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.

2017-07-19 04:06

The development of a consortium emerged as a priority recommendation from the November 2016 “Workshop to Advance the Science and Practice of Caribbean Coral Restoration.” The CRC is a community of practice that comprises scientists, managers, coral restoration practitioners, and educators dedicated to enabling coral reef ecosystems to adapt and survive the 21st century and beyond. The CRC’s mission is to foster collaboration and technology transfer among participants, and to facilitate scientific and practical ingenuity to demonstrate that restoration can achieve meaningful results at scales relevant to reefs in their roles of protecting coastlines, supporting fisheries, and serving as economic engines for coastal communities.

2017-06-26 02:48

A new Deloitte Access Economics report has calculated the total asset value of the Great Barrier Reef to be $56 billion, assessing the World Heritage site’s economic, social and iconic brand value together in one study for the first time.

In the report commissioned by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation with support from National Australia Bank and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Deloitte Access Economics analysed the Reef’s:

2017-06-24 14:22

The International Co-ordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) has added 20 new sites to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, bringing their total number to 651 sites, including 15 transboundary sites, in 120 countries. Myanmar had its first biosphere reserve inscribed this year. These additions were made by the Council during a meeting taking place in Paris from 8 to 12 June. One new site, in Indonesia, contains mangroves and coral reefs:

2017-06-23 15:24

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre released the first global scientific assessment of climate change impacts on World Heritage coral reefs. Soaring ocean temperatures in the past three years have subjected 21 of 29 World Heritage reefs to severe and/or repeated heat stress, and caused some of the worst bleaching ever observed at iconic sites like the Great Barrier Reef (Australia), Papahānaumokuākea (USA), the Lagoons of New Caledonia (France) and Aldabra Atoll (Seychelles). The analysis predicts that all 29 coral-containing World Heritage sites would cease to exist as functioning coral reef ecosystems by the end of this century under a business-as-usual emissions scenario.

2017-06-12 16:10

Using the opportunity provided by the Great Barrier Submit - Managing for resilience, Hosted by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in Townsville, Australia, UN Environment and the ICRI Secretariat organized a one day consultation on the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Networks (GCRMN). The meeting was very well attended by Australian organizations including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), the Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF), the Australian Coral Reef Society, the James Cook University, the Department of the Environment and Energy, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) also joined also the meeting.

2017-06-12 04:31

New York, 9 June—The 193 Member States of the United Nations unanimously agreed to a set of measures that will begin the reversal of the decline of the ocean’s health as the five-day Ocean Conference concluded this afternoon. The outcome document, together with more than 1,300 commitments to action, marks a breakthrough in the global approach to the management and conservation of the ocean.

The Ocean Conference, the first UN conference of its kind on the issue has raised global consciousness of ocean problems ranging from marine pollution to illegal and over fishing, from ocean acidification to lack of high seas governance. By including all stakeholders in the discussions, the Conference produced a comprehensive and actionable range of solutions.

2017-05-29 08:45

A blueprint to respond to coral bleaching and other recent impacts on the Great Barrier Reef was the focus of this week’s two-day Reef Summit in Townsville, Australia.

Hosted by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the summit — Managing for resilience— was the first of its kind for the Reef and involved more than 70 leading marine experts from around the world.

It was a response to unprecedented back-to-back coral bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef and aimed at determining what else could be done in addition to the already extensive actions being undertaken to protect the Reef.

2017-05-29 07:57

From April to September 2017, l’Aquarium de Paris presents a big exhibition on coral reefs. Its aim is to publicize the diversity and beauty of underwater. As well as initiatives intended to preserve this unique and important heritage for humanity. In this context, art and science find themselves at the crossroads of intelligence and sensitivities on an ambitious and unique artistic journey mixing installations, sculptures, street art and photographs.

2017-05-12 08:08

The Nature Foundation encourages the community of St.Maarten/St.Martin to use Coral Isles Reef Friendly sunscreen/suntan lotions, Coral Isles Sunscreen is specifically formulated not to have any negative impacts on coral reefs while at the same time protecting users from the sun.

Over the past 30 years, Sint Maarten has lost over 80% of its coral reefs—an alarming statistic that is made even more disturbing by the fact that this has become a trend throughout the Caribbean Region and Globally. Although climate change (global warming) has long been identified as a primary contributor to coral bleaching, scientists have also identified pollutants in our oceans causing significant damage to coral. Many of these man-made pollutants are common ingredients found in sunscreens.

2017-03-20 14:42

The Government of France convened a High-Level Meeting of Ministers from the Wider Caribbean Region in recognition of global commitments (Sustainable Development Goal 14 on Oceans, Sustainable Development Goal 6 on Water and Sanitation, Improving Oceans Management and Reducing Pollution as part of the UN Environment #CleanSeas Campaign). This meeting, the first of its kind to be held in association with the Conference of Contracting Parties, helped gain additional political support for ratification and implementation of the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols, and adopted the Cayenne Statement (below):

We, the representatives of the Governments of the wider Caribbean region,