Coral reefs have declined at alarming rates in recent year’s, with 14 percent of the coral on the world’s coral reefs lost between 2009 and 2018 (GCRMN, 2020), and current predictions indicate no signs of relief, with the latest IPCC report estimating that a +1.5°C increase in temperature above pre-industrial levels would lead to a 70-90 per cent decline in coral reef cover (IPCC, 2022).
Faced with a wide range of anthropogenic-induced threats at global and local scales, ranging from climate change to pollution and overfishing, coral reefs require urgent action to ensure their survival. Global, concerted efforts are thus needed for the conservation, management, and restoration of coral ecosystems worldwide.
In this context, the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) plays a vital role, leading the way in bringing together coral reef nations, organisations, and stakeholders. This global partnership between nations and organisations that strives to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems around the world, counts over 90 members, including 45 countries that are custodians of over 75% of the world’s coral reefs. ICRI informs international efforts to conserve reefs and associated ecosystems and provides both a forum for global advocacy on coral reefs to supporting policymakers and stakeholders at the local and national levels.
From the UN Ocean Conference to COP27 and COP15, the second half of 2022 has been marked by a wide array of international conferences, with parties convening to discuss critical actions to address the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. This key decision-making period for biodiversity has enabled ICRI to bring coral reefs to the forefront of discussions, rallying its members for united action.
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