Saturday 31 October, 2020

World Ocean Day 2020 has coral reef bio diversity in Zoom

Coral reefs are taking a front seat this World Ocean Day.

The United Nations (UN) focus for World Environment Day 2020 on Friday, June 5, was "Celebrate Biodiversity” and the theme for the UN World Oceans Day, today (June 8) is "Innovate for a Sustainable Ocean".

"So this day provides us with innovative opportunities to highlight the importance of maintaining the biological diversity of coral reefs," said President of Coral Reef Restoration Alliance (CORALL) in Barbados, Susan Mahon.

She told Loop News:

"CORALL’s plan for World Oceans Day 2020 is to continue in our mission to engage members of our community in activities to preserve and restore the coral reef ecosystems of Barbados." 

And in keeping with their mission, today, from 10 am until 11 am CORALL and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Environment Facility- Small Grants Program (GEF-SGP) will celebrate World Oceans Day online. In conjunction with the UN, CORALL will be hosting a Zoom meeting that is open to the public at large.

"We must find innovative ways of safe-guarding our reefs, as we are finding ways of safe-guarding ourselves in this time of the new reality motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The well-being of the reefs, and ourselves, depends on maintaining a healthy mix of different types of corals and other types of marine life on the reefs - branching corals like Elkhorn (and staghorn) corals; boulder corals like Brain Corals; and, other types of corals like Finger Corals, as well as a myriad of fishes, sponges, sea cucumbers, sea eggs, starfish, sea grasses and other forms of marine life."

Mahon said that during "our virtual meeting on Zoom, members of CORALL will give presentations and show videos about our work in restoring coral reef ecosystems and our community engagement activities using the Ridge to Reef approach. We will also be making a special announcement so don't miss it!"

Loop asked Mahon what she hopes viewers will take away from the virtual event, and she said: "I hope that people will take away an appreciation of the importance of healthy coral reefs and the types of things that we can all do to help keep them healthy."

How to join the World Oceans Day with CORALL and the UNDP on Zoom:

When: 

Mon Jun 8, 2020 10am – 11:00am Atlantic Standard Time - Barbados

Where: 

https://zoom.us/j/2047543556 (map)

Pleased to be endorsed by the United Nations, Mahon explained how the partnership between the UN and CORALL come about.

Mahon said:

"Many members of CORALL have historically enjoyed good working relationships with the UN as individuals and as representatives of organisations ... from as far back as the Earth Summit in 1992. 

"So, when the idea for creating CORALL came-about in 2017, the partnership was an excellent fit.  CORALL applied to the Global Environment Facility- Small Grants Program (GEF-SGP) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for a grant to establish a project called, “Engaging the community and building capacity for coral reef restoration”. We succeeded in obtaining the grant for a period of 3 years which comes to an end in January 2021."

Mahon said that CORALL has been able to make significant strides both above ground and underwater between 2017 and now due not only to the generous support of members of the UN, "but also the voluntary contributions of over 200 CORALL members and the generosity of members of the private sector who have added to the success of our events and activities so far."  

*This virtual meeting will be recorded so you will be able to see it later in the event that you are unable to participate.

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