ICRI News

TUI Care Foundation and Reef-World empower local Youth Ambassadors to protect coral reefs in the Dominican Republic

The TUI Care Foundation and The Reef-World Foundation are launching an initiative to help protect coral reefs in the Dominican Republic. The partnership will encourage environmental stewardship by bringing together key members of the community to focus on the protection of these sensitive and fundamental ecosystems. Over 300 people from a variety of local reef-based businesses will receive specialised training on how to work more sustainably. More than 65,000 tourists will receive information on coral reef protection and over 2,000 members of the community will also learn about reef protection through the environmental activities of Youth Ambassadors.

The Global Reef Expedition: Kingdom of Tonga – Scientists publish latest findings from the largest coral reef expedition in history

The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation has published their findings from extensive coral reef surveys conducted in the Kingdom of Tonga. Released today, the Global Reef Expedition: Kingdom of Tonga Final Report contains critical information on the health and resiliency of coral reef ecosystems in Tonga, and provides scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders with invaluable information they can use to protect these fragile marine ecosystems.

Fishermen sign up to first reef fishing code of conduct in the Maldives

Sea level rise caused by climate change is the biggest threat to the future of the Maldives. For these small islands, scattered in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the primary defense against sea level rise is the coral reefs that surround them. These diverse ecosystems protect the islands from wave action and storm surges. Yet thanks to human interference, the same reefs that might be able to protect the Maldives are under threat themselves.

“Community conservation means more fish in the sea” new research from Blue Ventures

New research published in the journal Ocean and Coastal Management, analysed data collected from five community-managed reserves (areas permanently protected from fishing) within the Velondriake Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) in southwest Madagascar. 

The reserves were studied over seven years by marine scientists and volunteers from Blue Ventures, and compared with five nearby fished ‘control’ sites. The study aimed to understand whether these reserves could have a positive effect on fish populations on local coral reefs. 

A technical guide to mangrove restoration

The French Tropical Wetlands Network has produced a technical guide on mangrove restoration. The report provides a summary of key elements that should be considered in any mangrove restoration project, based on a review of available literature and practices around the world.

“Mangroves are currently threatened by a host of anthropogenic pressures, including pollution, land take, infilling, aquaculture and urbanisation. A significant proportion of the world’s mangroves have already been lost, including within the French Overseas Territories in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific regions.” said Gaelle Vandersarren, who coordinates the network from Guadeloupe. 

Increasing finance for a healthy ocean

 The Ocean Finance Handbook is a guide to support an increase in finance flowing towards the sustainable blue economy, published recently by Friends of Ocean Action. The Handbook provides a key resource to enhance understanding of finance for a healthy ocean and generate conversations between financial institutions and marine-based businesses, conservation professionals and ocean project managers.

Virtual Ocean Dialogues

A global online conference for ocean action, the Virtual Ocean Dialogues, has been announced to take place on 1-5 June 2020. The Virtual Ocean Dialogues will connect communities across the world that are seeking innovation and taking bold action for a healthy, resilient, thriving ocean.

Katerina Katopis

Seychelles hits 30% marine protection target after pioneering debt restructuring deal

Close to a third of Seychelles’ ocean, an area larger than Germany, will be guarded from climate change and unregulated economic exploitation with new Marine Protection Areas to be announced.

Danny Faure, President of the Republic of Seychelles, confirmed final details of the 13 new Marine Protection Areas covering more than 410,000 sq km (158,000 sq miles). This significant milestone delivers on the world’s first debt refinancing for ocean conservation co-designed by The Nature Conservancy and the Government of Seychelles.

Call for Proposals Blue Carbon Project Development

The Blue Natural Capital Financing Facility (BNCFF) supports the development of sound, investable projects that support coastal habitats and have clear ecosystem service benefits. BNCFF aims, in particular, at demonstrating the feasibility of tapping into the wealth of coastal ecosystems – ‘blue natural capital’ – to create appropriate risk-return profiles for funding providers and to protect and enhance the underlying habitat at the same time.

Celebrate your love for the ocean, virtually

Schools, events and activities in so much of the world have come to a standstill in the wake of COVID-19, with little or no movement recommended. But that does not mean we cannot still enjoy the world and mysteries that abound below and above its surface.

The Ocean Agency, a partner of the United Nations Environment Programme, is inviting parents and their little ones to experience the ocean and its astounding life forms from the comfort of their homes through a little armchair travel.

Fishermen sign up to first reef fishing code of conduct in the Maldives

Sea level rise caused by climate change is the biggest threat to the future of the Maldives. For these small islands, scattered in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the primary defense against sea level rise is the coral reefs that surround them. These diverse ecosystems protect the islands from wave action and storm surges. Yet thanks to human interference, the same reefs that might be able to protect the Maldives are under threat themselves.

The devastating effects of a Crown of Thorns Starfish outbreak

While conducting coral reef surveys in the Cook Islands, scientists were shocked to see the ongoing devastating effects of a Crown-of-Thorns-Starfish (COTS) outbreak. On the reefs surrounding the island of Aitutaki, over 80 percent of the live coral community was decimated by these corallivores. But what exactly are COTS?

Reef Resilience Network Toolkit

What is resilience-based management (RBM) and how can you apply RBM principles to your work? Find answers to these questions and more on the Reef Resilience Network Toolkit. 

These new webpages demystify RBM providing an overview of RBM and how if differs from other kinds of management; reasons for conducting RBM; recommendations for how to conduct it; and examples of RBM in practice, as well as other integrated management approaches. 

These webpages include:

CBF and Blue Finance partner to build Public Private Partnerships for Marine Conservation

Under the backdrop of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Conference on Private Finance for Sustainable Development in January, the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) and Blue Finance (BF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to incentivize the adoption of new models for the management of marine protected areas and development of financial mechanism for conservation.

