Around 30% of the world's reefs are considered to be already severely damaged by human activity, and climate models predict a regular bleaching of nearly 90% of all reefs by the middle of the century. In November 2016 the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) announced that 2018 would be the Third International Year of the Reef (IYOR). In support of this researchers from around the world have been working throughout the year to strengthen global awareness of the value of and threats to coral reefs and associated ecosystems, promote partnerships between governments, private entities, academia and civil society on the management of coral reefs, identify and implement strategies for conservation, and share information on best practices for sustainable stewardship of these ecosystems.
EuroMarine member The Leibniz Centre of Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) is responding to the ICRI's call by hosting an international colloquium which will bring together renowned coral reef scientists to:
- highlight how and why the degradation and protection of tropical coral reefs concerns non tropical nations in Europe and around the world,
- identify novel proactive avenues that scientists, practitioners, and governments should take in response to the rapidly-evolving coral reef crisis and
- examine if and how these approaches could lead to the extended lifetime of coral reef’s integrity, biodiversity, and ecosystem services.
This event will blend an inspirational line-up of scientific talks with stimulating activities that will connect non-academic audiences to the global value of coral reefs. Prominent scientists from the United States, Canada, South America, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, and Australia will present their research on the many tangible benefits that humans derive from tropical coral reefs. They will also highlight why losing and preserving reefs should concern European and other non-tropical nations even if these do not have coral reefs at their doorstep. Scientists will reflect on whether current research directions and efforts are tackling the coral reef crisis efficiently enough. The capacity of both traditional conservation tools and novel proactive methods to assist reefs in their battle with climate change will be critically examined.
While registration is free, space is limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first serve basis, so please refer to the event's website for more information and to register.