ICRI News

2011-06-28 05:00

The world’s oceans were at high risk of entering a phase of “globally significant” extinction of marine species, an international panel of marine experts warned at Headquarters today.

Speaking during a press conference to launch a new report by the International Programme on State of the Oceans (IPSO) on the protection of marine species, the panel concluded that the combination of stressors on the ocean was creating the conditions associated with every previous mass extinction of species in history; the speed and rate of ocean degeneration was far greater than predicted; many of the negative impacts previously identified were greater than the worst predictions; and, though difficult to assess due to the unprecedented rate of change, the first steps towards a global extinction ma

2011-06-27 12:04

The Ningaloo Reef on the north-western coast of Australia is home to the largest fish in the world, the Whale Shark, as well as to more than 500 species of tropical fish and 220 species of coral. The rich marine life includes soft and hard corals, manta rays, sea snakes, whales, turtles, dungeons and sharks. Australia is the country with the largest number of natural World Heritage Sites in the world.

“The Ningaloo Coast is a unique place with outstanding natural beauty and biological diversity, which plays an important role in the protection of marine species,” says Tim Badman, Director of IUCN’s World Heritage Programme. “The Coast tells an extraordinary story of biological isolation, climate change, the movement of continents and environmental conservation.”

2011-06-22 14:39

The 2nd Meeting of the Regional Initiative for the Conservation and Wise Use of Mangroves and Corals, organised by the Ecuadorian and Mexican Governments in coordination with the Ramsar Secretariat, took place from 14 to 16 June in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The event was opened by the Minister of Environment of Ecuador, Mrs.

2011-06-15 04:59

8 June 2011: In a message delivered on the occasion of World Ocean Day, Biliana Cicin-Sain, President of the Global Ocean Forum, called for commitment to achieve a significant ocean outcome at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), and announced the launch of "Rio+20 Friends of the Ocean."

2011-06-08 14:11

The ecosystem approach lays out a series of principles to guide management towards long-term sustainability of marine and coastal ecosystems. With this new guide on Marine and Coastal Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM), UNEP seeks to assist countries and communities to take steps towards making marine and coastal ecosystem-based management operational - from strategic planning to on-site implementation.

2011-06-07 04:09

Gland, Switzerland, 6 June, 2011 (IUCN) – A new method for calculating the role that mangrove restoration plays in slowing climate change, by capturing and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, has been adopted.

The methodology is adopted under the UN climate change convention’s Kyoto Protocol, as part of the Clean Development Mechanism that supports emission reduction projects in developing countries. .

This will provide a significant boost to restoration efforts for mangrove forests, which grow in tropical and sub-tropical coastal regions and provide a wide range of biological services such as nurseries for juvenile fish and a source of timber for local populations.

2011-05-28 10:03

27 May 2011 - The Conservatoire du littoral, an IUCN member, has carried out an inventory of the mangroves in France overseas. For the first time it presents the extent and distribution of these ecosystems associated with coral reefs between the eight regions located in the Caribbean, Amazon, Indian Ocean and the Pacific.

The mangroves are ecologically, culturally and economically very important. They provide indispensable fish nurseries, filter coastal pollution and provide wood for local populations. They also play an important role in protecting the coasts from tropical storms and tsunamis.

2011-05-28 08:32

Montreal, 20 May 2011 – Challenges facing marine biodiversity are unprecedented. Life in the oceans is under serious threats. Continuously increasing human impacts in coastal areas have destroyed over 65% of seagrass and wetland habitat, degraded water quality and accelerated species invasions. It is estimated that the world has effectively lost 19% of the original area of coral reefs and 35% are seriously threatened with loss within the next decades. During the last two decades, 20% percent or 3.6 million ha of global mangrove cover have been lost. Roughly 80% of the world’s marine fish stocks are fully exploited or overexploited.

These challenges are unknown to the public at large.

