International Year of Coral Reefs 2018
The year 2018 will officially be the 3rd International Year of Coral Reefs. After two editions of these IYOR and faced with the climatic emergency that weighs on these ecosystems, the expectations and the stake are hight!
ICRI, instigator of a global movement
ICRI, the international initiative for coral reefs, is at the origin of these events. This organization is an informal partnership between nations and organizations that strive to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems around the world.
Founded in 1994 by eight governments: Australia, France, Japan, Jamaica, the Philippines, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, it now has more than 60 members. This year again, it encourages them to support and participate in the planning of the 2018 IYOR edition, while facilitating the development of activities at the national level.
Important dates in the fight for the protection of coral reefs
In 1997, this action group raised awareness of environmental and social issues related to coral reefs, as well as supporting conservation, research and management efforts. More than 225 organizations participated in 50 countries and territories. Approximately 700 articles were published in the newspapers and hundreds of scientific inquiries were undertaken.
Eleven years later, for IYOR 2008, there was a great gathering among nations, organizations and individuals around the world to raise awareness and motivate people to take action. An impressive amount of educational material was produced in several languages during the year, including posters, educational DVDs and children’s books. More than 630 events have been organized in more than 65 countries and territories around the world.
2018, a year of hope
For IYOR 2018, we hope that this momentum will increase and that there will be a real global awareness of the value of coral reefs and associated ecosystems but also of the threats to them.
ICRI supports partnerships between governments, the private sector, academia and civil society on the management of coral reefs. The main objectives are the identification and implementation of effective conservation strategies, as well as increased resilience and sustainable use of these ecosystems. Promoting “best practices” is at the heart of the initiative: sharing information on best practices in the sustainable management of coral reefs would allow the multiplication of projects that go in this direction.
For example, the concept of participatory marine conservation developed by Coral Guardian could be replicated anywhere in the world provided a stronger mesh between supporters and partners is implemented: https://www.coralguardian.org/conservation-recifes-coralliens/
If all the community actors unite to protect these endangered ecosystems and bring the subject to the forefront of the media scene, 2018 could mark a decisive turning point in the conservation of marine biodiversity.