ICRI News

2012-11-23 13:00

The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with NOAA, and with support from IUCN and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, will offer a workshop for coral reef managers from the following countries: Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, India, Seychelles, Mauritius, Egypt, Sudan, Eretria, Djibouti and the islands of Madagascar. The workshop "Responding to Climate Change and Reef Resilience Workshop" will be held in Zanzibar, Tanzania in early June 2013 (dates TBD).

2012-11-14 03:12

The Primeiras and Segundas have been approved as a marine protected area in Mozambique making this diverse ten-island archipelago Africa’s largest coastal marine reserve.

Comprising ten islands off the coast of northern Mozambique, and featuring abundant coral and marine turtle species, the protected area will cover more than 1,040,926 hectares. WWF has worked for eight years to secure this important marine reserve, which has been threatened by overfishing and unauthorised tourism.

“This is a great response to the appeal by local communities to help them protect their resources,” said Florêncio Marerua, WWF Mozambique´s Country Director.

2012-11-11 12:00

On October 26, 2012, NOAA Coral Reef Watch (CRW) released on its website an experimental daily Light Stress Damage product for the greater Caribbean region: http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/research/lsd_index.html.

2012-11-01 14:23

18 October 2012: The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Government of Mexico announced joint implementation of a project aiming to improve the capacity of Caribbean countries to value and measure ecosystem services of coral reefs and to strengthen coastal zone management systems.

2012-10-31 05:11

This report is based on the information collected by hard working scientists, managers, conservation organisations and non-governmental organisations working tirelessly across the Pacific. It shows that the coral reefs of the Pacific are in better condition than those in other reef regions in the world, and remain the less stressed compared to reefs elsewhere. This is encouraging considering that recent global reports paint a gloomy picture of the status (and likely future prospects) of large areas of the world’s coral reefs.

2012-10-10 05:01

The 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) opened on 8 October 2012, in Hyderabad, India, directly following the sixth Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. The two-week meeting will address a series of cross-cutting and ecosystem-related issues, as well as financial, administrative and implementation-related topics.

2012-10-05 16:09

This guide provides best practices for lionfish control and management, including control strategies, outreach and education, research, monitoring, legal considerations, and ideas for securing resources and partnerships. By following these best practices, resource managers can reduce the local impacts of invasive lionfish in marine protected areas and other places of ecological and economic importance.

This project would not have been possible without the support of NOAA, REEF, ICRI, United Nations Environment Programme, Caribbean Environment Programme, SPAW-RAC, and the over 40 participants of the 2010 Caribbean Regional Lionfish Workshop.

2012-10-03 11:39

New York, 26 September 2012. The Republic of Palau has been announced as the winner of the Future Policy Award 2012. Palau received the Award in recognition of two outstanding marine policies, Palau’s Protected Areas Network Act, initiated in 2003, and its Shark Haven Act from 2009. The two Silver Awards were bestowed on the Philippines for the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Act (2010) and on Namibia for its Marine Resources Act (2000). According to the international jury the three winning policies contribute most effectively to the sustainable management of the world’s oceans and coasts for the benefit of current and future generations. The winners were announced during a press conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 26 September 2012.

2012-09-20 15:02

The Cook Islands and New Caledonia have announced the establishment of new marine parks. The Cook Islands Marine Park encompasses approximately 1.1 million square kilometers (km2) of the southern Cook Islands’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), making it the largest single-country marine park. The Government of New Caledonia committed to establishing a Marine Protected Area (MPA) covering 1.4 million km2.

The Cook Islands' Marine Park was designed and established in partnership with Conversation International, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the University of California Santa Barbara (US).

2012-09-07 20:21

Jeju Island, Republic of Korea, 7 September 2012 (IUCN/International news release) – Time is running out for corals on Caribbean reefs. Urgent measures must be taken to limit pollution and regulate aggressive fishing practices that threaten the existence of Caribbean coral reef ecosystems, according to a new IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) report.

2012-08-30 06:43

The government of France has designated its 42nd Wetland of International Importance, an exceptionally interesting low-lying island in the Mozambique Channel, with a central lagoon enclosed by mangroves, and surrounding waters. In a summary prepared by Ramsar’s Assistant Advisor for Europe, Ms Kati Wenzel, based on the accompanying RIS, Île d’Europa (Terres Australes et Antarctiques françaises) (205,800 hectares, 22°21’00”S 040°21’00”E), a Nature Reserve and Important Bird Area (IBA), is surrounded by a “fringing reef”, interrupted by sandy beaches, which constitute one of the world’s most important breeding and nesting sites for the globally endangered Green Sea Turtle Chelonia mydas.

