2011-08-25 06:47

On Wednesday August 31, 2011 at 2pm US EDT, TNC will host a webinar on the Lionfish Invasion in the Caribbean. In this Webinar, they will look at what innovative solutions are being tested at national and regional scales to try and abate the lionfish threat.

2011-08-25 06:14

The Caribbean Marine Protected Areas Management Network and Forum (CaMPAM) is pleased to announce the completion of the Caribbean MPA Management Capacity Assessment, which is now available online at the CaMPAM website http://campam.gcfi.org/CapAssess/CapacityAssessmentReport2011/index.html.

2011-08-24 13:34

12 August 2011: The UN General Assembly has circulated an advance, unedited version of a Report of the UN Secretary-General, titled “Protection of coral reefs for sustainable livelihoods and development,” for consideration at the Assembly's 66th Session.

The Report was requested by the Assembly in resolution 65/150 of December 2010. It analyzes the economic, social and development benefits of coral reef protection in the context of the themes and objectives of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), and identifies potential actions needed to protect coral reefs and related ecosystems.

2011-08-09 23:28

Press Release / Washington, August 4, 2011 — The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has given US$8.75 million grant to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable management of fragile marine ecosystems in the Eastern Caribbean, including the protection of over 100,000 hectares of marine habitat.

The Sustainable Financing and Management of Eastern Caribbean Marine Ecosystem Project establish conservation trust funds to provide reliable and consistent sources of funding for biodiversity preservation. It will also promote collaboration among participating countries (including governments, communities, NGOs, and the private sector) to facilitate marine and coastal conservation, protect near shore areas, and support a regional monitoring and information network.

2011-07-27 02:19

The RAMSAR Secretariat is very pleased to announce that the United States has named the Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (204,127 hectares, 05⁰52’N 162⁰06’W) as its 30th Ramsar Site, comprising coral reefs, permanent shallow marine waters, and intertidal forested wetlands of the atoll and submerged lands and associated waters out to 12 nautical miles from it, in the equatorial Pacific 960 miles south of Honolulu, Hawaii. A National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) since 2001, the site supports a variety of species with different conservation status under the National Endangered Species Act and IUCN Red List, such as the Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi), Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), and Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas).

2011-07-25 11:06

In January 2010 during the 24th general assembly of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), the Secretariat agreed to set up an Ad Hoc Committee to develop a strategic plan for the control of lionfish in the Wider Caribbean. The control of this invasive species is supported on Article 8 In-situ conservation subdivision "h" of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in which "prevents the introduction, control and eradication of those alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitat or species”, as well as in Article 12 of the regional treaty “Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife Protocol” of the Cartagena Convention.

2011-07-05 04:53

The International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB), meeting in Dresden (Germany) from 28 June to 1 July, has added 18 new sites to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR), which now numbers 580 sites in 114 countries.

2011-06-28 05:00

The world’s oceans were at high risk of entering a phase of “globally significant” extinction of marine species, an international panel of marine experts warned at Headquarters today.

Speaking during a press conference to launch a new report by the International Programme on State of the Oceans (IPSO) on the protection of marine species, the panel concluded that the combination of stressors on the ocean was creating the conditions associated with every previous mass extinction of species in history; the speed and rate of ocean degeneration was far greater than predicted; many of the negative impacts previously identified were greater than the worst predictions; and, though difficult to assess due to the unprecedented rate of change, the first steps towards a global extinction ma

2011-06-27 12:04

The Ningaloo Reef on the north-western coast of Australia is home to the largest fish in the world, the Whale Shark, as well as to more than 500 species of tropical fish and 220 species of coral. The rich marine life includes soft and hard corals, manta rays, sea snakes, whales, turtles, dungeons and sharks. Australia is the country with the largest number of natural World Heritage Sites in the world.

“The Ningaloo Coast is a unique place with outstanding natural beauty and biological diversity, which plays an important role in the protection of marine species,” says Tim Badman, Director of IUCN’s World Heritage Programme. “The Coast tells an extraordinary story of biological isolation, climate change, the movement of continents and environmental conservation.”

2011-06-22 14:39

The 2nd Meeting of the Regional Initiative for the Conservation and Wise Use of Mangroves and Corals, organised by the Ecuadorian and Mexican Governments in coordination with the Ramsar Secretariat, took place from 14 to 16 June in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The event was opened by the Minister of Environment of Ecuador, Mrs.

2011-06-15 04:59

8 June 2011: In a message delivered on the occasion of World Ocean Day, Biliana Cicin-Sain, President of the Global Ocean Forum, called for commitment to achieve a significant ocean outcome at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), and announced the launch of "Rio+20 Friends of the Ocean."

2011-06-08 14:11

The ecosystem approach lays out a series of principles to guide management towards long-term sustainability of marine and coastal ecosystems. With this new guide on Marine and Coastal Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM), UNEP seeks to assist countries and communities to take steps towards making marine and coastal ecosystem-based management operational - from strategic planning to on-site implementation.

2011-06-07 04:09

Gland, Switzerland, 6 June, 2011 (IUCN) – A new method for calculating the role that mangrove restoration plays in slowing climate change, by capturing and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, has been adopted.

The methodology is adopted under the UN climate change convention’s Kyoto Protocol, as part of the Clean Development Mechanism that supports emission reduction projects in developing countries. .

This will provide a significant boost to restoration efforts for mangrove forests, which grow in tropical and sub-tropical coastal regions and provide a wide range of biological services such as nurseries for juvenile fish and a source of timber for local populations.

2011-05-28 10:03

27 May 2011 - The Conservatoire du littoral, an IUCN member, has carried out an inventory of the mangroves in France overseas. For the first time it presents the extent and distribution of these ecosystems associated with coral reefs between the eight regions located in the Caribbean, Amazon, Indian Ocean and the Pacific.

