ICRI News

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.

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).

The Western Indian Ocean is in the process of compiling its regional report for the GCRMN, following in the footsteps of the Caribbean. This is to call for all contributions of monitoring data that you may have, to contribute to this reporting effort. Countries covered by this region include: Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, France (Reunion and overseas territories), Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa & Tanzania. The principal work is supported by the Indian Ocean Commission’s ‘Biodiversity Project’, and is being undertaken with the Coral Reef Task Force of the Nairobi Convention (the UNEP Regional Seas convention for the region).

Recognizing the importance of engaging sectors and stakeholders throughout a watershed in order for coral reef conservation and management to be effective, a resolution on promoting an integrated approach to community-based coral reef conservation and management emphasizing land-sea connectivity was adopted at the 29th ICRI General Meeting in Okinawa. In this resolution, it was noted that model case studies would be compiled and shared at the 30th General Meeting, and that the final output would be published on the ICRI official website and through various media.

Participants at the Paris Climate Change Conference Oceans Day urged that climate change and oceans be addressed as a "single agenda." They recommended ways to advance this agenda both within and outside the UNFCCC and welcomed actions through Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 13 and 14, on climate and oceans, respectively.

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