French contribution to the United Nations Environment Programme
The French Ministry of the Environment, Energy and the Sea provided a voluntary contribution of the amount of 500,000 Euros to the United Nations Environment Programme in order to implement the Action Plan of the ICRI Secretariat and UN Environment Assembly Resolution 2/12 on Sustainable Coral Reefs Management. The second session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) adopted a resolution 2/12 on Sustainable Coral Reefs Management. The resolution, inter alia, requests UN Environment to pursue specific actions in collaboration with the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), including an analysis of global and regional governance mechanisms and policy instruments relevant to coral reefs (paragraph 13), as well as further development of coral reef indicators, regional coral reef assessments as well as the preparation of a global report on coral reef status and trends (paragraph 14).
The Action Plan of the ICRI Secretariat was adopted by the ICRI members during the 31st General Meeting (Paris, 2016) and comprises 5 themes:
- Theme 1 – “Help raise awareness of how coral reefs and related ecosystems help to fight climate change”
- Theme 2: “Meet international requirements regarding coral reefs”
- Theme 3: “Help to reduce human threats to coral reefs and associated mangroves and seagrasses, by making greater use of regulatory tools”
- Theme 4: “Monitor the state of reefs in order to better manage them”
- Theme 5: “Progress via education”.
The plan of action includes a goal specifically on implementation of UNEA resolution 2/12. Furthermore, number of other goals and actions directly address priorities in resolution 2/12, including in relation to outreach and awareness raising; financing for initiatives to protect and restore coral reefs and related ecosystems; meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and in particular Goal 14 on Oceans; as well as priorities in UNEA resolution 2/11 on Marine plastic litter and Microplastics.
The UN Environment’s Coral Reef Unit has a long history of working with ICRI and its Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, and the contribution wll allow to continue this fruitful collaboration on coral reefs during France’s co-chairmanship of ICRI.
Contribute to the plan of action
The Third International Year of the Reef (IYOR 2018)
At the 31st General Meeting (November 2016 in Paris, France), the International Coral Reef Initiative declared 2018 as the third International Year of the Reef (view the recommendation in French, English, Spanish) and encourages to:
- strengthen awareness globally about the value of, and threats to, coral reefs and associated ecosystems;
- promote partnerships between governments, the private sector, academia and civil society on the management of coral reefs;
- identify and implement effective management strategies for conservation, increased resiliency and sustainable use of these ecosystems and promoting best practices; and
- share information on best practices in relation to sustainable coral reef management.
ICRI encourages its members to support and participate in planning for IYOR 2018, and to facilitate the development of national level IYOR activities. For more information, contact the ICRI Secretariat.
New research predicts the future of coral reefs under climate change
New climate model projections of the world’s coral reefs reveal which reefs will be hit first by annual coral bleaching, an event that poses the gravest threat to one of the Earth’s most important ecosystems.
These high-resolution projections, based on global climate models, predict when and where annual coral bleaching will occur. The projections show that reefs in Taiwan and around the Turks and Caicos archipelago will be among the world’s first to experience annual bleaching.
Other reefs, like those off the coast of Bahrain, in Chile and in French Polynesia, will be hit decades later, according to research recently published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.
A stopover in Japan is a key step for the Tara Pacific expedition (2016 – 2018), dedicated to studying coral throughout Asia and the Pacific Ocean. The French research schooner Tara left her home port of Lorient (in Brittany, France) on May 28, 2016 and will arrive in Fukuoka on February 18th for her first visit to Japan.
8 other stopovers will follow: Onomichi, Kobe, Nagoya, Yokohama and Tokyo. Tara has already traveled about 30,000 kilometers of the 100,000 kilometers planned for this 11th expedition — an unprecedented study of coral reefs. During the past 7 months sailing the world’s largest ocean, the schooner made observations and carried out sampling on a large number of these reefs. The first results show that reefs have been considerably damaged by global warming.
Aboard Tara, more than 15 nationalities are represented. The crew, composed mainly of sailors and scientists, includes researchers from several international laboratories, in particular from the Japanese universities of Tsukuba, Kochi and Kyoto.
The Global Coral Reef Monitoring
This scientific workshop constitutes a key activity towards preparation of a regional GCRMN coral reef status report. The overall objectives of the process are to create a comprehensive inventory of reef data in the region and improve access to such data; to identify key drivers of reef change and provide actionable management and policy recommendations as well as recommendations for future monitoring; and to revitalize the regional GCRMN network and strengthen regular reporting. The workshop reviewed long-term datasets collated to date and identified data gaps, discussed and agreed on data analyses as well as interim arrangements and long term aims for management and maintenance of coral reef monitoring data in the region, and also provided recommendations for strengthening the regional monitoring network.