The Commonwealth Secretariat is joining forces with Vulcan Inc. to help membercountries manage their ocean spaces via cutting-edge mapping technology.

Commonwealth countries are responsible for more than a third of the world’scoastal ocean, and 45 percent of its coral reefs.

The new tool will use satellite technology to create country-specific data andgenerate high-resolution images to help map, manage and monitor coral reefs inthe Commonwealth.

Announcing the initiative in time for World Reef Awareness Day, 1 June,Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: “The threats confronting our oceanare numerous and can be perceived by governments as overwhelming, with 90percent of coral reefs at risk of disappearing within the next few decades dueto climate change.

“That is why Commonwealth leaders launched the Commonwealth Blue Charter in2018, which is a shared commitment from all 54 member countries to tackleurgent ocean issues together. Our partnership with Vulcan Inc, as well asothers in the private sector, academia and science networks, will work totranslate our vision into meaningful on-the-water actions.”

Building on the technology behind Vulcan’s Allen Coral Atlas – a publicplatform that converts data from a range of sources to generate detailed maps,images and alerts on coral reefs – a dynamic interactive coral reef map willbe hosted online on the Commonwealth Innovation Hub. The information itcontains will support marine ecosystem planning, management, governance andcommunity action in member countries.

Chuck Cooper, Managing Director of Government and Community Relations atVulcan said: “We have already lost 50 per cent of the world’s coral reefswhich support the safety, well-being, and economic security of hundreds ofmillions of people. The Allen Coral Atlas is helping to provide foundationaldata which inform critically important conservation efforts. Working withCommonwealth countries, we can change the trajectory of the coral reefcrisis.”

The joint project will be unveiled with a special virtual presentation onWorld Oceans Day, 8 June.

This event, titled ‘Mapping the Commonwealth one coral reef at a time,’ willalso feature presentations from three Blue Charter Action groups, focusing on:Coral Reef Protection and Restoration, Ocean and Climate Change, and MangroveEcosystems and Livelihoods.

The Commonwealth Blue Charter is implemented by 10 country-driven actiongroups that share experiences and coordinate action to tackle oceanchallenges. The presentations will highlight how the groups work together andthe importance of accurate and live data to support management decisions.

Click here register for the event

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