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Third International Year of the Reef 2018

2018 has been declared the International Year of the Reef, and it couldn't have come at a more important time. Coral reefs are in crisis  – we need to act.

There can be no doubt that we are at a critical tipping point, where we will either ensure or fatally compromise our ability to safeguard the world’s coral reefs and the species that will support future generations of humans and countless other species.”

So said HRH The Prince of Wales at a gathering of some of the world’s leading coral reef experts and advocates during a conference organized at the begining of February by his International Sustainability Unit (London, England).

His call to action to save coral reefs from complete global collapse, remarking that the "graveyard of destroyed reefs" around the world was not just a problem for future generations to deal with, comes at a pivotal time for coral reefs and marked the start of the Third International Year of the Reef (IYOR) – a global campaign meant to draw attention to the crisis facing coral reefs and to secure the support necessary from governments, NGOs, businesses, institutions and the public.

Designed by The Ocean Agency and led by the International Coral Reef Initiative in collaboration with UN Environment Programme (Goal 14: “Life below water”), IYOR 2018 aims to build on a new level of support for coral reef conservation and science. Prompted by the 2014/2016 coral bleaching event (the most severe ever recorded), and the still insufficient awareness of this catastrophe among the general public, as well as decision-makers and civil society (which hinders the bringing about of the required policy, regulatory and public behavioral changes needed to ensure 2018 becomes a turning point for coral reef conservation), the campaign is intended to be a catalyst for action at a never-before-achieved scale.

Bringing together all sectors to work on finding a solution to the coral reef´s plight is key to saving these ‘rainforests of the sea’ which, despite covering less than 0.015% of the ocean bottom (according to recent estimates) , harbor more than one quarter of the ocean’s biodiversity. Coral reefs are - after all- victims of the same anthropogenic threats that endanger many other aquatic ecosystems in the world, so it's only natural that it us, humans, who take on the task of figuring out how to properly restore them. Everyone is welcome to get informed, participate and actively spread the word using the unique library of imagery and resources that IYOR 2018 made available FREE for this purpose.

The image library, which includes imagery collected for Google Street View and during filming for the Netflix Original Documentary Chasing Coral,  is funded by The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, which supports organizations that work to improve the health of oceans through research, preservation and management of coral reefs.


Written by: Leyma Prado & Clara Gómez

Style and Format: Clara Gómez

Provita Apr 20, 2018


IUCN Red List of Ecosystems


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