UNITED NATIONS STATES CORAL RESILIENCE IS KEY TO SAVING THE OCEAN
Updated: May 5, 2020
The United Nations Environmental Program recently published a press release underlining the importance of coral restoration in the face of climate change. The article views coral bleaching events (such as the terrible March 2020 mass die-off in the Great Barrier Reef), as warning signs from ocean.
The Head of UNEP’s Marine and Fresh Water Branch, Leticia Carvalho, says: “Scientists have been telling us for a while that coral bleaching events would become more frequent with anthropogenic climate change and warming oceans. Unfortunately, their worst predictions have come to pass. Mass coral bleaching events are like nature’s fire alarm, a stark reminder that climate change is happening and is already impacting our societies and global ecosystem”.
While it is great news that global attention is being directed at reefs, to say that these mass bleaching events are a "fire alarm" is an understatement. This is the fire, and it is putting a quarter of all marine life at risk (NOAA).
In recent months, the UN has taken some major steps to highlight the importance of coral bleaching, including the Glowing Glowing Gone Campaign. This campaign looks at the bioluminescent colors that corals emit as a last line of defense before it dies. Partnered with The Ocean Agency, and inspired by the Netflix Documentary, Chasing Coral, Glowing Glowing Gone hopes to garner public support through the use of "glowing" coral colors. The World Surf League used the coral colors in their Tahiti Pro event to show support.
This increased focus on coral bleaching, reef restoration, and climate change by the United Nations is a small beacon of hope for the ocean. It seems as though the world is starting to face the facts: we need the reefs.