Global Coral Reef Partnership
Status of initiative: On track
Description/achievement of initiative

Global change as well as local pressures are driving declining coral reef health around the world, and accelerated loss of ecosystem services willincreasingly affect people dependent on coral reefs in over 100 countries. In 2014 UNEP and Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans (‘RegionalSeas’) initiated a Global Coral Reef Partnership to support countries deliver internationally agreed coral reef commitments through ecosystem-basedmanagement of coral reefs, as called for in the Global Strategic Directions for the Regional Seas 2013-2016.The overall goal of the partnership is to promote and demonstrate ecosystem-based marine management in coral reef areas, in line with UNEP Governing Council and UNEA decisions, and as a contribution towards international targets such as Sustainable Development Goal 14 and Aichi Target 10. It is the primary vehicle for strengthening implementation of the ICRI Continuing Call to Action through theRegional Seas.

Implementation methodologies

Implementation of activities is carried out with donor support as well as in-kind contributions by partners. The US Department of State counterpart contribution for UNEP’s work on coral reefs with the Regional Seas and ICRI has been instrumental in establishment of the partnership.At the global level, the partnership supports development and exchange of methods, tools and policy frameworks. Adoption and use of these outputsis facilitated at the regional level through the Regional Seas, as well as nationally through demonstration and pilot projects. The partnership delivers results under four work areas, three substantive and one institutional: (1) Building coral reef resilience in the face of climate change and ocean acidification; (2) Strengthening use of coral reef ecosystem service values in public and private decisionmaking; (3) Enhancing data and information for ecosystem-based coral reef planning andmanagement; (4) Securing impact through institutional support and outreach.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

The partnership has a light institutional structure, formed around the Regional Seas as formal mechanisms for uptake and collaboration with a technical partners in delivery of activities and outputs. A Partnership Steering Committee, which meets annually, sets the partnership work programme,reviews progress and provides guidance. UNEP hosts the partnership secretariat. The partnership modality and work programme are elaborated in UNEP Project Document 321.2 “Global Coral Reef Partnership: Towards an Ecosystem Approach to Coral Reef Management”


Participating organizations include the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), a partnership among governments, international organizations and nongovernment organizations and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN); NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program; The Reef-World Foundation, international coordinators of the Green Fins initiative; Blue Finance, an organization focusing on development of economic instruments and natural capital-based approaches for management of marine resources; as well as UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre and GRID-Arendal.
Press release: UN Environment Programme and Partners Launch Sustainable Diving Guide to Protect Marine Assets http://www.unep.org/newscentre/Default.aspx?DocumentID=27071&ArticleID=36137&l=en
Statistically downscaled climate model projections for coral bleaching conditions http://uneplive.unep.org/theme/index/19
Green Fins Toolbox http://www.greenfins.net/tools-and-resources
Green Fins for a Blue Planet https://www.youtube.com/v/DWtjifMDvUo?autoplay=1&rel=0
Press release: Coral reefs face bleak future but lifeboats may help them survive http://www.unep.org/newscentre/Default.aspx?DocumentID=27074&ArticleID=36190&l=en
Mesophotic reefs - a lifeboat for coral reefs? http://bit.ly/28ROXGa
Resources devoted to implementation
Staff / Technical expertise
UNEP staff
Progress reports
Cut off date each year: 1 July
This initiative does not yet fulfil the SMART criteria.
Date of completion: ongoing
Operating in countries
Contact information/focal point(s)
Jerker Tamelander, tamelander@un.org

Copyright 2017 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs