Meetings Side Events
ICRI along with Vulcan Inc* will be hosting a side event during the 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas Nature Conservation Action for a Resilient Pacific entitled “Prioritising Coral reefs in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework” on Friday 27th November between 11-12 am West Samoa Time.
Recognizing the urgent need to safeguard the world’s coral reefs from further decline, ICRI members have adopted a Recommendation for the inclusion of coral reefs within the CBD Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. This consensus between all ICRI members was the result of 18 months of work by the ad hoc committee to contribute to the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework development process on matters relating to the critical status of coral reefs and how this ecosystem can be sufficiently addressed within the post-2020 framework.
Coral reefs play a fundamental role in the health and function of our planet, impacting us all in many different aspects of our lives. These services would not be able to continue if reefs lose their integrity or are otherwise destroyed.
Although they only cover 0.2 percent of the ocean floor, they support 25 percent of marine species and provide trillions of dollars in economic services. Estimates indicate coral reefs account for $2.7 trillion per year in ecosystem service value.
We have lost 50 percent of coral reefs and they continue to decline in the face of threats including climate change, pollution, over-fishing and destructive fishing. The health, resilience, cultural heritage and economic security of at least one billion people are at risk – even more so given the current pandemic.
In May 2020, ICRI members adopted a Recommendation for the inclusion of coral reefs within the CBD Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. This was the result of 18 months of work by an ad hoc committee to contribute to the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework development process on matters relating to the critical status of coral reefs and how this ecosystem can be sufficiently addressed within the post-2020 framework. This Recommendation comes from the very real need to safeguard coral reef ecosystems of the world from potential collapse.
The publication of the 5th Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO5) on 15 September, has confirmed, with high confidence, that Aichi Target 10 has not been achieved. What is more, coral reefs have “shown the most rapid increase in extinction risk of all assessed groups” due to climate change and other human pressures. These findings further underline the urgency to prioritize coral reefs in the new Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
More information is available at www.coralpost2020.org
2. Session description
The Pacific region is by far the largest in terms of surface and is characterized by coral reefs found only around oceanic islands making the region unique. The Pacific region includes more than 25,000 islands. The tropical Pacific region supports approximately 27% (about 66,000 km2) of the total global area of coral reefs. Coral reefs are an integral part of Pacific culture and provide crucial food resources (25-100% of dietary protein), among many other socio-economic benefits.
The Session will provide the context of coral reefs – their status and the actions that countries and organisations have been progressing through ICRI to ensure that coral reefs are visible in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). The session will provide the opportunity to walk through the Recommendation and how this fits into the current draft of the GBF and its monitoring framework – discuss this position and explore how this might resonate with the regional position regarding the reflection of coral reefs in the GBF.
3. Session objectives
This session aims to:
- Increase awareness of the ICRI Recommendation and the elements for prioritising coral reefs in the Post-2020 GBF to ensure coral reefs persist and are resilient.
- Encourage the uptake of the ICRI Recommendation by Pacific Island states in their national/ regional strategy for the Post-2020 GBF
- Understand how ICRI can focus its support to help Parties to CBD realise the prioritisation of coral reefs in the Post-2020 GBF
*Vulcan is committed to changing the trajectory of coral reef decline by using innovative technologies to map and monitor the world’s coral reefs, supporting revolutionary scientific research into heat-resistant corals, and advocating for the mobilization of resources for coral reef conservation. Vulcan has partnered with ICRI to ensure that coral reefs will be a priority in the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.