2014-09-23 06:24

The Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has released two reports on "Ecologically or Biological Significant Areas (EBSAs): Special places in the world's oceans," which describe areas that meet EBSA criteria from the Western South Pacific and from the Wider Caribbean and Western Mid-Atlantic. The reports identify ocean areas "that are most crucial to the health functioning of the global marine ecosystem," with the aim of identifying areas in which to focus and prioritize marine conservation and management.

2014-09-13 03:42

On Sunday 14th September, five species of sharks and two manta ray species received protection under the United Nation’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) when formal measures to regulate their international trade come into effect.

The five sharks and two manta rays species include Scalloped Hammerhead Shark Sphyrna lewini, Great Hammerhead Shark Sphyrna mokarran, Smooth Hammerhead Shark Sphyrna zygaena, Oceanic Whitetip Shark Carcharinus longimanus, Porbeagle Shark Lamna nasus and manta rays Manta spp.

All the sharks except Porbeagle are caught for their fins, which are exported to East Asia, especially Hong Kong, where they are the key ingredient in sharks-fin soup, an expensive, but popular delicacy.

2014-09-09 05:41

The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) took place from 1-4 September 2014, in Apia, Samoa, on the theme of "The Sustainable Development of SIDS Through Genuine and Durable Partnerships." The Conference produced an outcome document, titled "SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway," which was negotiated during the preparatory process at UN Headquarters in New York, US, and adopted during the closing plenary.

2014-08-22 14:35

Tropical and small island developing States (SIDS) are most at risk from exposure and vulnerability to coastal hazards, according to ‘Coasts at Risk: An Assessment of Coastal Risks and the Role of Environmental Solutions.' The report uses an indicator-based approach to assess risks from exposure and vulnerability to coastal hazards and identifies where environmental degradation increases these risks. The report then considers how environmental solutions, such as conservation and restoration, can contribute to risk reduction and conservation goals.

2014-07-01 05:12

Most Caribbean coral reefs will disappear in 20 years if we don't restore the population of fish that eat seaweed, as Caribbean reefs are gradually getting smothered by algae. This is the message of the new report: Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012 released today as the result of a three-year joint effort of the International Coral Reef Initiative’s (ICRI) Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).

2014-06-29 09:52

Washington, 27 June 2014 — The Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the World Bank has contributed US$7.2 million to the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) to promote the conservation, protection, management and expansion of national protected area systems and other areas of biodiversity significance across the Eastern Caribbean region.

The marine and coastal resources of the Caribbean—its coral reefs, beaches, fisheries and mangroves—serve as an essential economic engine. However, unsustainable coastal development, climate change and overfishing, as well as land-based sources of sediment and pollution are negatively impacting the region’s marine and coastal ecosystems.

2014-06-12 04:34

Bonn, Germany, 11 June 2014 - Some of the world’s most endangered species, many of them migratory, are facing unprecedented threats from climate change, habitat destruction to overexploitation and pollution which has led to a number of new listing proposals for consideration at CMS COP 11 - a key international wildlife conference scheduled to take place 4-9 November 2014 in Quito, Ecuador.

2014-06-10 09:35

In celebration of the Coral Triangle today and for years to come, EcoAdapt and WWF present the Coral Triangle Climate Adaptation Marketplace. The Coral Triangle Climate Adaptation Marketplace is an online portal that aims to connect funding sources and climate adaptation projects in the Coral Triangle region.

"By linking projects to funds and funds to projects, the Marketplace contributes to the region by streamlining vital and often lacking information needed to develop climate change adaptation projects and create positive regional outcomes," said Dr. Lara Hansen, EcoAdapt Chief Scientist and Executive Director.

2014-06-03 02:54

The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Council Meeting approved a US$10 million grant for the ‘Integrated Transboundary Ridges-to-Reef Management of the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR2R)' project. The project aims to ensure the reef's ecological integrity by scaling up a ridge to reef management approach and enhancing regional collaboration for its management.

The Mesoamerican Reef, which is found along the Caribbean coasts of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, is the largest transboundary reef in the world and is a highly biodiverse coastal-marine ecosystem, according to the GEF. The region also contains 400 hydrological systems and watersheds.

2014-05-27 07:16

Fisheries ministers from member states of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) met at Fort Young Hotel, in Roseau, Dominica, on Friday, May 23, 2014, for the Eight Meeting of the CRFM Ministerial Council.

According to CRFM's Executive Director, Milton Haughton, the first sub-regional fisheries management plan (FMP) to facilitate co-operation in the conservation, management and sustainable use of the flying fish resources shared among countries in the Eastern Caribbean, recently endorsed by the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, was presented to the ministers for their review and endorsement.

2014-05-20 04:10

Representatives from 29 countries and 13 international organizations made a commitment to ensure the sustainability of marine resources in the Manado Communiqué, which was agreed upon at the World Coral Reef Conference 2014. The Communiqué, titled ‘The sustainable utilization and conservation of coral reefs, food security, and partnerships and initiatives,' confirms commitments to achieve the long-term conservation and sustainable management of coral reefs for food security, poverty eradication and climate change adaptation.

