2019-12-17 10:27

Oceans Action Day took place during the UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain, to assess existing ocean and climate action, identify gaps that need to be addressed and reaffirm the importance of the ocean-climate nexus.

The event convened on 7 December and was hosted by the Governments of Japan, Chile and the UK. The Day featured a number of high-level panel sessions.

During the discussion on the ocean and climate nexus within the UNFCCC and beyond, panelists highlighted, inter alia:

2019-12-17 10:21

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has released a report that finds ocean areas are increasingly experiencing low levels of oxygen, which threatens marine ecosystems and fish species that are already impacted by ocean warming and acidification. IUCN released the report at the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP25) to the UNFCCC.

2019-12-17 09:34

The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation is proud to release their findings from the largest coral reef survey and mapping expedition ever conducted in French Polynesia. The Global Reef Expedition: French Polynesia Final Report provides a comprehensive summary of the research findings from the Expedition, an assessment of the health and resiliency of French Polynesia’s coral reefs, and recommendations for preserving French Polynesia’s coral reefs into the future.

2019-12-16 02:47

Funding and political will were the leading enablers to help restore coral reefs, it was revealed in a recent survey of 28 countries and organisations striving to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems.

Most International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) members who responded to the online survey highlighted the need for more research to understand what they needed to do, and to establish a plan of action. Most also said more funding and training was needed.

The results revealed a substantial mismatch between current and aspirational coral restoration and adaptation projects in terms of scale, capacity and funding. The average area of restoration projects was a 0.33ha, while the annual area required was more than 80ha.

2019-12-10 11:47

Unabated climate change could cause coral reef tourism revenue losses of over 90%, while some West African countries are forecast to see fish stocks decline by 85%, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis into country-by-country climate impacts on key ocean sectors, published today as world leaders gather at the U.N. climate change conference (COP25) in Madrid.

Commissioned by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, a group of 14 heads of government, ‘The expected impacts of climate change on the ocean economy' assesses global to local climate impacts on three of the largest sources of ocean-based revenue and jobs - coral reef tourism, wild capture fisheries and marine aquaculture.

2019-12-10 10:39

Coral reefs play an important role in protecting coastlines from the impact of tropical storms and hurricanes, by reducing exposure to strong waves, flooding and erosion. However, in turn, hurricanes inflict considerable damage to the reef in terms of reduced coral cover and loss of structural complexity. Dislodgement and displacement of massive boulder colonies, broken tips and edges to total fragmentation of branched corals and sometimes structural fractures, are some of the effects of cyclone impact to the reef. Without intervention, affected organisms can be moved continuously by the current, become overturned or buried by sediment, leading to severe tissue loss and abrasion and preventing their reattachment and recovery.

2019-11-04 10:15

Since 2014, the Florida Reef Tract has been severely impacted by a newly documented coral disease which scientists are calling "Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease" because it affects hard stony corals and is characterized by the rapid loss of live coral tissue. The disease spread rapidly across coral reefs from Palm Beach to the lower Florida Keys and in the last year has been reported elsewhere in the Caribbean, including in Jamaica, Mexico, Sint Maarten, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Belize and Sint Eustatius.

2019-10-31 06:08

Blue Action Fund has announced a new open Call for Proposals. This call will focus on Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. In the case of transboundary projects, project components can also be carried out in Panama.

2019-10-17 10:59

The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation is now accepting entries for the 2020 Science Without Borders® Challenge! This annual art contest inspires students from all over the world to be creative while learning about important ocean science and conservation issues. The theme for this year's competition is "Take Action: Conserve Coral Reefs," and scholarships of up to $500 will be awarded to the winning entries.

2019-10-14 11:16

World Resource Institute (WRI), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), National Geographic Society (NGS), and Vulcan Inc. need your input on the key data needed to support informed decision-making relevant to coral reefs. These organisations are collaborating on this research effort to evaluate the data needs for several key audiences, including marine protected area managers, marine conservation practitioners, coastal planning authorities, and the insurance sector. Your participation is vital to help identify key data sets, as well as data gaps to improve information platforms to support decision-making on coral reefs and in coastal areas.

This survey should take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.

2019-10-11 04:45

The Tahiry Honko project is helping to tackle climate breakdown and build community resilience by restoring and protecting mangrove forests.

A celebration at the heart of a protected mangrove forest in Madagascar this week marked the formal inauguration of the world's largest mangrove carbon conservation project. The forest, situated in the Bay of Assassins in the remote southwest of the country, is protected and managed by communities from surrounding villages within the Velondriake Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA).

2019-10-07 11:19

Exactly two months before the 25th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP25) begins, the Because the Ocean initiative has released today its new report: Ocean For Climate: Ocean-Related Measures in Climate Strategies (Nationally Determined Contributions, National Adaptation Plans, Adaptation Communications, and National Policy Frameworks).

UNFCCC COP25 will take place in Santiago, Chile 2nd-13th December, 2019.

