2012-06-07 03:28

The list of nominees for this year's Future Policy Award is complete: 31 outstanding policies from 22 countries and regions are in the running for the best policy worldwide to protect oceans and coasts. The Future Policy Award celebrates policies that create better living conditions for current and future generations. It is granted by the World Future Council, an international policy research organisation that provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. Each year the World Future Council chooses one topic on which policy progress is particularly urgent. In 2012, the award is dedicated to exemplary coastal and ocean policies.

2012-06-04 04:11

31 May 2012 - The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Tamil Nadu have reported on results of the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve Trust (GOMBRT), which receives financial support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The Trust was established promote sustainable development in the region. The Reserve’s biodiversity is increasingly under threat from commercial exploitation, overfishing, illegal mining of reef, changes in the environment and population growth.

Conservation efforts to date have helped coral reef - which lost nearly 25 square kilometers between 1988 and 1998 - recover to close to 50%, stop illegal mining and support local people to look beyond traditional coastal and marine-based livelihoods.

2012-06-04 04:25

23 May 2012 - The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has reported that Saint Kitts and Nevis has become the first English Caribbean country to launch its Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme. The MAB Programme is dedicated to the sustainable development and management of an area of significant biodiversity and cultural conservation, sustainable development capacity building and information sharing.

The Programme includes a learning and research laboratory, as it will facilitate the engagement of humans and the natural environment. Saint Kitts and Nevis' MAB programme is focused on St. Mary’s, a biologically important area comprising cloud forests, mangroves and coral reefs.

2012-06-02 09:23

ScienceDaily (May 24, 2012) — Researchers reporting online on May 24 in the Cell Press journal Current Biology present the first evidence that areas closed to all fishing are helping to sustain valuable Australian fisheries. The international team of scientists applied a forensic DNA profiling approach to track the dispersal pathways of fish larvae throughout a network of marine reserves on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

2012-05-23 16:32

Celebrated on 22 May 2012, the theme for this year's International Day for Biological Diversity was marine biodiversity. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon marked the day by highlighting the fragile state of the world's oceans, and urging greater protection for marine biodiversity.

2012-05-09 08:38

The sixteenth session of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) convened from 30 April - 5 May 2012 in Montreal, Canada, directly prior to the fourth meeting of the Ad hoc Working Group on the Review of Implementation of the Convention (WGRI). More than 400 representatives from governments, intergovernmental and non- governmental organizations, indigenous and local communities, business and academia attended the meeting.

2012-05-06 03:29

The World Bank published a brief titled "Helping to Better Manage the World's Oceans," which presents the sectoral results for sustainable ocean ecosystem management and the Bank's role in the creation of the Global Partnership for Oceans.

2012-05-03 05:09

France has designated its 41st Wetland of International Importance, called “Zones humides et marines de Saint-Martin” (2,997 hectares, 18°05’N 063°05’W), a Protected Biotope and Nature Reserve on the Caribbean island of Saint-Martin, shared by France and the Netherlands (as Sint-Maarten). The site, as summarized from the Ramsar Information Sheet by Ramsar’s Kati Wenzel, comprises shallow marine waters, sea grass beds, coral reefs, mangroves, lagoons and a network of 14 ponds dispersed throughout the French side of the island.

The ponds are influenced by the sea and serve as feeding, breedig and wintering areas for as many as 85 bird species, many of them threatened and some endemic.

2012-05-01 12:23

The ICRI Secretariat has worked with its Regional Lionfish Committee (one of ICRI's so called 'Ad Hoc Committees) and the ICRI East Asia Initiative to submit two posters and abstracts to the Secretariat of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) for release at the 16th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-16) being held in Montreal, Canada on 30 April - 5 May 2012.

2012-04-04 11:38

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has published technical guidelines on the use of MPAs - particularly no-take zones - in the context of fisheries. The 198-page publication is divided into two sections. The first provides background on fisheries management, the ecosystem approach to fisheries, and MPAs as a tool for fisheries management. The second section considers the planning and implementation of MPAs. The guidelines were drafted based on findings from an FAO expert workshop in 2006 as well as subsequent reviews.

2012-03-23 04:09

Geneva, 21 March 2012 – The 26th meeting of the Animals Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) today moves from Geneva, to continue in Dublin, Ireland, where the committee will convene jointly with the CITES Plants Committee. During the sessions in Geneva, important recommendations were formulated, aimed at ensuring that trade in CITES-listed species of animals is sustainable and based on sound scientific management. The five-days in Geneva focused heavily on aquatic species.

Over 150 experts met in Geneva from 15 to 20 March. They recommended cautious export quotas for a variety of species and countries, including seahorses from Southeast Asia, giant clams from the Pacific and sturgeons from the Caspian Sea.

2012-03-23 03:59

Over 30 representatives from 16 pacific countries and territories have had their national and regional capacities strengthened to manage wildlife and regulate international trade in corals and many other species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

2012-03-20 05:19

The International Tropical Marine Ecosystem Management Symposium (ITMEMS) is a flagship activity of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI). Convened previously in Australia (1998), the Philippines (2003) and Mexico (2006), ITMEMS aims to strengthen the capacities of coastal and marine managers to conserve and promote the sustainable use of coral reefs and related ecosystems. The Government of France generously hosted the 4th ITMEMS (ITMEMS4) on behalf of the ICRI Secretariat, in Guadeloupe from 5-­‐8th December 2011.

