ICRI News

5 January 2017 - New climate model projections of the world's coral reefs reveal which reefs will be hit first by annual coral bleaching, an event that poses the gravest threat to one of the Earth's most important ecosystems.

These high-resolution projections, based on global climate models, predict when and where annual coral bleaching will occur. The projections show that reefs in Taiwan and around the Turks and Caicos archipelago will be among the world's first to experience annual bleaching.

Other reefs, like those off the coast of Bahrain, in Chile and in French Polynesia, will be hit decades later, according to research recently published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

5 January 2017: The UN Development Programme (UNDP) launched the Ocean Action Hub, which will host dialogues on ocean issues, facilitate the sharing of commitments, solutions and ideas by stakeholders and bring together stakeholders to assess opportunities and challenges related to achieving SDG 14 (Life Below Water).

With regard to research, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP or UN Environment) and partners released findings that underscore the importance of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to minimize annual coral bleaching events. UN Environment also announced a collaboration on oceans with the EU, and highlighted dugong and seagrass conservation efforts in concert with the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

This scientific workshop constitutes a key activity towards preparation of a regional GCRMN coral reef status report. The overall objectives of the process are to create a comprehensive inventory of reef data in the region and improve access to such data; to identify key drivers of reef change and provide actionable management and policy recommendations as well as recommendations for future monitoring; and to revitalize the regional GCRMN network and strengthen regular reporting.

On Tuesday, November 16th, 2016, Ségolène Royal, President of COP21 and Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia held a ministerial event on coral reefs at the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The following statement was issued:

On the evening of the 29th September 2016 Hurricane Matthew passed north of Bonaire by approximately 240km, with maximum sustained wind speeds over 120km/h. After passing Aruba as a category 2 hurricane, the path of Matthew slowed its forward progress and turned north-northeast. Heavy storm surge generated by Matthew continued to strike the coastline and on the 4th-5th of October, a resurgence of waves ranging from 1.4-1.7 m height pounded the northern and western (leeward) shores of Bonaire and Klein Bonaire. After the waves subsided, STINAPA immediately sent survey forms to dive operators requesting information on reef conditions and offered assistance in removing large debris.

A Resolution 2/12 on sustainable coral reefs management (EA/2/12) was adopted at the second session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) in May 2016. The resolution, inter alia, calls for initiatives, cooperation and commitments to conserve and sustainably manage coral reefs, including cold-water coral ecosystems and mangroves; recognizes that education, capacity building and knowledge transfer is crucial; and encourages integrated, ecosystem-based and comprehensive approaches including partnerships with industry, as well as establishment of MPAs and other spatial and relevant sectoral approaches to enhance climate change resilience.

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