In the preamble to the new report, COP25 President Carolina Schmidt, Environment Minister of Chile says:

2019-10-07 04:15

This move forms part of an ambitious plan from the Chamber of Diving & Watersports (CDWS) to improve sustainability practices within the marine tourism sector around the country. The Green Fins initiative will be implemented nationally in the South Sinai Governorate from September and the Red Sea Governorate from March 2020.

Egypt is a popular holiday destination with 11.3 million tourists visiting in 2018 and 8.3 million in 2017. There are approximately 500 businesses providing diving and snorkelling activities in the Red Sea and an estimated three million divers and snorkelers visiting the region each year.

2019-10-07 04:24

As conservationists grapple with unprecedented levels of coral reef bleaching in the world's warming oceans, scientists in the Indian and Pacific Oceans used the most recent El Nino of 2016 (the warmest year on record) to evaluate the role of excess heat as the leading driver of coral bleaching.

The findings were, in a word, complicated, according to marine researchers from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and other groups. Specifically, the WCS-led study revealed a more complex view than current standard predictions of coral bleaching events caused primarily by heat stress; rather, the scientists found that bleaching is driven by a variety of stressors, and each region responds differently.

2019-10-07 04:33

Off the coast of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a group of scientists is tearing a reef apart in a feverish attempt to save some of its coral.

They are battling a fast-moving, lethal disease that researchers say is unprecedented in the speed with which it can damage large numbers of coral species across the Caribbean Sea. Breaking their cardinal rule to never touch the coral, the scientists are removing diseased specimens to try to stop the disease spreading and save what remains.

2019-09-25 12:43

On Wednesday the 25th September 2019 the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, detailing the impact of climate change on the world's ocean.

2019-09-16 04:23

Climate change remains the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef, as highlighted in a report recently released by Australia's lead management agency for the Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's 2019 Outlook Report is published every five years and provides an overview of the condition of the Reef's ecosystem and heritage values, use, influencing factors, management effectiveness, resilience, and risks to its future.

2019-08-30 09:15

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Australia’s lead management agency for the Great Barrier Reef, released its position statement on climate change, widely acknowledged as the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef and coral reefs worldwide. The position statement outlines what is causing the climate to change, why it’s the greatest threat to the Reef, and that securing the Reef’s future requires actions at all levels.

The Authority’s position is:

2019-08-30 07:55

The world has lost over 50 percent of its coral reefs due to climate change and other human pressures in the past 40 years. Few accurate maps of remote coral reefs exist, and without good maps, it is hard to protect them—or know what we have lost until it is gone. Detailed habitat maps can help local resource managers identify areas that may be in greatest need of conservation action, so the reefs can be saved before it is too late.

2019-08-29 09:20

Coral reefs provide enormous economic value to humanity and are gaining increasing attention from donors, philanthropists, and governments. This webinar will explore the use of Conservation Trust Funds and Impact Investing to support coral reef conservation. Conservation Trust Funds (CTFs) are private, legally independent institutions that provide sustainable financing for biodiversity conservation. Impact Investing is investing in companies, organizations, and funds with the intention of generating measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Specifically, the webinar will discuss how protected area, national, and regional CTFs can raise, manage, and invest financing for coral reef conservation and restoration.

2019-08-20 05:47

"Social-environmental drivers inform strategic management of coral reefs in the Anthropocene", a landmark study on coral communities recently published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, is the result of the unique collaboration of over 100 scientists, across 44 countries across the Indo-Pacific.

This is the largest-ever study of coral communities and involved more than 2500 reefs across the Indo-Pacific, this assessment lead the team to identify three categories of reef according to their functionality and vulnerability to ocean warming. These three categories will be used to designate the management for the reefs:

2019-07-15 12:08

The annual summary report on reef condition for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) has resulted in a mixed bill of health- read the report here.

The GBR has been subjected to a period of intense disturbance activity in the last five years. A fourth wave of crown-of-thorns starfish, coupled with a cluster of severe tropical cyclones and major bleaching events have caused widespread coral declines on a spatial scale which is unparalleled in the history of LTMP surveys.

2019-07-12 04:52

The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) recently released a pioneering peer-reviewed study titled, "Management for network diversity speeds evolutionary adaptation to climate change" in which scientists from CORAL demonstrated that coral reef management that takes into account evolution and adaptation can help rescue coral reefs from the effects of climate change, this was done as a result of the collaborative Modeling Adaptation Potential (MAP) project.

2019-07-01 06:24

On World Oceans Day President Carlos Alvarado of Costa Rica signed a decree for the "promotion of restoration and conservation initiatives for the recovery of coral ecosystems," aimed at protecting corals. The decree, establishes guidelines to recover existing corals and create artificial reefs.

The Minister of the Environment, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, explained that coral areas function as natural barriers that protect cities and coastal communities from storms, hurricanes and tsunamis.

2019-06-28 10:40

The Group of 20 (G20) Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth adopted a framework for action on marine plastic litter. In a Communique, the G20 Environment Ministers call for action to tackle marine plastic litter and microplastics, among other types of marine litter, and to address the adverse impacts on marine ecosystems, livelihoods, industries and human health.