Blue Pangolin at COP15


From December 7th to December 19th saw the occasion of the Fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (Part Two), or COP15, hosted in Montreal, Canada. The Blue Pangolin team organised and took part in various events as the Designated Administrative Representative for the International Coral Reef Initiative. Below are some key takeaways from the events and COP15:

COP15: a once-in-a-generation opportunity #ForNature and #ForCoral

After two weeks of negotiations, the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, the global strategy for biodiversity for the next decade was signed, with key commitments for nature including the expectation of governments to conserve 30% of the planet by 2030.

In this context the International Coral Reel Initiative has been working since 2018 for the inclusion of coral reefs in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to secure a nature-positive outcome. At COP15 and to mark the final push for coral reefs ahead of the adoption of the Framework, ICRI organised and supported multiple events #ForCoral.

United for a Decade of Conservation Action #ForCoral reception

One of the highlights of COP15 for coral reefs was a reception organised by ICRI with support from the Coral Research & Development Accelerator Platform (CORDAP), Monaco Government, Global Fund for Coral Reefs, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Vulcan on December 14th. The event convened coral reef organizations, coral reef countries and CBD Parties to showcase a unified community for positive action over the next 10 years.

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Key takeaways:

  • Urgent action is needed to preserve coral reefs, we must turn the tide #ForCoral
  • The key words from the high-level breakfast were “action” and “resilience” – and Elizabeth Maruma Mrema called upon leaders in the room for political will to drive the negotiations in CBD Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework.
  • The GCRMN will continue to mobilise and build data solutions throughout 2022.
  • Blue Pangolin will continue to develop a ‘Coral Unity’ event at the upcoming COPs, through ICRI, to give coral reefs one voice, urging action.

With a strong representation from Pacific countries, representing 1/3 of the World’s coral reefs, the event saw remarks from Assistant Secretary Monica Medina (U.S. Department of State), H.E. Minister Abdulla Naseer (Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology, Maldives), H.E Minister Simo Kilepa (Minister for Environment and Conservation and Climate Change, Papua New Guinea), Sebastian Unger (Special Envoy for the Ocean, Germany), Sefanaia Nawadra (Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)) with closing remarks from Stephen de Boer (Assistant Deputy Minister, International Affairs Branch, Environment and Climate Change Canada). Closed by the Hawaiian creation chant Kumulipo from Solomon Kaho’ohalahala, recognising the indigenous connection of coral reefs and Hawaii, the reception was a powerful reminder of the need to act now #ForCoral.

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Other events #ForCoral

Acting as the ICRI Secretariat, with guidance from ICRI’s chairs, the Blue Pangolin team contributed to the organisation and support of other events at COP15.

A virtual exhibition at the COP15 Fair on experiences and best practices in Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) was organised from December 8 to 10, 2022, to showcase coral reefs resources produced by ICRI.

On December 13th, ICRI co-hosted an event with the Global Fund for Coral Reefs, Coral Research & Development Accelerator Platform (CORDAP), and The Nature Conservancy, which was led by global coral reef experts and showcased pathways and best practices for achieving coral reef targets, including through increased protection, reduction of local degradation drivers, scaled restoration, knowledge sharing, policy, and sustainable finance.

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The 15th December saw multiple events supported by, and showcasing, ICRI and Blue Pangolin. For example, ICRI -organized a session to present the best available financial vehicles and tools to scale global funding and implementation for coral reef conservation alongside the Coral Triangle Initiative for Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF), Conservation Finance Alliance (CFA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR).

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Moreover, Francis was welcomed to present the status, trends, and value of coral reefs in the Latin America and the Caribbean region, in a breakfast event organised by the CAF – banco de desarrollo de América Latina.

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Tom, as a member of the IMPAC5 Young professional Committee, was invited to participate in a round table workshop on Marine Conservation Financing leading up to leadership forum at IMPAC5, which brought together representatives from the financial sector, multilateral development banks, NGOs, philanthropic foundations and others, such as the Blue Action Fund, World Resources Institute, RARE, and The Nature Conservancy. The workshop aimed to address adapting large-scale climate and biodiversity funding mechanisms to better support the needs of marine conservation financing.

Learn more about the work of Blue Pangolin for coral reefs here.

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