ICRI News

The future of coral reefs is determined by choices made now. Adoption of the 2030 development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals provides an opportunity to change the course for coral reefs and dependent people. By providing a holistic and comprehensive programme that cuts across the three dimensions of sustainable development, and by committing all countries to delivering all the Goals, the barriers to sustainable coral reef management have been lowered. However, two thirds of coral reefs in the world are under immediate and direct threat from human activities, and all reefs are increasingly threatened by climate change.

In line with the International Coral Reef Initiative and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network guiding principles, the GCRMN in the Caribbean region has been growing as a renewed and dynamic network of coral reef experts sharing the goal of improving information on the status of coral reefs of the Caribbean. The GCRMN-Caribbean mission is to revitalize and strengthen coral reef monitoring to ensure the collection of useful, comparable and accessible data that can effectively reveal the status and trends of the coral reefs in the region, for regular, robust and strategic reporting to influence coastal management decision-making at the regional level.

Rising sea level, the increasing occurrence of extreme weather conditions, increasing air and water temperatures and acidification of the oceans will all have a major impact on coral formations and their marine ecosystems including a direct effect on the biology of the most sensitive species. They will also have an indirect impact on both individual structures and collective infrastructure located along the coast. Some structures risk deterioration and pollutants will increase in coral reefs and in their marine ecosystems).

The UN has published the First Global Integrated Marine Assessment, also known as the 'First World Ocean Assessment.' The assessment is expected to provide a scientific basis for consideration of ocean issues, including Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development).

The Western Indian Ocean is in the process of compiling its regional report for the GCRMN, following in the footsteps of the Caribbean. This is to call for all contributions of monitoring data that you may have, to contribute to this reporting effort. Countries covered by this region include: Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, France (Reunion and overseas territories), Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa & Tanzania. The principal work is supported by the Indian Ocean Commission’s ‘Biodiversity Project’, and is being undertaken with the Coral Reef Task Force of the Nairobi Convention (the UNEP Regional Seas convention for the region).

Recognizing the importance of engaging sectors and stakeholders throughout a watershed in order for coral reef conservation and management to be effective, a resolution on promoting an integrated approach to community-based coral reef conservation and management emphasizing land-sea connectivity was adopted at the 29th ICRI General Meeting in Okinawa. In this resolution, it was noted that model case studies would be compiled and shared at the 30th General Meeting, and that the final output would be published on the ICRI official website and through various media.

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