2012-08-27 06:38

The government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands has designated an exceptional atoll that is part of that country’s Ralik Chain, and lies some 390 kilometres southwest of the capital city Majuro. As summarized by Ramsar’s Nessrine Alzahlawi, Namdrik Atoll (1,119 hectares, 05°37’00N 168°06’30”E) consists of two wooded islands with an extensive reef flat lying between them. A subterranean Ghyben-Herzberg water lens lies underneath the islands, replenished by rainfall, which provides a precious supply of freshwater. The site is unique because of its large size and also because, unlike many other coral atolls in the region, there are no navigable passes into the central lagoon.

2012-08-17 21:51

2 August 2012: The Nguna-Pele Marine and Land Protected Area network (NPMLPA) announced a new Marine Protected Area (MPA) established on 26 July 2012 by the community of Utanlangi on Nguna Island of Vanuatu. The MPA aims to protect vulnerable marine resources from overharvesting, invasive species, coral breakage by humans, pollution, coral bleaching and other threats.

According to NPMLPA, its staff has assessed the state of the reef in Utanlangi bay and led group discussions to help determine a management plan for the sustainable use of its marine resources. These discussions led to the writing of a management plan, the establishment of a conservation committee and the creation of the MPA, which covers half of Utanlangi bay on Nguna Island.

2012-08-17 21:37

12 August 2012 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today launched a new initiative to protect the oceans and the people whose livelihoods depend on it, and called on countries to work together to achieve a more sustainable management of this precious resource and address the threats it is currently facing.

“The seas and oceans host some of the most vulnerable and important ecosystems on Earth, but the diversity of life they host is under ever-increasing strain,” Mr. Ban said at an event in the city of Yeosu in the Republic of Korea (ROK), to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the opening for signature of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

2012-07-12 07:06

On the occasion of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, held from 9 to 13 July 2012, in Cairns Australia, the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment & Health (UNU-INWEH) is releasing a colourful 35 page brochure containing a series of reminiscences by the older generation of coral reef scientists, about particular times and places. The brochure can be downloaded as PDF at: http://www.inweh.unu.edu/Coastal/Publications.htm

2012-07-10 03:50

A new report finds that more than 85 percent of reefs in the Coral Triangle are directly threatened by local human activities, substantially more than the global average of 60 percent. Reefs at Risk Revisited in the Coral Triangle shows that the greatest local threats to reefs in the countries that make up the Coral Triangle —Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste—are overfishing, watershed-based pollution, and coastal development. When these threats are combined with recent coral bleaching, prompted by rising ocean temperatures, the percent of reefs rated as threatened increases to more than 90 percent.

2012-07-09 14:15

New 5-km Coral Bleaching Products - Higher spatial resolution is the improvement to NOAA Coral Reef Watch remote-sensing products most requested by coral reef ecosystem scientists and resource managers. NOAA Coral Reef Watch and its partners have developed a new experimental daily global 5 km coral bleaching thermal stress monitoring product suite, now available on the Coral Reef Watch web site: http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/bleaching5km/index.html.

2012-07-03 03:38

Palau wins World Heritage Status Saint Petersburg, Russia, 29 June, 2012 (IUCN) - Rock Islands Southern Lagoon in Palau has been inscribed on the World Heritage List, becoming the country's first World Heritage Site. The World Heritage Committee, meeting currently in St. Petersburg, followed the recommendations of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), the official World Heritage advisory body on nature, to inscribe the 100,200 ha marine site on UNESCO's (United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization) prestigious list of iconic places on earth.

2012-06-29 06:09

21 June 2012: During the high-level segment of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), Mohamed Waheed, President of the Republic of Maldives, announced plans for his country to be declared a marine reserve.

Waheed made the announcement during his high-level address to Rio+20, noting the Maldives would become the single largest marine reserve in the world. He said Maldives would allow only sustainable and eco-friendly fishing, and ban deep-sea, purse-seine and other destructive fishing techniques. Waheed expressed the hope that the marine reserve will be in place within five years

2012-06-20 06:50

The nations of the world have recognized the crucial role of biodiversity in ensuring sustainable development in the outcome document of the Rio + 20 conference and called for greater efforts to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity. In the outcome document, entitled: “The Future we Want,” agreed by heads of state in Rio de Janeiro, the important value of coral reefs is recognized (in the paragraph 176):

2012-06-14 13:00

14 June 2012 - Australia's most precious ocean environments will be protected by the world's largest network of marine reserves.

Australia's Environment Minister Tony Burke today released the Government's final network of marine reserves which - once proclaimed under national environmental law - will increase the number of marine reserves from 27 to 60, expanding the national network to cover more than a third of Commonwealth waters.

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.