A Caribbean-specific Plan of Action is under development to identify priority issues for coral reefs under a changing climate.
The IPCC last week published its report on the impact that climate change is having on humans and the world – and it comes as no surprise that coral reefs take centre stage with already visible impacts. Nowhere is this more apparent than the Caribbean. Coral reefs are under serious pressure, yet they underpin much of the economic activity and are central to the wellbeing and identity of people throughout the region.
Understanding what climate change means for regional development goals, and how managers can improve the outlook for coral reefs, are key challenges being tackled under the Australia Caribbean Coral Reef Collaboration. These challenges, and strategies to help address them, have been compiled under a Regional Plan of Action.
The Plan of Action - which provides a roadmap for advancing coral reef work on a regional scale in the Caribbean - was developed in consultation with regional leaders, stakeholders and experts. It is built on national-level summaries of issues and priorities for coral reefs, and presents strategies under four goals aimed at improving the outlook for Caribbean reefs by 2018:
· Improve the health and resilience of Caribbean coral reefs
· Strengthen the adaptive capacity of communities
· Build better foundations for regional action
· Advocate for stronger global action on climate change
.The Plan is being adopted as a key component supporting implementation of the Caribbean's regional climate change framework.
The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) - an organization promoting the responsible use of the Caribbean’s marine resources for economic and social benefit – will be coordinating implementation of the Plan, providing strong regional leadership to this important issue.