The twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss have brought into stark relief the need for greater collaboration and action at the international level to conserve, manage, and restore coral reefs.
It is in this context that the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) Secretariat is launching its Plan of Action for 2021-2024, Turning the Tide for Coral Reefs, from its newest Chair, the United States of America. Over the course of the next three years, the ICRI Secretariat proposes to maintain progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 13 (take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts) and Goal 14 (conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources).
The Secretariat will work to better incorporate science in our actions, strengthen leadership and emerging technologies, while promoting collaboration and communication among stakeholders. Activities will reach out to Indigenous Peoples and local communities to ensure their knowledge and the intrinsic values of coral reefs are appropriately reflected in our efforts. New technologies to augment existing monitoring efforts will provide greater understanding of coral reef health and conditions and enable managers to be more responsive to climate change impacts. Every opportunity will be taken to raise the plight of coral reefs with the broader international community and the actions that can be taken at local, regional, and global levels to secure their protection and recovery.