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ICRI at the UN Ocean Conference

From 27th June to 1st July saw the occasion of the 2nd UN Ocean Conference, hosted in Lisbon, Portugal. During the week of ocean action ICRI was present through various events, of which the highlights be found below.

Turning the Tide #ForCoral, an ICRI high-level breakfast

ICRI organised a High-level Breakfast event to present the ICRI Plan of Action 2021-2024 to a high-level audience known for its unwavering support of coral reefs. Attendees included His Serene Highness (H.S.H) Prince Albert of Monaco, Her Royal Highness (H.R.H) Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Assistant Secretary Monica Medina from the U.S. Department of State, Dr Richard W. Spinrad and Jennifer Koss from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema (the Executive Secretary to the Convention on Biological Diversity), the Rt Hon Baroness Patricia Scotland QC (Commonwealth Secretary-General), Sefanaia Newadra of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Susan Gardner from the UN Environment Programme, Josh Thomas (CEO of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority) and Martha Rojas Urrego of the Ramsar Convention. The event was moderated by Kristian Teleki of the World Resources Institute.

Throughout the morning, engaging and driving discussions highlighted critical actions needed for coral reefs, setting the scene for ICRI’s actions throughout 2022 and 2023 and seeking synergies for the Plan of Action’s implementation.

Read the Plan of Action here >>

A meeting of ICRI’s operational network, the GCRMN

The Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), ICRI’s operational network, organised a meeting to build on the successes of the GCRMN Monaco workshop on the development of a data solution for global coral reef monitoring. The meeting saw attendees from across the GCRMN’s 8 regions and was an important opportunity for David Souter, Global Coordinator, and Jennifer Koss, ICRI Host Secretariat Representative (Chair), to provide an update on the actions taken since Monaco and the next steps for the GCRMN.

The meeting was also an opportunity to share a preview of the re-designed GCRMN website, expected to be announced shortly.

ICRI expert input at other coral reefs events

The current ICRI Chair, the United States of America, currently holds the position of co-chair to the advisory board for the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR). The ICRI Secretariat was also present at the Executive Board Meeting of the GFCR.

Moreover, in the lead-up to the UN Ocean Conference, ICRI attended the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and Initiative Governing Committee (IGC) meeting of the Coral Research & Development Accelerator Platform (CORDAP).

The “Racing for the Planet” V065 racing yacht of ICRI member Mirpuri Foundation also proudly presented its engagement #ForCoral, and saw the visit of Jason Momoa, aka Aquaman, who was designated the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Advocate for Life Below Water during the UN Ocean Conference.

Reef Action Hub

Throughout the week, the Global Fund for Coral Reefs, in collaboration with ICRI, and with support from the Mirpuri Foundation, hosted the “Reef Action Hub”: featuring coral-focused side events, including workshops and roundtable meetings, that aimed to accelerate action for coral reefs and showcase solutions. The Hub became a central location #ForCoral throughout the conference and welcomed heads of state, ministers and ambassadors to local practitioners, youth representatives and key stakeholders.

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