Pursuant to paragraph 13 of decision XI/18
A, this proposal on the following action items was prepared to update the specific workplan on coral bleaching (appendix 1 of annex I to decision VII/5
) through an addendum to the workplan, taking into account the submissions 50
made by Parties, other Governments and relevant organizations in response to notification 2013-108. 51
As such, it builds on the existing specific workplan (appendix 1 of annex I to decision VII/5
) and is in line with operational objective 2.3 of the elaborated programme of work on marine and coastal biological diversity (annex I to decision VII/5
) as well as the elements of a workplan on physical degradation and destruction of coral reefs, including cold-water corals (appendix 2 of annex I to decision VII/5
3.It will contribute to the achievement of Aichi Biodiversity Target 10: By 2015, the multiple anthropogenic pressures on coral reefs, and other vulnerable ecosystems impacted by climate change or ocean acidification are minimized, so as to maintain their integrity and functioning. It will also facilitate achieving Aichi Biodiversity Targets 6 and 11.
4.This proposal aims to address the urgent need to consolidate and further strengthen current efforts at local, national, regional and global levels to manage coral reefs as socio-ecological systems undergoing change due to the interactive effects of multiple stressors, including both global stressors (e.g., rising sea temperature, the effects of tropical storms and rising sea levels, as well as ocean acidification,) and local stressors (e.g., overfishing, destructive fishing practices, land-based and sea-based pollution, coastal development, tourism and recreational use, etc). The proposal recognizes that increased sea temperature also increases risks to coral reefs from pathogens and that there are additional interactions, often synergistic, among all these stressors.
5.In particular, the proposal focuses on actions that will help:
(a)Reduce the impacts of multiple stressors, in particular by addressing those stressors that are more tractable at the regional, national and local levels, noting this would have multiple benefits and where benefits can be expected regardless of the impacts of ocean acidification ;
(b)Enhance the resilience of coral reefs and closely associated ecosystems through ecosystem-based adaptation to enable the continued provisioning of goods and services;
(c)Maintain sustainable livelihoods and food security in reef-dependent coastal communities and provide for viable alternative livelihoods, where appropriate;
(d)Increase the capability of local and national managers to forecast and plan proactively for climate risks and associated secondary effects, applying ecosystem-based adaptation measures; and
(e)Enhance international and regional cooperation in support of national implementation of priority actions, building upon existing international and regional initiatives and creating synergies with various relevant areas of work within the Convention.
6.To this end, Parties should develop national coral reef action strategies, or equivalent policies, strategies, plans or programmes, consolidating existing national initiatives, as platforms to mobilize inter-agency and cross-sectoral partnerships, as well as close coordination among national and subnational governments and local communities. National strategies should be complemented by regional strategies to address common stressors. National and regional strategies could include elements discussed in this proposal.
Recalling paragraph 4 of decision XI/20
, Parties are also urged to advocate and contribute to effective carbon dioxide emission reductions, by reducing anthropogenic emissions by sources and by increasing removals by sinks of greenhouse gases under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, noting also the relevance of the Convention on Biological Diversity and other instruments. 52
Parties are encouraged to undertake the following actions:
8.Strengthen existing sectoral and cross-sectoral management to address local stressors, such as overfishing, destructive fishing practices, land- and sea-based pollution, coastal development, tourism and recreational use:
8.1.Sustainably manage fisheries for coral reefs and closely associated ecosystems
aConduct comprehensive national assessments, including retrospective analyses, of fisheries, including commercial fisheries as well as small-scale fisheries, to determine the level of unsustainable fishing practices;
b.Promote community-based measures to manage fisheries sustainably;
c.Introduce new, or strengthen existing, national regulations and management measures, including the application of the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF), to address unsustainable fishing practices, including overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and destructive fishing practices, and ensure effective enforcement, using relevant guidelines of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations;
d.Identify and implement management measures for multispecies reef fisheries to reduce unsustainable fishing practices;
e.Sustainably manage populations of key reef fish and invertebrate species targeted by export-driven fisheries or by the aquarium and curio trades, through measures including the setting of targets, identifying indicators for sustainable fishery operations, and establishing monitoring programmes to track fishery condition and management outcomes, and by the proper implementation for species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora of non-detriment findings as required by that Convention and for which guidance is provided in CITES Resolution Conf. 16.7;
f.Prioritize the recovery and sustainable management of herbivorous reef fish populations, in particular species with key ecological functions.
