The initiative aims to establish an effective strategy for climate change resilience in five coral reefs inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List: the Rock Islands Southern Lagoon (Palau), the Lagoons of New Caledonia (France), the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Belize), the Ningaloo Coast, and the Great Barrier Reef (Australia).
The event brought together those who launched the initiative, and experts and managers of marine World Heritage sites to present the effects of climate change on their sites. Beyond the five sites concerned, the event also provided an opportunity to present a strategy to support all World Heritage sites’ adaptation to climate change.
“Coral reefs are the major witnesses of climate change,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. “The health of our planet and the future of our humanity can be seen today in the poor condition of these reefs. Swift action is needed to reverse the trend and limit the rise in temperatures. Such action can only be undertaken on a global scale, and UNESCO presents the most appropriate platform to accelerate this effort.”