From 12:30 to 2:00 pm.
Coral reefs are an important part of the Earth's biosphere, providing habitat for over a million species, and food and income for hundreds of millions of people along tropical coastlines. In addition, these extraordinary marine ecosystems provide a large number of other benefits that are difficult to assess economically but vitally important (e.g. healthy coastal living, clean water, coastal protection). Despite their significance, however, coral reefs are in rapid decline, with the scientific consensus that they will disappear within the next few decades if urgent action is not taken.
Over the past 10 years, impacts of global climate change (e.g. ocean warming and acidification) have superseded local factors (e.g. pollution, overexploitation of fish stocks) as the key drivers of the loss of coral reefs worldwide. Recent heatwaves on the Great Barrier Reef, for example, removed as much coral in a single year as had been removed in the previous 30 years. Climate change research and projections have revealed that anything but the lowest greenhouse gas emission scenarios mean catastrophe for coral reefs.
Consequently, the Paris Climate Change Agreement adopted in December 2015 has been a huge step forward. However, current voluntary pledges made by the international community to reduce emissions will still result, if not reinforced, in an increase of global surface temperature by 2100 above the 2°C limit above the Preindustrial period and in the total loss of coral reefs.
This seminar will be the opportunity to present and discuss the most recent scientific research on coral reefs and discuss policy options, at a time when France co-chairs with Madagascar the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI).
Seminar in French and English without simultaneous interpretation
Interview of Ove Hoegh-Guldberg
Interview of Sophie Dove