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  • Potter at Island Resources
    [The notice below describes the new release of CARIBBEAN REEFS at RISK. Copies of the report are available to CARIBWA members from the author, Lauretta Burke
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 10, 2004
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      [The notice below describes the new release of CARIBBEAN REEFS at
      RISK. Copies of the report are available to CARIBWA members from the
      author, Lauretta Burke <lauretta@...> at the World Resources

      In addition, I am looking for addresses and lists of people involved
      in marine science activities, including LABORATORIES, in the region.

      WRITE TO LAURETTA for copies --- Lauretta Burke <lauretta@...>


      At 10:39 PM -0400 9/29/04, Potter at Island Resources wrote:
      > Contact:
      > Paul Mackie, Media Officer, (202)729-7684; pmackie@...
      >A summary of the report and illustrations are available
      >at the Media Preview site of the WRI Newsroom, http://newsroom.wri.org
      >WRI Report Says Human Activities, Hurricanes Threaten
      >Two-thirds of Caribbean Coral Reefs
      >Montego Bay, Jamaica Sept. 29, 2004 - Nearly two-thirds of coral
      >reefs in the Caribbean are threatened by human activities, according
      >to a new report released today by scientists at the World Resources
      >Institute (WRI) under the framework of the International Coral Reef
      >Action Network (ICRAN) (www.icran.org)and UNEP's Caribbean
      >Environment Programme (www.cep.unep.org). Additionally, coral reefs
      >are a vital component of coastal defense against the ravages of
      >storms and hurricanes like Frances and Ivan.
      >"Many reefs are subject to multiple threats, such as from
      >over-fishing and runoff of pollution and sediments from the land. We
      >estimate that two-thirds of the region's reefs are threatened from
      >these direct human pressures," said Lauretta Burke, lead author of
      >Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean. "The very important overarching
      >threats of coral bleaching from warming oceans, coral disease from
      >new pathogens, and perhaps increased hurricane frequency are
      >additional threats that put even more reefs at risk."
      >Burke and her co-author, Jon Maidens, will present their
      >comprehensive report on Sept. 29 in Montego Bay, Jamaica during the
      >11th Intergovernmental Meeting on the Action Plan for the Caribbean
      >Environment Programme and the Eight Meeting of the Contracting
      >Parties to the Cartagena Convention that will be attended by
      >government officials and scientists. The meeting will also serve as
      >the launch of the report's companion Web site at
      >"Reefs take a battering from hurricanes, which is a natural
      >occurrence, but the threat increases if they become more frequent.
      >When reefs get knocked down, the cost to people is dramatic," said
      >Jon Maidens, co-author of the report. "If coral reefs are lost,
      >replacing such natural protection by artificial means would cost
      >coastal communities millions of dollars."
      >The report utilizes WRI's Reefs at Risk Threat Index, which uses
      >geographic information system (GIS) data to determine reef
      >degradation from four primary sources. This includes coastal
      >developments such as sewage discharge, water-based sediment and
      >pollution coming from fertilizers from farms, marine-based pollution
      >such as those coming from discharges from cruise ships, and
      >"Human activity has undermined the health and vitality of reefs. The
      >coral reefs I observed in the 1940s are totally different today.
      >Sadly, none has changed for the better," wrote noted filmmaker
      >Jean-Michel Cousteau in the preface to Reefs at Risk in the
      >The analysis of coral reefs throughout the entire Caribbean - an
      >estimated area of more than 10,000 square miles (26,000 sq
      >kilometers) - used several other factors within its measurement
      >index. For instance, when hurricanes arrive, Florida and the
      >Caribbean nations are protected by reefs because of their ability to
      >dissipate wave and storm energy. The authors used their index to
      >calculate that shoreline protection from natural Caribbean reefs
      >saves between US$700 million and US$2.2 billion per year.
      >"Hurricanes have been important in shaping the Caribbean. Reefs can
      >recover from these storms, but not necessarily, and they're less
      >likely to recover with all the added stress from other sources,"
      >Maidens said. "This has economic implications."
      >For instance, continuing degradation of the region's coral reefs
      >could reduce net annual revenues from dive tourism - which provided
      >an estimated US$2.1 billion in 2000 - by as much as US$300 million
      >per year by 2015.
      > The authors estimate that Caribbean coral reefs provide goods
      >and services with an annual net economic value in 2000 between
      >US$3.1 billion and US$4.6 billion from fisheries, dive tourism,
      >fisheries and shoreline protection services. Additionally, the
      >report also focuses on ways all consumers can preserve reefs. The
      >International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN), supported primarily
      >by the UN Foundation, was established in recognition of this value
      >of coral reefs to millions of coastal communities around the world,
      >and the need to reverse their decline.
      > "Properly managed marine protected areas offer some protection for
      >coral reefs, but at present, governments are not investing enough in
      >these areas. Our analysis points to the high value of these
      >resources, and what will be lost if they are not better protected,."
      >Burke said.
      >Another innovative feature of the report is its inclusion of the
      >first regionally consistent, detailed mapping of these threats.
      >These will help local, national and international organizations in
      >setting priorities for conservation and natural-resource management.
      >In this context it contributes to the objectives of the Cartagena
      >Convention, in particular its two protocols on Specially Protected
      >Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) and on Land-based Sources and Activities
      >of Marine Pollution (LBS).
      >"The report will be a valuable tool for countries in the region
      >implementing the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols", said Mr.
      >Nelson Andrade Colmenares, Coordinator of UNEP's Caribbean
      >Environment Programme. "Determining the potential impact of
      >land-based activities on our coastal and marine resources is
      >critical for the economic sustainability of the region, which is so
      >dependent upon them".
      >"Actions to reverse the threats to Caribbean coral reefs can often
      >be undertaken at very low cost, with very high financial and
      >societal returns, even in the short term," Maidens added.
      >WRI first used the Reefs at Risk Threat Index to determine reef
      >degradation throughout the world in 1998. Five years later, it was
      >used to measure the threats to the coral reefs of Southeast Asia,
      >the center of global marine diversity. This is the first time it has
      >been applied to the Caribbean or used in a region that is heavily
      >dependent on tourism for its revenue.
      >"We rated 88 percent of Southeast Asia's reefs as threatened. We
      >only rate 64 percent of the Caribbean tropical coral reefs as
      >threatened. However, the threat of disease, which is not included in
      >the model, is greater in the Caribbean," Burke said.
      > -30-
      >World Resources Institute (http://www.wri.org) is an environmental
      >research and policy organization that goes beyond research to create
      >practical ways to protect the Earth and improve people's lives.

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