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Global Fund for Coral Reefs—Mobilizing Action and Resources for Coral Reef Survival and Strengthened Resilience of Reef-dependent Communities

The UNSG’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, Ambassador Peter Thomson, participated in the Global Fund for Coral Reefs High Level event the 16 September 2020, in a session dedicated to discussing Challenges and Opportunities in the Covid19 context and the Super Year of Nature. Other speakers in the segment included Elizabeth Mrema, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Yannick Glemarec, Executive Coordinator, Green Climate Fund, and H.E. Lois Young, Permanent Representative of Belize to the United Nations, AOSIS Chair.

In his remarks, Ambassador Thomson emphasized that “WMO’s recently released United in Science 2020 Report shows that the Climate Crisis has not stopped for the Covid-19 pandemic, and that our GHG emissions in the atmosphere are at record levels and are continuing to increase.”

His central message was that “whatever angle you’re coming from in coral’s defence, our main enemy is our burgeoning levels of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and that it is everyone’s responsibility to do whatever we can to bring in the required transformations to our patterns of consumption, production and habitat destruction, in order to get us to a carbon neutral world by 2050.”

The main objective of this high-level event was to present the “Global Fund for Coral Reefs”, a blended finance instrument to catalyze the private sector role in the blue economy and coral reef conservation. “There are many other measures we can take to mitigate on coral’s behalf, many measures applying the best of science and innovation to build resilience for coral reefs, both locally and at regional and global levels. But these measures will not occur at the scale required without financial support for those at the frontlines of research and implementation.”

Ambassador Thomson urged “all in a position now to do so, to provide the Fund with the means required for those works to be undertaken without delay, so that we may turn the tide on coral’s destruction.”