The United Nations has recognized 10 ground-breaking efforts from around the globe for their role in restoring the natural world, some of which include coral restoration efforts.
Unveiled at the UN Biodiversity COP15 in Montreal, the highlighted initiatives were declared World Restoration Flagships and are eligible to receive UN-backed promotion, advice, or funding. They were selected under the banner of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global movement coordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and of which ICRI is a supporting partner.
Out of the 10 initiatives selected for their pioneering restoration plans, two include coral restoration. Discover them below.
Abu Dhabi marine restoration
In Abu Dhabi, a local drive to restore the coastline and ensure the creation of a refuge for the endangered dugong, is bringing together partners, conservationists and communities led by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi to undertake restoration efforts including transplanting healthy coral, planting mangrove trees, and creating nurseries for seagrass. Currently, tourism, home building and other infrastructure construction are putting the coastal and marine habitats at risk, including coral reefs.
Small Island Developing States Restoration Drive
Comoros, St Lucia and Vanuatu, all low-lying island states, face a number of threats: they may disappear as a result of rising waters due to climate change, and the degradation of inland ecosystems.
To counter those challenges, all three countries have launched ambitious efforts to revive both coastal and inland ecosystems, including coral reefs. Goals for coral reefs include a reduction in pressures, as coral reefs are vulnerable to storm damage, so that fish stocks can recover. These restoration efforts show benefits for people and for coral, where for instance in Comoros the creation of the Moheli Marine Park has more than doubled live coral cover, with tourism numbers also multiplied by two, thus providing further income to local communities.