On the opening day of the Our Ocean conference today, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco was joined by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, and by the Heads of State and Government, Ministers and High Level representatives of 12 countries signatory to the CORAL REEF LIFE DECLARATION,[i] a joint statement facilitated by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.

The development of a consortium emerged as a priority recommendation from the November 2016 “Workshop to Advance the Science and Practice of Caribbean Coral Restoration.” The CRC is a community of practice that comprises scientists, managers, coral restoration practitioners, and educators dedicated to enabling coral reef ecosystems to adapt and survive the 21st century and beyond. The CRC’s mission is to foster collaboration and technology transfer among participants, and to facilitate scientific and practical ingenuity to demonstrate that restoration can achieve meaningful results at scales relevant to reefs in their roles of protecting coastlines, supporting fisheries, and serving as economic engines for coastal communities.

A new Deloitte Access Economics report has calculated the total asset value of the Great Barrier Reef to be $56 billion, assessing the World Heritage site’s economic, social and iconic brand value together in one study for the first time.

In the report commissioned by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation with support from National Australia Bank and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Deloitte Access Economics analysed the Reef’s:

The International Co-ordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) has added 20 new sites to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, bringing their total number to 651 sites, including 15 transboundary sites, in 120 countries. Myanmar had its first biosphere reserve inscribed this year. These additions were made by the Council during a meeting taking place in Paris from 8 to 12 June. One new site, in Indonesia, contains mangroves and coral reefs:

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre released the first global scientific assessment of climate change impacts on World Heritage coral reefs. Soaring ocean temperatures in the past three years have subjected 21 of 29 World Heritage reefs to severe and/or repeated heat stress, and caused some of the worst bleaching ever observed at iconic sites like the Great Barrier Reef (Australia), Papahānaumokuākea (USA), the Lagoons of New Caledonia (France) and Aldabra Atoll (Seychelles). The analysis predicts that all 29 coral-containing World Heritage sites would cease to exist as functioning coral reef ecosystems by the end of this century under a business-as-usual emissions scenario.

Using the opportunity provided by the Great Barrier Submit - Managing for resilience, Hosted by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in Townsville, Australia, UN Environment and the ICRI Secretariat organized a one day consultation on the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Networks (GCRMN). The meeting was very well attended by Australian organizations including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), the Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF), the Australian Coral Reef Society, the James Cook University, the Department of the Environment and Energy, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) also joined also the meeting.

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