2011-05-24 04:56

A practical guide for coastal resource managers to reduce damage from catchment areas based on best practice case studies (Catchment Management and Coral Reef Conservation), by Clive Wilkinson and Jon Brodie was released at the International Marine Conservation Congress in Victoria BC Canada on 16 May.

The book aims to assist coastal resource managers deal with the problems arriving at the coast from rivers and streams. To date there has been no guide book for managers. The stimulus was that many coral reef managers reported on problems of sediment, nutrient, pesticide and litter pollution damaging their reefs and they did not know where to start.

2011-05-20 14:26

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (19 May 2011) - One of the world's most diverse and threatened marine ecosystems - the Coral Triangle - is getting Asian Development Bank (ADB) support to improve management of its rich resources and to provide job alternatives for people living in the coastal communities.

ADB has approved assistance of around $12 million for the Coastal and Marine Resources Management Project. It includes a $1 million grant from ADB's concessional Technical Assistance Special Fund, and $11.2 million in cofinancing from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

2011-05-12 14:13

The new guidelines, "Indicators to address community-level social vulnerability" are meant to be an addendum to the existing regional SocMon/SEM-Pasifika guidelines. These indicators can be included in a socioeconomic assessment of any site for which climate change impacts are an important issue. The resulting information can then inform coastal management needs and adaptive management. Funding for this publication was provided by the Secretariat for the Pacific Environment Programme through the Coral Reef InitiativeS for the Pacific (CRISP) and IUCN. In-kind support was provided by The Nature Conservancy and the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program.

2011-05-12 03:10

These two new publications add to the growing list of publications addressing the global ocean crisis that have been produced by the Science-to-Action partnership, which includes more than 75 organizations led by Conservation International's Management Science Program. These publications are based on 5 years of natural and social science research in over 70 marine managed areas in 23 countries.

  • Coral Health Index - Measuring Coral Community Health (CHI) provides the latest thinking for how to examine and compare the health of these valuable ecosystems.
2011-05-03 08:29

IUCN has published a study on the various resilience characteristics of the coral reefs in the Bonaire National Marine Park. It includes results on resilience indicators, benthic cover, coral population structure, algae populations and fish community structure which can determine how the coral reefs respond to climate change threats. The aim of the study is to provide information on how to incorporate resilience information and climate change responses into the Marine Protected Area (MPA) design and management, especially given the recent bleaching event that occurred in 2010-2011.

Bonaire’s coral reefs remain among the healthiest and most resilient in the Caribbean.

2011-05-03 07:54

An informal interactive workshop on "Keeping the Green Economy Blue" convened on 29 April 2011, at UN Headquarters, New York, US. Co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Australia and the Pew Environment Group, the workshop responded to the emerging consensus that healthy oceans are an essential part of the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and as such should figure prominently in the agenda of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

2011-04-22 04:07

As a flagship activity of ICRI, the French Government will host the 4th International Tropical Marine Ecosystem Symposium (ITMEMS4) in Guadeloupe from 5 - 8 December 2011.

As part of an updated format for ITMEMS4, coastal and marine managers will be invited to join with a select number of facilitators, inspirational speakers and leaders from a range of disciplines (science, industry, media, government, development) for targeted discussion, experiential learning, professional development, and knowledge exchange, pertinent to priority challenges in the management of tropical marine ecosystems. More information will be available shortly.

2011-04-21 16:13

The Governments of France and Samoa, as co-hosts of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) Secretariat, in relation with the Principality of Monaco, are pleased to announce that the third and last General Meeting of the current secretariat, will be held in Réunion Island (in the Indian Ocean) on the 12 to 15 December 2011.

2011-04-19 09:02

(14 April 2011) A new study has conducted a preliminary investigation into the design of reserves that would help protect coral reefs from climate change. The results indicate that, 15 per cent of coral reefs in the Bahamas, the study area, would be able to withstand rising temperature, and would therefore be appropriately placed in reserves.

