2018-09-25 03:54
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.
2018-08-17 04:48

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).

2018-07-06 08:42

(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.

2018-06-27 05:40

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.

2018-06-07 14:36

With AIMS’ reef surveys extending over more than 30 years, the AIMS Long-Term Monitoring Program provides an invaluable record of change in repeatedly surveyed coral reef communities over a large area of the Great Barrier Reef.

2018-05-01 04:06

Announcement from Dr John Schubert AO, Chairman, Great Barrier Reef Foundation. The Australian Government is investing half a billion dollars in building the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef. At the centre of this investment is a new $444 million partnership with the Foundation.

I was honoured to represent the Foundation at today’s funding announcement in Cairns with Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg and Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, alongside Assistant Minister for the Environment Melissa Price, Australia's Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel, Independent Expert Panel Chair Professor Ian Chubb, Reef 2050 Advisory Committee Chair Penelope Wensley and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Chair and CEO Dr Russell Reichelt.

2018-04-17 04:09

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.

2018-04-10 08:16

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.

2018-03-20 05:23

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.

2018-03-13 09:35

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.

2018-03-06 13:16

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.

2018-02-28 16:05
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.

2018-02-24 15:38

A Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement was signed on February 23rd 2018, for co-management of the second largest Protected Area of the Dominican Republic. The co-management body, a non-profit company, is expected to hit the triple bottom line: social, environmental and economic via the creation of new job opportunities in the Blue Economy sector for local populations, the conservation of critical ecosystems and basic financial returns. The company will receive major financing for its initial capital expenditures from international impact investors. In time, it is expected to be financially sustainable and generate its own incomes from user fees and innovative tourism models.

2018-02-17 03:59

A new scientific paper reveals the direct link between healthy coral reefs and shoreline stability, and field-tests an innovative risk reduction solution that combines engineering with reef restoration.

2018-01-30 07:28

The compendium of project proposals submitted to the ICRI / UN Environment Grants Programme 2017 is now available. The Grants Programme is a
joint initiative of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) and UN Environment which aims to catalyze the development of innovative and replicable initiatives that enhance protection and management of coral reefs and related ecosystems.

2018-01-22 09:00

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have appointed a new committee to conduct a study on Interventions to Increase the Resilience of Coral Reefs.

2018-01-18 08:46

The Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative (HRI) released its 2018 Mesoamerican Reef Report Card, providing a decadal glimpse of the condition and changes in this ancient living coral reef ecosystem. The 69 partner organizations in HRI are working together to successfully improve management and reef health. The 2018 Report Card records an improvement in reef health from ‘Poor’ in 2006 to ‘Fair’ this year, with increases in three of the four indicators over the decade.

2018-01-18 08:24

The Queensland and Australian governments are seeking innovative solutions from across Australia and around the world that support the protection, regeneration and recovery of coral populations on the Great Barrier Reef. Through the Advance Queensland Small Business Innovation Research challenge: Boosting coral abundance on the Great Barrier Reef, innovators can apply for a share of up to AUD $1 million which is available for the Feasibility stage.

It is anticipated that a number of solutions will be explored, with individual contracts not expected to exceed AUD $250,000. A further AUD $1 million is available to develop the best solutions through the subsequent Proof of Concept stage.

2017-12-13 14:53

Ebène, 8 December 2017 – The first report on the state of coral reefs of all countries of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) was officially presented yesterday (7 December) in Nairobi, Kenya, during the 32nd General Assembly of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI).

2017-12-11 16:35

UNESCO press release N°2017-146 / Paris, 6 December - The United Nations announced the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) to mobilize the scientific community, policy-makers, business and civil society around a programme of joint research and technological innovation.

The announcement of this Decade consolidates efforts by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) to boost international cooperation in ocean sciences. It will enable better coordination of research programmes, observation systems, capacity development, maritime space planning and the reduction of maritime risks to improve the management of ocean and coastal zones resources.

2017-11-30 17:10

The St. Maarten Nature Foundation has been continuously monitoring coral reefs both inside and outside of the Man of War Shoal Marine Protected Area in order to determine the impact of Hurricane Irma. Intense impacts have been recorded on certain coral species and on the reef, however also some reef recovering has already been recorded.

2017-11-29 17:16

The Sint Maarten Nature Foundation has started to scientifically monitor the state of the country’s coral reefs after the passing of hurricanes Irma and Maria in September. With financial support made available by the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance the Foundation has started to research the state of the Country’s coral using the GCRMN method; “Reef monitoring is conducted every year to determine the health, composition and state of our reefs. We did our last monitoring in August right before Irma so we have good information which we can use to compare the impacts that the coral reefs have experienced.

2017-10-31 07:13

The 28th SPREP Meeting was held in Apia, Samoa from the 19th to 21st of September 2017. Following the ICRI recommendation to reduce plastic microbeads pollution in marine environment adopted during the 31st General Meeting (November 2016), and a proposal from the French Government, a Call for Action for SPREP Countries on Plastic Microbeads was adopted.

2017-10-31 03:39

The Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN)-Caribbean organized a regional training workshop entitled “GCRMN-Caribbean Capacity Building for Coral Reef and Human Dimensions Monitoring within the Wider Caribbean”. The workshop took place at the Port Royal Marine Laboratory, The University of West Indies, Jamaica, from 10 to 14 October 2017. The event was opened by Christopher Corbin, Programme Officer at the UN Environment Cartagena Convention Secretariat, based in Kingston, Jamaica, by Suzanne Palmer, Academic Coordinator, Port Royal Marine Laboratory, and by Marcia Creary Ford, Environmental Data Manager at the Centre for Marine Sciences, both from the University of the West Indies.

2017-10-19 17:35

Updated (October 31st, 2018) - On October 31st, 2018, Vanuatu signed the declaration.

Updated (October 29th, 2018) - On October 29th, Mr. Philippe Germain, President of the Government of New Caledonia, signed the Declaration during an ICRI side event at the 5th Our Ocean Conference. 

Updated (July 4th, 2018) - On July 4th, 2018, the declaration was signed by Dominic Pattinson, Head of International Marine Policy, DEFRA, UK, during the Secretariat hand over ceremony.