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IFRECOR Describes the Latest Condition of France’s Coral Reefs

Hannes Klostermann | Ocean Image Bank

The French Coral Reef Initiative (IFRECOR) have released their latest report: The state of Health of Coral Reefs, Seagrass Beds, Mangroves in the French Overseas Territories: A mixed assessment. As France is host to 10% of the world’s reefs, it has an important role to play in the protection of these ecosystems.

France is committed to protecting 100% of its coral reefs by 2025. In order to achieve this goal, it relies heavily on IFRECOR’s 5-year state of the reef report. The 2020 assessment, which is the result of a collective effort between all of France’s overseas coral reef territories, shows that health status of French coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves is mixed: there are major differences between regions, territories and within the same territory.

For large territories, which are either uninhabited or which have very small populations, whose coastal areas are subject to low or moderate pressure, 70% of the reefs are considered protected. This includes reefs in the Pacific (New Caledonia, French Polynesia – excluding the Society archipelago, Wallis and Futuna), and the Éparses islands (Indian Ocean).

In the smaller territories, which are subject to strong demographic pressure and which are highly anthropized, 62% of the reefs are considered degraded. This includes reefs in the West Indies (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthélemy).

Main Recommendations

  • Reduce local human-derived pressures (improve sanitation, reduce of erosion, better manage development along the coast, etc.)
  • Expand strong Marine Protected Areas,
  • Innovate to strengthen the resilience of reefs and their associated ecosystems to withstand the impacts of climate change.

You can read and download the report here.

Associated Member: France

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