8.2.Manage land-based and sea-based sources of pollution:
a.Identify all sources of significant land-based and sea-based pollutants affecting coral reefs and set up comprehensive national/local water quality monitoring programmes;
b.Implement comprehensive watershed and coastal water quality management plans that reduce all major types of pollution, especially those causing eutrophication, sublethal effects on corals, lower seawater pH or other negative impacts;
c.Implement watershed management policies that address reforestation; erosion control; runoff reduction; sustainable agriculture and mining; reduction of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer and other agrochemical use, and wastewater management and treatment;
d.Prioritize the reduction of nutrient and sediment pollution from watersheds, and the management of pollution “hotspots” (areas that produce the highest pollution loads);
e.Implement best practice standards for marinas, docks, mariculture, tourism or recreational operations conducted in coral reefs or adjacent environments;
8.3.Increase spatial coverage and effectiveness of marine and coastal protected and managed areas in coral reefs and closely associated ecosystems:
a.Improve the management of existing areas protecting coral reefs and related ecosystems, including mangrove and seagrass habitats, so that they meet their management and broader ecological objectives;
b.Prioritize the full protection of existing healthy, resilient and resistant coral reefs through the development and effective management of marine and coastal protected areas or as part of locally managed marine areas (LMMAs);
c.Integrate ecological and social resilience factors of coral reefs and closely associated ecosystems into design and management of marine protected area networks;
d.Prioritize the enhancement of conservation and management measures for coral reefs and closely associated ecosystems in areas described to meet the scientific criteria for ecologically or biologically significant marine areas;
e.Improve the design of coral reef related marine protected area networks to improve the ability of coral reefs to cope with future climate and ocean change effects;
f.Develop adaptation plans for marine protected areas to help improve the resilience of ecosystems, giving priority to coral reefs and related ecosystems;
g.Encourage and support community-based marine managed areas, in line with national policies for marine and coastal management, national or legislative frameworks or other measures;
8.4.Manage coastal development to ensure that the health and resilience of coral reef ecosystems are not adversely impacted:
a.Prioritize the protection of coral reef ecosystems in coastal development and land-use and sea-use management in coastal areas, through the application of area-based management measures, such as marine and coastal protected areas and/or marine spatial planning;
b.Ensure that consideration of long-term climate related impacts are integrated into coastal development and land-use and sea-use planning;
c.Manage impacts from large-scale tourism development and its consequent habitat loss and alteration in coral reefs and closely associated ecosystems, and support sustainable tourism by providing socioeconomic incentives and empowering coastal community for eco-tourism operation.
9.Identify and apply measures to improve the adaptive capacity of coral reef-based socio-ecological systems within the local context, which will ensure sustainable livelihoods of reef-dependent local communities and provide for viable alternative livelihoods:
a.Develop and apply socio-ecological vulnerability monitoring and assessment protocols in coral reef regions, including socio-ecological vulnerability maps and identify highly vulnerable areas for prioritizing management actions and to inform planning and management as part of a resilience- and ecosystem-based approach;
b.Prioritize poverty-reduction programmes for reef-dependent communities, to promote livelihood strategies that are socially and ecologically resilient and to reduce poverty-induced overexploitation of reef ecosystems;
c.Develop and implement socioeconomic incentives to encourage coastal communities to play a central role in conservation and sustainable use of coral reefs and closely associated ecosystems, including through, inter alia, the use of tax benefits or other economic incentives for sustainable fishing, conservation agreements that rewards users who forego unsustainable activities, and community-based conservation trust funds supported by fees from ecotourism and fines for unsustainable use;
d.Apply ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) tools and indicators for use in coral reef regions and incorporate EbA principles and practices into coral reef management;
e.Incorporate social drivers of coral reef degradation, such as projected human population increase and food security needs, into forecasts of multiple stressor impacts.
