Sometimes there is more to be said than can be accommodated by Twitter.. for that reason we wanted to publish the full quotes provided by those who have spoken out #ForCoral here:
Peter Thomson, UNSG’s Special Envoy for the Ocean
IPCC has informed us. We lose coral reefs at 2˚C global warming. Without coral reefs, how can we have a healthy Ocean? Without a healthy Ocean, how can we have a healthy planetary ecosystem? Human security requires us to get to net-zero carbon by 2050, stay below 1.5˚C warming, and to ensure everyone understands that anthropogenic Greenhouse gases are our common enemy.
Zac Goldsmith, The UK International Environment Minister
Protection of our ocean is a global challenge requiring global action. Coral reefs remain vital to this effort, as they support over a quarter of all life in the ocean, and are facing unprecedented threats.
The UK Government is leading the way with our ‘Blue Belt’ of protected waters, and as guardians of both cold and warm water coral reefs, The UK will continue to champion efforts to support our most vulnerable ecosystems, including through the CBD Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
Helen Ågren, Ambassador for the Ocean at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Coral reefs are some of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on this planet but also very vulnerable to the effects of climate change. We have already lost 50 percent of the coral reefs globally. To save what is left we [must halt climate change] and protect these beautiful and life supporting ecosystems. The world will be a lot poorer without them.
Thierry Santa, President of the Government of New Caledonia
Coral reefs are an invaluable heritage to pass on to future generations. As breeding, feeding and resting locations for numerous marine species, they play a fundamental role for ecosystems and represent an invaluable potential in terms of valorization. The Government of New Caledonia is fully conscious of its responsibility towards 30% of the planet’s remaining pristine reefs, still unaffected by human activity. The Natural Park of the Coral Sea was created in 2014 and the 28 000 km2 of reefs and associated lagoons were placed under a high level of protection in 2018.
Héritage inestimable à transmettre aux générations futures, les récifs coralliens sont de véritables hotspots de biodiversité. Lieu de refuge, de nourrissage et de reproduction pour de nombreuses espèces marines, ils jouent un rôle fondamental pour les écosystèmes, et recèlent un potentiel de valorisation inestimable. Le gouvernement de la Nouvelle-Calédonie a pleinement conscience [ du caractère exceptionnel de ces milieux particulièrement vulnérables, et ] de sa responsabilité à l’égard des 30% des derniers récifs sauvages de la planète, encore préservés de tout impact humain. Le parc naturel de la mer de Corail a été créé en 2014. et les 28 000 km2 de récifs et lagons associés ont déjà été placés sous haute protection en 2018.
Umiich Sengebau, Minister of Nature Resources, Environment and Tourism
As a country that literally lives and breathes by virtue of our coral reefs, we understand the need to prioritize and safeguard this fragile ecosystem. It is not enough to just have indicators. Unless they’re being used as part of the strategy to change and implement policies, it’s just paper and coral reefs could slip further into the abyss.
Alain de Comarmond, Principal Secretary, Environment Department, Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Republic of Seychelles
The Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 confirms that coral reefs have ‘shown the most rapid increase in extinction of all assessed groups’ due to climate change and other human pressures. This underlines the urgency to prioritise coral reefs in the new Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
Abdulla Naseer, PhD, Minister of State of Environment, Maldives
Maldives can be categorized as a biodiversity-dependent nation. We need to focus on coral reef conservation and management for the sustenance of agriculture, fisheries and tourism industries in the Maldives. Our solutions and Our future depend on coral reefs.
David Obura, CORDIO East Africa
Sustainable use of coral reef resources is a cornerstone for the wellbeing and prosperity of millions of people from tropical countries and SIDS. Healthy reefs provide myriad services that feed, shelter, educate, transport, clothe and keep people healthy, and reef lore inspires the cultures and traditions of coastal communities that depend on them. ICRI’s call to the CBD Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is to save and nurture this wealth, and recognise the flagship role coral reefs have in inspiring and measuring, our sustainable future.
HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco
Please draw your attention to the worrying status of the coral reefs, which must be the subject of special treatment, given their urgent situation.
The Recommendation put forward by the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), which Monaco co-chairs recognizes their importance in the context of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Join me in supporting coral reefs.