2012-03-13 13:16

The need for ICRI to better utilise social media has been discussed at recent ICRI General Meetings. This is consistent with the current Secretariat's hosting objective: "to explore new social media technologies for promoting the ICRI message." We have been working hard in the last couple of months to make this happen, and we are happy to announce that ICRI now has a Facebook page (social networking site) as well as its existing Twitter page (microblogging site).

Please check them out and either 'Like' (Facebook) or 'Follow' (Twitter) us!

2012-02-24 09:42

Singapore, February 24, 2012— A powerful coalition of governments, international organizations, civil society groups and private interests are joining together under the banner of a Global Partnership for Oceans to confront widely documented problems of over-fishing, marine degradation, and habitat loss.

2012-02-24 05:26

Gland, Switzerland, 23 February, 2012 (IUCN) —Twelve percent of marine species surveyed in the Gulf of California, the coasts of Panama and Costa Rica and the five offshore oceanic islands and archipelagos in the tropical eastern Pacific are threatened with extinction, according to a study by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and its partners. Main threats to the region’s marine flora and fauna include over-fishing, habitat loss and increasing impacts from the El Nino Southern Oscillation.

2012-02-15 01:46

The first-ever Eco-Audit of the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) countries finds that despite some positive management efforts, more needs to be done to protect the region’s coral reefs. The evaluation, entitled “2011 Eco-Audit of the Mesoamerican Reef Countries,” was carried out by the Healthy Reefs Initiative (HRI), in collaboration with the World Resources Institute (WRI), and nearly 40 local organizations, government agencies and companies. The results are being launched simultaneously in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

2012-02-10 05:49

The Governments of Australia and Belize, as co-hosts of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) Secretariat, are pleased to announce that the first General Meeting under their stewardship will be held in Cairns, Australia on 16-19 July 2012. More information will be posted soon.

2012-01-28 13:12

A panel on Oceans held at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, was moderated by John Micklethwait, Editor-in-Chief of The Economist, addressed pressing challenges facing oceans in light of more than 1.5 billion people counting on fish for their daily protein source.

2012-01-28 13:06

The government of France has designated its two latest Wetlands of International Importance, bringing that Party’s total Ramsar Sites to 38, covering 3,289,306 hectares. As summarized from the Ramsar Information Sheets by Ramsar’s Kati Wenzel, La Vasière des Badamiers (Île de Mayotte – océan indien) (115 hectares, 12°47’S 045°16’E), on the Indian Ocean island of Mayotte, consists of a mud flat area partially covered by mangroves. Sea grass beds and different species of algae play a key role in maintaining the ecological character of this highly productive and diverse ecosystem, which is used as a refuge as well as a breeding, feeding and wintering site by many bird species, especially waders, but also by fish and turtles such as the Green Sea Turtle.

2012-01-27 04:37

An inter-agency report, titled "Green Economy in a Blue World," concludes that the ecological health and economic productivity of marine and coastal ecosystems can be enhanced from well-managed marine sectors. The synthesis report analyzes how key sectors that are interlinked with the marine and coastal environment can make the transition towards a green economy and identifies recommendations across six marine-based economic sectors.

2012-01-25 15:16

Tobago's coral reefs have been threatened significantly by numerous factors both anthropogenic and natural. The reefs in Speyside, however, showed little susceptibility to the natural environmental threats that have persisted over the years, namely, bleaching, eutrophication and sedimentation. It was for this reason that it was described as versatile and resilient by the Buccoo Reef Trust and consequently became the target for a properly managed and protected, marine park.

2012-01-20 04:14

The Rio+20 Secretariat has released the zero draft of the outcome document for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), to be held in Rio de Janeiro on 20-22 June, 2012. In the section on [Oceans and Seas, SIDS], the following paragraph is referring to ICRI and coral reefs:

2012-01-10 09:39

Rare, in partnership with National Geographic, announced the grand-prize winner and runners-up of "Solution Search: Turning the Tide for Coastal Fisheries." Through online voting at www.solutionsearch.org, the public voted for their top three solutions. The Wildlife Conservation Society won the grand prize with its solution, "Bycatch Escape Gaps for Fish Traps" in Curaçao and Kenya. It received a U.S. $20,000 prize to support its conservation and resource management initiative. The two runners-up, Off the Hook Community Supported Fishery and the Misool Baseftin Foundation, each received prizes of U.S. $5,000 for their respective solutions, "Fresh. Fair. Fish." in Canada and "Defending the Heart of Marine Biodiversity: Community Stewardship of Raja Ampat's Reefs" in Raja Ampat.

2012-01-06 10:43

The Coral Triangle Atlas (CT Atlas) is an online GIS database, providing governments, NGOs and researchers with a view of spatial data at the regional scale of Coral Triangle region.