The UK has vowed to help protect the world’s coral reefs from climate change and warming oceans, after it yesterday announced it has formally joined the Coral Reef Life Declaration (CRLD). By joining the CRLD, the UK said it is “committing to safeguard coral reefs and bolster scientific research into the threats they face”.
Accounting for just 0.25 per cent of the world’s marine environment yet home to 25 per cent of all marine life, coral reefs are crucial to ocean eco-systems and the sustainability of many key fisheries.
Yet, as the BBC’s hit nature documentary series Blue Planet II laid bare last year, the world’s coral reefs are under severe threat from warming oceans and climate change.
Rising sea temperatures have already prompted mass bleaching of reefs, most notably on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, while pollution and overfishing are also stunting marine life.
The CRLD was launched last October in Malta by Prince Albert II of Monaco, and so far has 12 member countries including Australia, Fiji and the Seychelles.
UK Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said the UK will collaborate with these nations to help address the threat to coral ecosystems.
“Through tapping into the UK’s world-leading marine science and working with our partners across the Commonwealth, we will help to safeguard this vital habitat and protect our oceans for future generations,” she said.