The mangroves are ecologically, culturally and economically very important. They provide indispensable fish nurseries, filter coastal pollution and provide wood for local populations. They also play an important role in protecting the coasts from tropical storms and tsunamis.

2011-05-28 08:32

Montreal, 20 May 2011 – Challenges facing marine biodiversity are unprecedented. Life in the oceans is under serious threats. Continuously increasing human impacts in coastal areas have destroyed over 65% of seagrass and wetland habitat, degraded water quality and accelerated species invasions. It is estimated that the world has effectively lost 19% of the original area of coral reefs and 35% are seriously threatened with loss within the next decades. During the last two decades, 20% percent or 3.6 million ha of global mangrove cover have been lost. Roughly 80% of the world’s marine fish stocks are fully exploited or overexploited.

These challenges are unknown to the public at large.

2011-05-24 04:56

A practical guide for coastal resource managers to reduce damage from catchment areas based on best practice case studies (Catchment Management and Coral Reef Conservation), by Clive Wilkinson and Jon Brodie was released at the International Marine Conservation Congress in Victoria BC Canada on 16 May.

The book aims to assist coastal resource managers deal with the problems arriving at the coast from rivers and streams. To date there has been no guide book for managers. The stimulus was that many coral reef managers reported on problems of sediment, nutrient, pesticide and litter pollution damaging their reefs and they did not know where to start.

2011-05-20 14:26

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (19 May 2011) - One of the world's most diverse and threatened marine ecosystems - the Coral Triangle - is getting Asian Development Bank (ADB) support to improve management of its rich resources and to provide job alternatives for people living in the coastal communities.

ADB has approved assistance of around $12 million for the Coastal and Marine Resources Management Project. It includes a $1 million grant from ADB's concessional Technical Assistance Special Fund, and $11.2 million in cofinancing from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

2011-05-12 14:13

The new guidelines, "Indicators to address community-level social vulnerability" are meant to be an addendum to the existing regional SocMon/SEM-Pasifika guidelines. These indicators can be included in a socioeconomic assessment of any site for which climate change impacts are an important issue. The resulting information can then inform coastal management needs and adaptive management. Funding for this publication was provided by the Secretariat for the Pacific Environment Programme through the Coral Reef InitiativeS for the Pacific (CRISP) and IUCN. In-kind support was provided by The Nature Conservancy and the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program.

2011-05-12 03:10

These two new publications add to the growing list of publications addressing the global ocean crisis that have been produced by the Science-to-Action partnership, which includes more than 75 organizations led by Conservation International's Management Science Program. These publications are based on 5 years of natural and social science research in over 70 marine managed areas in 23 countries.

  • Coral Health Index - Measuring Coral Community Health (CHI) provides the latest thinking for how to examine and compare the health of these valuable ecosystems.
2011-05-03 08:29

IUCN has published a study on the various resilience characteristics of the coral reefs in the Bonaire National Marine Park. It includes results on resilience indicators, benthic cover, coral population structure, algae populations and fish community structure which can determine how the coral reefs respond to climate change threats. The aim of the study is to provide information on how to incorporate resilience information and climate change responses into the Marine Protected Area (MPA) design and management, especially given the recent bleaching event that occurred in 2010-2011.

Bonaire’s coral reefs remain among the healthiest and most resilient in the Caribbean.

2011-05-03 07:54

An informal interactive workshop on "Keeping the Green Economy Blue" convened on 29 April 2011, at UN Headquarters, New York, US. Co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Australia and the Pew Environment Group, the workshop responded to the emerging consensus that healthy oceans are an essential part of the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and as such should figure prominently in the agenda of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

2011-04-22 04:07

As a flagship activity of ICRI, the French Government will host the 4th International Tropical Marine Ecosystem Symposium (ITMEMS4) in Guadeloupe from 5 - 8 December 2011.

As part of an updated format for ITMEMS4, coastal and marine managers will be invited to join with a select number of facilitators, inspirational speakers and leaders from a range of disciplines (science, industry, media, government, development) for targeted discussion, experiential learning, professional development, and knowledge exchange, pertinent to priority challenges in the management of tropical marine ecosystems. More information will be available shortly.

2011-04-21 16:13

The Governments of France and Samoa, as co-hosts of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) Secretariat, in relation with the Principality of Monaco, are pleased to announce that the third and last General Meeting of the current secretariat, will be held in Réunion Island (in the Indian Ocean) on the 12 to 15 December 2011.

2011-04-19 09:02

(14 April 2011) A new study has conducted a preliminary investigation into the design of reserves that would help protect coral reefs from climate change. The results indicate that, 15 per cent of coral reefs in the Bahamas, the study area, would be able to withstand rising temperature, and would therefore be appropriately placed in reserves.

Rises in sea temperature have already caused several mass coral bleaching events, where corals whiten from the death of algae that live in a mutually beneficial relationship with the coral. This can threaten the coral’s survival. Oceans are expected to warm under climate change, which could potentially cause more bleaching and greater loss of coral.

2011-04-19 04:42

Washington DC – April 11, 2011 – Drainage and degradation of coastal wetlands emit significant amounts of carbon dioxide directly to the atmosphere and lead to decreased carbon sequestration, a new World Bank report has found.

The report, written in partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and wetland specialists ESA PWA, calls for coastal wetlands to be protected and incentives for avoiding their degradation and improving their restoration to be included into carbon emission reduction strategies and in climate negotiations.

For the first time we are getting a sense that greenhouse gas losses from drained and degraded coastal wetlands may be globally significant and that drained organic-rich soils continuously release carbon for