Meetings Side Events

The Coral Reef Breakthrough: The 2024 Ocean Decade Conference

The 2024 Ocean Decade Conference
Thursday , April 11, 2024

Event Information

Accessibility: In Person (open to all Conference participants)

Location: 127-128 –IndianOcean – P1 floor, at the Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB)

Organized Under The United States of America Secretariat, 2021

Participating Members

The Coral Reef Breakthrough: The 2024 Ocean Decade Conference

08:30 – 09:45 (UTC +1), Thursday 11th April 2024

Open to all event participants

2024 Ocean Decade Conference

Coral reefs exist in more than 100 countries and territories, and support at least 25% of marine species; they are integral to sustaining Earth’s vast and interconnected web of marine biodiversity and provide ecosystem services valued up to $9.9 trillion annually. More than one billion people, including vulnerable coastal communities, whose daily lives are inextricably linked with life below water, depend on healthy coral reefs. They are essential to the security, resilience, and climate adaptation of many of the most climate-vulnerable nations on Earth, yet the functional existence of these critical ecosystems is at stake due to the climate crisis and other anthropogenic stressors.

The window for protecting these ecosystems is closing rapidly.Recognising the lack of coral reef-specific global targets in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), in collaboration with the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR), and the UN High-Level Climate Champions convened a working group of 30 experts to develop global 2030 targets to align the coral reef community and urge public and private actors to act for the future of coral reefs. These targets have been presented as part of “The Coral Reef Breakthrough” along with four action points.

The Coral Reef Breakthrough aims to secure the future of at least 125,000 km2 of shallow-water tropical coral reefs with investments of at least US$12 billion to support the resilience of more than half a billion people globally by 2030. Achieving the Coral Reef Breakthrough means preventing the functional extinction of one of the world’s most threatened, yet most valuable, and most biodiverse, ecosystems.This side event, is hosted by ICRI, in collaboration with the Global Fund for Coral Reefs, the Coral Research & Development Accelerator Platform (CORDAP) and the International Coral Reef Society (ICRS).

The panel will discuss the targets of the Coral Reef Breakthrough and why it is instrumental in achieving the following:

  1. UN Ocean Decade Vision, the science we need for the ocean we want, with a focus on Challenge 2, Protect and restore ecosystems and biodiversity
  2. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG14, Life Below Water
  3. How the Breakthrough can bring together the coral reef community and be used as a tool to help deliver the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

Thursday 11th April 2024

Moderator: Tom Dallison,  ICRI Secretariat

Video: What if coral reefs were to disappear by 2050?

ICRI Ask the Expert Series

Welcoming Remarks

Nicole R. LeBoeuf, Assistant Administrator, NOAA’s National Ocean Service, and the U.S. Representative to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

The Ocean Breakthroughs 

Loreley Picourt, Executive Director, Ocean & Climate Platform

The Coral Reef Breakthrough 

Margaux Monfared, ICRI Secretariat

The Coral Reef Breakthrough and how it supports the implementation of the GBF Framework for coral reefs

Joseph Appiott, Coordinator of the marine, coastal and islands biodiversity programmes, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity 

Accelerating Restoration 

Carlos Duarte, Executive Director, CORDAP

Securing investments

Susan Gardner, Director of Ecosystems Division, UN Environment Programme and Global Fund for Coral Reefs Executive Board Co-Chair Representative

The Science we need for the Ocean we want, the role of coral reefs 

Mariana Rocha de Souza, Postdoctoral fellow, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology and the International Coral Reef Society

Final remarks and Closing

Ambassador Thompson, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean

(Coffee and light pastries will be provided)