United Nations Environment Assembly 4 resolution on Coral Reefs

Photo credit: The Ocean Agency

The United Nations Environment Assembly is the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment, this year it took place between the 11th and the 15th of March in Nairobi, Kenya under the theme ‘Innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production’.  It addresses the critical environmental challenges facing the world today. Understanding these challenges and preserving and rehabilitating our environment is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Environment Assembly meets biennially to set priorities for global environmental policies and develop international environmental law. Through its resolutions and calls to action, the Assembly provides leadership and catalyses intergovernmental action on the environment. Decision-making requires broad participation, which is why the Assembly provides an opportunity for all peoples to help design solutions for our planet’s health. During UNEA 4  the following three focus areas were addressed:

(a) environmental challenges related to poverty and natural resources management, including sustainable food systems, food security and halting biodiversity loss;

(b) life-cycle approaches to resource efficiency, energy, chemicals and waste management; and (c) innovative sustainable business development at a time of rapid technological change.

On the occasion of UNEA 4 the resolution on sustainable coral reef management, submitted by the governments of Monaco, Indonesia and the Republic of Korea, was adopted, (this document can be downloaded here: UNEA 4 Coral Resolution (PDF)). Points 3 and 4 respectively refer directly to the GCRMN:

Encourages member states and other entities to engage in ICRI’s Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), including through participation in regional networks and application of indicators and best practices identified through GCRMN, in order to produce the global report on the status of coral reefs in 2020′ 

Requests the Executive Director of UN Environment Programme in particular through the Coral Reef Unit and in collaboration with ICRI, to continue to develop and strengthen the GCRMN, including integrated monitoring and new technologies, in line with the GCRMN Implementation and Governance Plan to understand and communicate the status and trends of coral reefs globally’