2014-05-19 06:05
HRH The Princess Royal presented a Whitley Gold Award, a prestigious international nature conservation prize, to Jean Wiener at a special ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in honour of his work to conserve Haiti’s coastal ecosystem and help secure the country’s first-ever Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Haiti’s most productive coastal and marine environments have been under continued threat of over-exploitation from over-fishing, marine pollution, and salt and charcoal production. With large numbers of the Island’s population engaged in subsistence livelihoods, relying on the coastline and surrounding waters for resources and employment, this exploitation threatens to continue unabated.

2014-04-29 05:40

23 April 2014: The Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) Policy and Technical Experts Committee (PTEC) is developing a guidance document to help countries value coastal ecosystems. ‘Guidelines for Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Accounting: Incorporating the Protective Service Values of Coral Reef and Mangroves in National Wealth Accounts,' a PTEC Project Brief, outlines the scope and process of developing such a guidance document.

2014-04-04 05:33

The coral reefs of Mesoamerica - Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico - are known for their striking beauty and colorful diversity, but are we doing enough to protect these natural underwater treasures? That is the focus of a just published study by the Healthy Reefs Initiative. Their 2014 Eco-Audit of the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) Countries is a systematic multinational evaluation involving four countries, over 50 organizations and more than 350 analytical documents - and is thought to be the only multi-national environmental audit of its kind globally. It was verified by PriceWaterhouseCoopers - Costa Rica.

2014-04-01 04:03

27 March 2014: Tioman Island, Malaysia, has adopted a "reef etiquette" philosophy following a six-year project financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The project expanded Malaysia's marine park system by 6,400 hectares and addressed illegal fishing and relationships between local communities and conservation authorities.

2014-03-12 05:55

With help from the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL), the Healthy Reefs Initiative, and Amatela, a Tela-based organization, the Honduran government has designated Tela Bay, which contains one of the Caribbean’s healthiest coral reefs, a federal Site of Wildlife Importance. Close to 800 elkhorn corals (Acropora palmata), listed as critically endangered on the IUCN’s Red List and threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, live in the Bay while the Capiro Banks reef has almost four times more live coral cover than most reefs in the region. When the area was first surveyed and described in 2011, the partnership also measured an uncommonly high density of the long-spined sea urchin, which has seriously declined throughout the Caribbean, on the reef.

2014-03-11 04:03

21 February 2014 - The World Bank has announced a US$47.38 million project loan focused on the rehabilitation of Indonesia's coral reefs. This financing is the last tranche of a three-phase program that began in 1998. The loan is supplemented by a US$10 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Indonesia has also pledged US$5.74 million for the 5-year project.

2014-02-26 16:15

24 February 2014: At the global launch of the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), to be celebrated throughout 2014, Ronald Jumeau, Ambassador of Climate Change and SIDS, Seychelles, who served as Master of Ceremonies, noted that the occasion marks the first time the UN has dedicated an International Year to a particular category of countries. The launch ceremony took place at UN Headquarters in New York, US, on 24 February 2014.

2014-02-26 15:44

The International Coral Reef Initiative is supporting fruitful collaboration between Mexico and Costa Rica to respond to the lionfish invasion, which is seriously impacting commercially important species such as lobsters in Cahuita and Manzanillo in the south of Costa Rica.

Dr Ricardo Gomez Lozano from the Mexican Commission on Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), co-chair of ICRI’s Regional Lionfish Committee, is working with Costa Rica this week, with funding provided by the ICRI Secretariat, to help develop a national plan of action to control the lionfish invasion.

2014-02-26 15:34

Indonesia on Friday instituted the world's biggest manta ray sanctuary covering millions of square kilometers as it seeks to protect the huge winged fish and draw more tourists to the sprawling archipelago.

New legislation gives full protection to the creatures across all the waters surrounding Southeast Asia's biggest country, which for years has been the world's largest ray and shark fishery.

2014-02-25 13:12

17 February 2014: The Secretariat of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) has announced that nine States in the Arab region signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks (Sharks MoU) concluded under CMS.

2014-02-11 07:05

Participants discussed how to achieve healthy oceans and seas, including through a "stand-alone" Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), at an event on 4 February 2014, in New York, US. ‘Healthy Oceans and Seas: A Way Forward' highlighted the role of healthy oceans and seas in the survival of people and the planet and discussed the role of technology in preventing and mitigating impacts from natural phenomena.

Addressing ocean-related challenges and protecting marine biodiversity will require "conservation, but also innovation, not least through the power of technology,” UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said in his opening remarks. He emphasized the UN's commitment to working with stakeholders “to achieve healthy oceans and sustainable development for all.”

2014-02-11 06:39

The University of Queensland is offering a free online course led by Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and delivered by world leaders in coastal ecology. The seven-week MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), starts April 28 and is designed for resource managers, students, professionals, divers and anyone with an interest in coastal ecology and marine conservation. To find out more watch the short video for the course or visit the registration page.

2014-01-29 06:50

On December 18, 2013, Colombia formally declared Acandi, Playon and Playona Wildlife Sanctuaries as its newest national park, adding 26,232 hectares to the country’s marine protected area system, and providing further protection for the world’s largest sea turtle, the leatherback turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, which is in danger of extinction. The new park will also help provide refuge for another turtle species, the hawksbill, Eretmochelys imbricate, which is also endangered.

2014-01-22 05:04

Gland, Switzerland, January 21, 2014 - A quarter of the world's sharks and rays are threatened with extinction according to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(tm), with ray species found to be at a higher risk than sharks. The findings are part of the first ever global analysis of these species carried out by the IUCN Shark Specialist Group (SSG).