Torii Toshio, Director-General, Nature Conservation Bureau, Ministry of the Environment, Japan
Coral reefs ecosystems are rich in biodiversity. They bring about nature’s contributions to people, including a great deal of blessings. Unfortunately, the Aichi Biodiversity Target related to coral reef conservation has not been achieved, and the IPBES Global Assessment Report points out their degradation. We must support the conservation of coral reef ecosystems under the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
Zaha Waheed, Minister of Fisheries, Marine Resources, and Agriculture, Maldives
Coral reefs are widely known to be an essential pillar of our existence; one of the very reasons contributing to the prestige Maldives enjoys internationally. However, an increase in the frequency and the magnitude of climate change associated impacts, such as mass bleaching, and ocean acidification, threatens this same system which is also the backbone of our economy. It is crucial to come together to find global solutions to save the interconnected coral reefs, of the Maldives and the world.
Wiliame Katonivere, Traditional Head, Tui Macuata, Fiji
Every Fijian is brought up by the ocean. The first thing they see is the ocean and the reefs around them. In my traditional area, the Great Sea Reef is not only our life, it’s a sanctuary for us. Environmental impacts on reef ecosystems are big challenges for us that must be overcome. My vision for the next 10 years is for people to not have to go far to find fish; to have enough food and fish to eat.
Kosi Latu, Director-General, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
The urgent need to prioritize coral reefs could not be more in line with our vision of a ‘resilient Pacific environment, sustaining our livelihoods and natural heritage in harmony with our cultures.’ Our island nations depend on coral reefs and their survival is imperative and foundational to all we hold dear.
Vilive Vuinasova, District Representative for Tavulomo Village, Dama District, Bua Province in Vanua Levu, Fiji
Living by the sea, for generations our people are dependent on coral reefs for food and livelihood. The fish we catch from the reefs are source of daily protein for more than 30 households here. The income we derive from fish sales is used to provide for our needs and secure our children’s future.
Dona Bertarelli, UNCTAD Special Adviser for the Blue Economy, Co-chair Bertarelli Foundation
The value of healthy coral reefs lies in their incredible biodiversity, which supports tourism, medical research and provides food security for coastal communities who depend on the fish living around the reefs. Coral reefs are a global asset, but they are under threat. Join me in supporting their protection.
Hon Josaia V. Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji
The world’s coral reefs are being killed off at an astonishing rate. Even if global temperature rise is capped at our more-ambitious 1.5-degree target, 70 to 90 per cent of the world’s reef-building coral will be wiped out. Should the world get even warmer, we risk mass extinction events from which our planet will never recover. It is not only reef-dense countries like Fiji that will suffer the consequences; without reefs, life in our oceans will be knocked out of balance and we’ll lose a critical buffer in protecting ourselves from the devastating impacts of the global climate crisis. To help us avoid this coral catastrophe, we must harness the best available science and research to target those critical reefs with the best prospects and strongest capacity to regenerate.
Kate Brown, Executive Director, Global Island Partnership
In our region (the Pacific) our reefs are part of our heritage and are important for our future – 70% of the protein in diets of Pacific Islanders come from reef-associated fisheries. Our island efforts are not enough on their own. We need policy within the new Global Biodiversity Framework that supports strong and concerted action.
Dr Ian Poiner, Chairperson, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
The future of coral reefs, including Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, will ultimately depend on the success of global efforts to reduce the extent of climate change. Local actions to build resilience and address other key threats such as poor water quality and coastal development must be combined with concerted global action on climate change. Australia will continue to advocate for the conservation of these critical ecosystems through ICRI and within the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner (2019-2024), Environment, Oceans and Fisheries
Coral reefs and associated ecosystems are vital for marine biodiversity, they play a crucial role in protecting coastal areas and are critical for the health and wellbeing of many species. Saving coral reefs is also about saving us and future generations.
Rindah Melsen, President of the Nusatuva Women’s Savings Club, a WWF initiative in the Solomon Islands
We women are usually the primary users of marine resources. We clean, cook and even sell whatever the family produces or catches in the market to bring in money, whether they be fish, seaweed, or shells. This is why I have encouraged and led women and girls in my community to venture into other livelihood options, as a way to help reduce fishing pressure on our reefs.
Collins Katana, Net Fisherman, Kanamai Beach, Kenya
Coral reefs are fish habitat thus increases the fish stock if these corals are in good condition. This is very important for fisher communities like us. Corals also provide algae which is food for the fish. ‘More algae and seagrass in the area, more fish. Corals are also the best indicator for any changes in the sea including pollution.
Dr Satyendra Prasad, Fiji’s Permanent Representative, Ambassador to the United Nations and Chair of the Pacific Small Islands Developing States (PSIDS)
The genetic resources to fight future pandemics may come from the vast biodiversity of the Pacific reefs. If these corals and the reefs die; with them will die some elements of the resources needed to save life of planet earth.