10.Establish or further enhance integrated management and coordination mechanisms to effectively address multiple stressors to coral reefs, including through the implementation of national coral reef action strategies/plans, as described above:
a.Integrate ecosystem-based approaches for management and adaptation, into development planning and legislative frameworks at the local, subnational and national level, and identify and remove barriers to implementation;
b.Apply cross-sectoral, inter-agency area-based management tools, including watershed and marine spatial planning approaches, to effectively reduce local stressors from multiple sources and mitigate their impacts to coral reefs and closely associated ecosystems;
c.Incorporate watershed-based management approaches into reef management through the application of an integrated land-sea planning approach;
d.Integrate national coral reef action strategies/plans into existing national mechanisms and broader national priorities such as poverty reduction and sustainable development strategies (including those for population and health, coastal development and food security);
e.Set in place an inter-agency steering committee at national and/or subnational levels, as appropriate, to coordinate, support and monitor the implementation of national coral reef action strategies/plans;
f.Empower local communities in reef-management, particularly in remote regions or where capacity is low, by providing necessary resources and capacity building, and devolution of management responsibilities in line with national/subnational management guidelines.
11.The Executive Secretary of the Convention, in collaboration with existing global (e.g., the International Coral Reef Initiative, ICRI) and regional initiatives, should facilitate strengthening of international and regional cooperation in support of national implementation of priority actions, as described above, with regard to information exchange, knowledge sharing, awareness building, capacity-building, sustainable financing, and research and monitoring:
11.1.Education, awareness and capacity-building:
a.Develop or expand national and regional networks of coral reef managers of all types to promote the exchange of information, knowledge and best practices;
b.Develop a global coral reef portal linked to the website of the Convention on Biological Diversity and existing global and regional initiatives to facilitate technical collaboration and voluntary information sharing on all aspects of sustainable management of coral reefs and related ecosystems;
c.Facilitate wide implementation of existing training programmes on priority tools and approaches for coral reef management and develop additional training materials in support of implementing priority actions;
d.Integrate information about coral reefs, environmental conservation and ecosystem-based management into existing curricula at all levels of national education systems;
e.Develop and implement targeted education and awareness campaigns for diverse stakeholders on how communities and stakeholders can increase coral reef resilience by reducing the direct threats facing coral reefs;
f.Provide training and other capacity development opportunities in support of community based management initiatives that increase socio-ecological resilience at the local or subnational level.
a.Secure, through national sectoral budget systems (e.g., fisheries, environment, climate change adaptation fund, coastal development, tourism, etc.), the necessary financial resources to implement national coral reef action strategies;
b.Apply comprehensive and diverse financing schemes for coral reef management, and explore opportunities for innovative financing to support local implementation;
c.Remove key bottlenecks and improve access to funding through capacity building and streamlining of funding processes;
d.Demonstrate and increase awareness of the socioeconomic importance of coral reefs and associated ecosystems to local and national economies.
11.3.Research and monitoring programmes:
a.Research on multiple stressor interactions and effects on coral reefs at the species, population and ecosystem level to identify the most damaging local stressors affecting coral reefs ecosystems at the site-based level;
b.Research to support a resilience-based approach to coral reef management that is embedded within an integrated ecosystem-based management framework;
c.Develop and implement early warning systems for major reef health incidents such as bleaching or disease events, tropical storms and flood plumes;
d.Develop water chemistry monitoring programmes for coastal and inshore waters to determine the natural spatial and temporal variability of ocean carbon chemistry, and detect trends;
e.Research on the sensitivity of species, habitats and communities within coral reefs to changes in ocean carbon chemistry and whether there is a potential for adaptation to ocean acidification in reef organisms;
f.Incorporate into the framework of management actions a set of broadly applicable and robust indicators for resilience and stressor assessment, and use these indicators to support regular assessments of management effectiveness;
g.Further develop ecological and socio-economic criteria and variables for use in vulnerability assessments in coral reef regions, building on existing work; and
h.Develop mapping tools that combine data on the current status of coral reefs, management efforts and their effectiveness with predictive modelling of stressor effects to generate future scenarios of reef condition and ecosystem service provision.