Coastal and marine ecosystems are irreplaceable natural assets, with significant ecological, economic, social, cultural and recreational values.  Indiscriminate interference or modification of the characteristics of these sensitive ecosystems can have potentially negative effects on their functional integrity.  The Biodiversity Research Programme conducts fundamental and applied research on wetlands (mangroves and seagrasses), coral reefs, benthic communities and invasive/alien marine species.  The Programme also includes the following research areas: taxonomy, restoration ecology and marine protected area.  The data generated from the research is used to inform management plans and policies.