ICRI News

The 2018 International Year of the Reef is an opportunity for the world’s media to highlight the many threats faced by coral ecosystems and the need to protect them. One of the main challenges faced when implementing coral conservation activities is the financing of it; the funds currently needed to achieve effective and lasting conservation greatly exceed the available funds, generating a substantial financing gap.

The UK has joined a global battle to safeguard the world’s coral reefs from climate change and rising sea temperatures, Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey announced today.

International work to protect these vital marine habitats is gathering momentum as coral reefs come under increasing pressure from climate change and human activity – and today the UK officially joined the Coral Reef Life Declaration, committing to safeguard coral reefs and bolster scientific research into the threats they face.

The announcement comes just one week ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, where member states will gather in London to agree further global measures to protect our oceans.

UNEP-WCMC is pleased to launch Ocean+ Data, an online library of 183 ocean-related data resources to support informed decision-making for ocean conservation.

Ocean+ Data provides an overview of global marine and coastal data resources of biodiversity importance, as well as datasets of regional interest. It lists datasets, databases and data portals from a range of international scientific sources, and explains what these datasets show, how they can be used, their limitations and access details. Users can filter datasets by category, organisation and theme.

Ocean+ Data can be used to identify resources to support, among other things, marine spatial planning, environmental impact assessments, and education and ocean literacy.

A new type of insurance to protect coral reefs has been announced at the 2018 World Ocean Summit in Mexico. Swiss Re is proud to have supported the design of this new product which will not only help the conservation and swift restoration of the reef, if damaged by a major hurricane, but it will also support the economic resilience of the region and offers an opportunity to create a scalable new market for the insurance industry itself.

New evidence is emerging that shows that the human population’s obsession with all things plastic is poisoning one of the world’s natural wonders: coral reefs.

Much more than simply an object of beauty, coral reefs are living, breathing ecosystems, teeming with life. Although they occupy less than 0.1 per cent of the world's ocean surface, they provide an essential home for 25 per cent of all marine life; they are also vital for protecting coastal communities, acting as natural barriers from cyclones and rising seas; and 275 million people depend directly on them for their food and livelihoods.

Our seas and oceans are an integral part of our history, economy and way of life. Oceans supply nearly half of the oxygen we breathe, absorb over a quarter of the carbon dioxide we produce, play a vital role in the water cycle and climate system, and are critical for biodiversity.

And within this, coral reefs are some of the most diverse ecosystems on earth - supporting a vast array of marine life, protecting coastlines from storms and forming the backbone of local economies around the world.

But this valuable resource is under direct and sustained pressure from the impacts of human activity and ocean acidification.

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