ICRI News

Incheon, Republic of Korea, October 8 – Limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, the IPCC said in a new assessment. With clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems, limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C could go hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said on Monday.

The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C was approved by the IPCC on Saturday in Incheon, Republic of Korea. It will be a key scientific input into the Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December, when governments review the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change.

For this report, nearly 20,000 surveys from 128 islands covering 19 countries or territories were compiled and analysed. What the analysis showed is that the coral reefs of the Pacific, like in other parts of the world, are changing. Dominant corals are no longer dominant and herbivorous fish are on the decline. But the change at the regional level is often not reflected in observations made at the local level, as is true for acute stress events such as coral bleaching episodes and Crown-of-Thorns outbreaks. This might be good news. Local, island-specific dynamics suggest that local-scale management actions can help to mitigate the inevitable effects of global change, at least in the near future. Coral reefs in the Pacific are dynamic and recovery is likely to occur rapidly.

(Updated on July 10th) - On July 4, 2018, in the presence of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II, HE Mrs. Susi Pudjiastuti, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (Indonesia), and Dr. Russel Reichelt, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority (Australia), France, represented by Mrs Brune Poirson, Secretary of State to Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, handed over the Presidency of the International Coral Reef Initiative to Monaco, Australia, and Indonesia at a ceremony which took place at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris.

Today, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre released an update to its 2017 first global scientific assessment of the impact of climate change on UNESCO World Heritage coral reefs. The latest update concludes that limiting global temperatures to 1.5°C degrees above pre-industrial levels would mean World Heritage-listed coral reefs are expected to avoid severe annual bleaching this century.

The Maison des Oceans in Paris provided the venue of the first meeting of the International Coral Reef Policy Advisory Committee on 19th and 20th June 2018. The committee, comprising of national experts from 11 important coral reef countries and convened by UN Environment, met to analyze and review the methodology for a global and regional analysis of policy instruments and governance mechanisms related to the protection and sustainable management of coral reefs. The analysis was requested by UN Member States through a resolution on sustainable coral reef management of the United Nations Environment Assembly (Resolution 2/12, Paragraph 10).

The World Heritage Committee, meeting in Manama since 24 June, decided Tuesday to remove the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Committee considered that safeguarding measures taken by the country, notably the introduction of a moratorium on oil exploration in the entire maritime zone of Belize and the strengthening of forestry regulations allowing for better protection of mangroves, warranted the removal of the site from the World Heritage List in Danger.

The site was inscribed on the List in Danger in 2009 due to the destruction of mangroves and marine ecosystems, offshore oil extraction, and the development of non-sustainable building projects.

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