Caribbean’s largest barrier coral reef system faces new threats, but also tests new solutions

The Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative (HRI) today released its 2020 Mesoamerican Reef Health Report Card. For the first time in 12 years of tracking the health of the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, the overall condition of this vital ecosystem has deteriorated. The Reef Health Index (RHI), which synthesizes ecological data into a “Dow Jones” style index, decreased from 2.8 in 2016 to 2.5 in 2018. Despite the recent decline, reef health still shows improvement compared to 2006 when the HRI monitoring efforts began.

The Global Reef Expedition: Cook Islands Final Report- An assessment of coral reef health and resiliency in the Cook Islands

The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (KSLOF) has published their latest findings from the Global Reef Expedition—the largest coral reef survey and mapping expedition in history. Released today, the Global Reef Expedition: Cook Islands Final Report contains critical information on the health and resiliency of coral reef ecosystems in the Cook Islands. It provides scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders with invaluable information they can use to protect and restore these fragile marine ecosystems.

UNEP launches Glowing Glowing Gone campaign on loss of coral due to climate change

This World Wildlife Day, the Wild for Life campaign is excited to partner with The Ocean Agency, an organization that utilizes the power of creative collaboration to accelerate ocean conservation and climate action. To foster change, the Ocean Agency raises awareness of the ocean’s most pressing issue and inspires optimism by creating innovative solutions to these issues.

Co-Facilitators Announce Themes for 2020 UN Ocean Conference

The co-facilitators of the UN Ocean Conference preparatory process announced agreement on the themes for the 2020 Conference. They also announced the dates and times for the first round of informal consultations on the Conference declaration. 

In their letter, co-facilitators Ngedikes Olai Uludong, Permanent Representative of Palau, and Martin Bille Hermann, Permanent Representative of Denmark, informed Member States that the silence procedure on changes to the theme of the third interactive dialogue was not broken, and they therefore have recommended eight themes to the UN General Assembly President.

The themes are:

$31 million ‘Ridge to the Reef’ project to protect Seychelles’ ecosystems from mountain to coast

A first-of-its-kind project in Seychelles will show an integrated approach to the management of marine, coastal and terrestrial ecosystems of the island nation, stretching from mountaintop to coastline. 

The $31 million project, from Ridge to Reef, will be implemented over six years. It is co-financed by Seychelles’ government, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and civil societies. 

The official signing of the project document was held Wednesday at the Foreign Affairs headquarters between the UNDP Resident Representative Amanda Serumaga and Alain Decomarmond, the Principal Secretary for Environment from the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.

Preliminary assessment of Hurricane Dorian’s impact on coral reefs of Abaco and Grand Bahama

Hurricane Dorian was the most devastating storm in the modern history of the Bahamas. Based on prior research, as well as assessments of the coral reefs in the affected islands, the Perry Institute for Marine Science is now able to provide a complete report on just how significant the storm was on the state of those reefs.

In the attached report, those findings are shared, as well as recommendations for the recovery of the affected marine systems. While the impact of the storm will be felt on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama for many years to come, there is hope for recovery.

Original source Perry Institute for Marine Sciences website

 

Coral Reef Conservation Fund 2020 request for proposals

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced the release of the 2020 Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Coral Reef Conservation Fund:
https://www.nfwf.org/programs/coral-reefs

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of NFWF’s partnership with NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program to conserve coral reef ecosystems. In 2020, the program will award up to $1.5 million in grant funding to reduce land-based sources of pollution, advance coral reef fisheries management, support recovery and resiliency of U.S. coral reef systems, and improve watershed management planning.

Schools part of the solution to managing French Polynesia’s vast marine protected areas

Since 1971, French Polynesia, according to its local jurisdiction, has been setting up marine protected areas. Some are internationally recognized and awarded by UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere program (Fakarava atolls) and by the RAMSAR convention on the international importance of wetlands (Moorea lagoon).

The task at hand

The management of these areas involves ecological, cultural and socio-economical territory issues. This is understandable, considering some of the challenges:

Remengesau Foundation donates $20K to Palau’s coral reef research

On January 16, 2020, The Remengesau Foundation Vice President Debbie M. Remengesau and her youngest daughter, Mayumi Remengesau, presented a donation of $20,000 to Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) on the occasion of the Center’s 19th Anniversary Fundraising Gala Dinner. This is the biggest donation to date made by the Remengesau2 Foundation.

‘Treasure trove’ of new discoveries highlights gaps in coral knowledge

Scientists discovered dozens of new coral species on a recent voyage along the length of the Great Barrier Reef. A team of scientists completed a 21-day trip from the Capricorn Bunkers off Gladstone to Thursday Island in the Torres Strait late last year.

“On almost every dive we were finding species that aren’t in the books,” said Professor Andrew Baird from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University (Coral CoE at JCU).

Scientists from Queensland Museum (QM), University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia were also part of the expedition.

Ocean innovation challenge

The Ocean Innovation Challenge (OIC) is a unique new mechanism that has been designed to accelerate progress on SDG14 by the identifying, financing, advising and mentoring of truly innovative, entrepreneurial and creative approaches to ocean and coastal restoration and protection that sustains livelihoods and advances the ‘blue economy’. The OIC seeks innovations that are transferable, replicable and scalable in order to achieve maximum catalytic impact. The first call for applications opens on 8 January 2020.

The goal of OIC is to accelerate progress on SDG14 by catalysing replicable and scalable innovations – including technical, policy, economic and financial – that can be sustained and contribute directly to delivery of one or more SDG14 targets.