ICRI News

In 2017-2020, a programme is proposed under ICRI to strengthen the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN). The process will implement standards developed under the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and GEOBON’s Working Group 5 on Oceans. These focus on selecting key variables, improving standards for measuring and aggregating them, and reporting them (making them available) to relevant end-users in management and policy circles.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has launched a data-based tool and a report that support the protection of coral reefs threatened by climate change, and prioritize reef management. Both were launched at the second session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-2), meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, from 23-27 May 2016.

The future of coral reefs is determined by choices made now. Adoption of the 2030 development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals provides an opportunity to change the course for coral reefs and dependent people. By providing a holistic and comprehensive programme that cuts across the three dimensions of sustainable development, and by committing all countries to delivering all the Goals, the barriers to sustainable coral reef management have been lowered. However, two thirds of coral reefs in the world are under immediate and direct threat from human activities, and all reefs are increasingly threatened by climate change.

In line with the International Coral Reef Initiative and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network guiding principles, the GCRMN in the Caribbean region has been growing as a renewed and dynamic network of coral reef experts sharing the goal of improving information on the status of coral reefs of the Caribbean. The GCRMN-Caribbean mission is to revitalize and strengthen coral reef monitoring to ensure the collection of useful, comparable and accessible data that can effectively reveal the status and trends of the coral reefs in the region, for regular, robust and strategic reporting to influence coastal management decision-making at the regional level.

Rising sea level, the increasing occurrence of extreme weather conditions, increasing air and water temperatures and acidification of the oceans will all have a major impact on coral formations and their marine ecosystems including a direct effect on the biology of the most sensitive species. They will also have an indirect impact on both individual structures and collective infrastructure located along the coast. Some structures risk deterioration and pollutants will increase in coral reefs and in their marine ecosystems).

The UN has published the First Global Integrated Marine Assessment, also known as the 'First World Ocean Assessment.' The assessment is expected to provide a scientific basis for consideration of ocean issues, including Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development).

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