested a simplified set of guidelines outlining a practical monitoring protocol that could be applied specifically at the site level.