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Online meeting: How to prepare for the next coral bleaching event?

Wednesday, 13 July 2022
© The Ocean Agency / Ocean Image Bank

The scientific data concerning coral reefs is now very alarming. Under the current emissions scenario, all 29 World Heritage-listed reefs are expected to experience annual severe bleaching from 2040. This month’s online meeting with marine World Heritage managers will highlight the best practices and latest innovations to monitor, prepare for and manage coral bleaching.

The latest IPCC report warns ocean warming and marine heatwaves will cause the loss and degradation of coral reefs and “widespread decline” of coral reef ecosystems. Furthermore, reefs are bleaching far more rapidly than the initial science suggested.

While the causes of coral bleaching are beyond the direct influence of local management, reef managers have important roles to play before, during, and after bleaching events.

On 13 July, the World Heritage marine managers’ online meeting will feature three experts who will share global insights on coral bleaching preparedness. Dr. Derek Manzello (NOAA Coral Reef Watch) will introduce the current state of play of coral bleaching, as well as insights into using the NOAA Coral Reef Watch to monitor coral bleaching. Meanwhile, Ms. Caitlin Lustic (The Nature Conservancy) and Dr. Yimnang Golbuu (Palau International Coral Reef Centre) will highlight management actions that marine World Heritage sites use to monitor and manage coral bleaching events.

Managers from the Great Barrier Reef and the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage sites will share practical lessons learnt from their long standing expertise in bleaching monitoring and management programmes.

Featured Marine World Heritage Site Managers and Experts

Several times per year, UNESCO's World Heritage Marine Programme provides an exclusive online platform where managers from the 50 marine World Heritage sites connect and share practical successes in tackling key conservation challenges.

Due to their status as the world’s flagship marine protected areas, marine World Heritage sites are uniquely positioned to drive change and innovation, set new global standards in conservation excellence, and serve as beacons of hope in a changing ocean. The online meetings are made possible thanks to the support of the French Biodiversity Agency and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. Participation is upon invitation only.

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Wednesday, 13 July 2022

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