Rises in sea temperature have already caused several mass coral bleaching events, where corals whiten from the death of algae that live in a mutually beneficial relationship with the coral. This can threaten the coral’s survival. Oceans are expected to warm under climate change, which could potentially cause more bleaching and greater loss of coral.

2011-04-19 04:42

Washington DC – April 11, 2011 – Drainage and degradation of coastal wetlands emit significant amounts of carbon dioxide directly to the atmosphere and lead to decreased carbon sequestration, a new World Bank report has found.

The report, written in partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and wetland specialists ESA PWA, calls for coastal wetlands to be protected and incentives for avoiding their degradation and improving their restoration to be included into carbon emission reduction strategies and in climate negotiations.

For the first time we are getting a sense that greenhouse gas losses from drained and degraded coastal wetlands may be globally significant and that drained organic-rich soils continuously release carbon for

2011-04-12 03:55

The "Coral Reef MPAs of East Asia and Micronesia" is a collaboration project between the Japan Wildlife Research Center (JWRC) and The WorldFish Center (ReefBase Project), funded by the Ministry of the Environment, Japan (MoE). The initial dataset was provided by the UNEP-WCMC through the MPA Global database project (currently merged into the World Database on Protected Areas) and the updated data were provided by various country partners in East Asia and Micronesia regions. This database was first developed in 2005-2007 as part of the Japan-Palau ICRI secretariat Plan of Action for 2005 -2007 which updated the MPA Global database with 313 new coral reef MPAs data and linked with the spatial and other data on ReefBase.

2011-03-08 11:30

The following article was published in the Marine Ecosystems and Management (Vol. 4, No. 4), the bimonthly information service on marine ecosystem-based management.

2011-02-23 11:56

75% of World’s Coral Reefs Currently Under Threat, New Analysis Finds   -- “Reefs at Risk Revisited” report presents comprehensive analysis threats to coral reefs

WASHINGTON D.C.//LONDON (February 23, 2011)— A new comprehensive analysis finds that 75 percent of the world’s coral reefs are currently threatened by local and global pressures. For the first time, the analysis includes threats from climate change, including warming seas and rising ocean acidification. The report shows that local pressures— such as overfishing, coastal development, and pollution— pose the most immediate and direct risks, threatening more than 60 percent of coral reefs today.

2011-02-23 07:12

75% des récifs coralliens du monde sont actuellement menacés -- Le rapport "Reefs at Risk Revisited" présente une analyse complète des menaces sur les récifs coralliens - WASHINGTON D.C./LONDON (23 février 2011) - Une nouvelle analyse globale révèle que 75% des récifs coralliens du monde sont actuellement menacés par les pressions locales et mondiales.

2011-02-23 04:18

The World Resources Institute (WRI) spearheaded a broad collaboration of leading conservation organizations and research institutes to conduct a global, map-based analysis of threats to the world’s coral reefs called Reefs at Risk Revisited. This report provides detailed examination of human pressures on coral reefs, implications for reef condition, and projections of associated socioeconomic impacts in coastal communities (download the Reefs at Risk Revisited fact sheet).

2011-02-22 04:47

The regional Colombian government agency, CORALINA, that established and manages the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve and Marine Protected Area (MPA), has submitted an “Accion Popular” against Colombia’s National Agency of Hydrocarbons (ANH) to halt leases to Reposol-YPF and Ecopetrol to begin oil exploration inside the borders of the Seaflower MPA.

An “Accion Popular” is a legal instrument granted to citizens by Colombia’s National Constitution (Art. 88) that allows them to seek protection of collective rights and interests related to their homelands, environment, public safety, health, etc. The legal action was presented to the High Tribunal by CORALINA’s general director, Elizabeth Taylor-Jay on Wednesday, February 16.

2011-02-22 04:33

The CORDIO program has supported coral reef monitoring and research in the Indian Ocean since 1999. Topics have included reef ecology, resource use, socio-economics and support to management, policy development and capacity building. Much of our work has been reported in compiled ‘Status Reports’ in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005 and 2008, which are available at http://www.cordioea.org/status-reports.