Coral Reef status in South Asian Seas Region and its possible restoration partnering with other Agencies

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1 Coral Reef status in South Asian Seas Region and its possible restoration partnering with other Agencies Dr. Sivaji Patra Senior Programme Officer (Regional) South Asian Seas Programme-SACEP 06 th December, 2018 ICRI General Meeting- Yatch Club of Monaco

2 SACEP and South Asian Seas Programme (SASP) v The South Asian Seas (SAS) Programme is under the umbrella of South Asia Co-operative Environment (SACEP) and is designated for implementation of the implementation of the SASP. v The South Asian Seas Action Plan was adopted at Meeting of Plenipotentiaries by the five maritime countries of South Asia, on March 24 th 1995,New Delhi, India. v SASP is one of the 18 Regional Seas Programmes of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

3 SACEP Action Plans for SAS region South Asian Seas Action Plan the following as the main components : Ø environnemental assessment, Ø environnemental management, Ø environnemental legislation and institutional Identified the following priority areas: ü integrated coastal zone management ü oil-spill contingency planning, ü human resource development and ü the environmental effects of land-based activities

4

5 SAS Regional targets - Ensuring Ecosystem Services and Wellbeing - Prevention of Species Extinction - Control of Alien Invasive Species - Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture - Prevention of Marine Pollution - Effective and Equitable Governance of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas

6 Function vs. Structure of Coral Reef Ecosystem function Original Ecosystem De gr ad at io n Biomass & Productivity Anthropogenic - Coral mining -Sedimentation - Blast fishing -Nutrients/Sewage - Over fishing - MICROPLASTIC Degraded Ecosystem Biodiversity Natural - Global warming -Cyclones/Typhoon - Disease - Predation Ecosystem structure

7 Coral Reef Map in SAS region Global Importance of Coastal and Marine Ecosystems in SAS: 6.8% of the global mangrove forests 6% of the global coral reefs Two of the world largest estuaries (the Ganges and the Indus) Six of the Global 200 Ecosystems (Sudarbans, Indus delta, Rann of Kutch Flooded Grasslands, Maldives, Chagos, Lakshadweep Atolls, Arabian sea and the Andaman sea)

8 Globally recognized coral reef areas of SAS region Coral Reef system Global Significance Biodiversity Value Gulf of Mannar, India UNESCO- MAB & WHS area Ninety-four seleractinian coral species Maldives, Chagos and Lakshadweep Atolls, and Sri Lanka Andaman Sea (including Andaman & Nicorbar islands of India) WWF Global 200 Ecosystems UNESCO MAB (Baa Atoll) WWF Global 200 Ecosystem UNESCO MAB (Great Nicorbar) belonging to 37 genera. Over 250 coral reef species, act as a stepping stone for coral larvae transport from eastern to western Indian Ocean Extensive fringing reefs exist here, as well as a 320 kilometers-long barrier reef on the west coast. Much of the wildlife on these islands is endemic.

9 Situation Analysis in SAS region Reef Area (km 2 ) 1 No of hard coral species No. of reef fish species Reefs at risk (%) 1 % of Reefs now dead 3 Bangladesh <50 52 (25 living) India 5, , Maldives 8, , Pakistan < 50 na na na na Sri Lanka Source : Spalding et al, 2001; Uddin, 2004; Rajasuriya et al, 2004

10 Threats of coral reef in SAS region Coral reefs are threatened by a number of factors including: i. Climate change related coral bleaching; ii. Sedimentation; iii. Diseases; iv. Overharvesting of resources including fish for food and ornamental fish; v. Use of destructive fishing methods such as trawling and dynamiting, pollution and coastal development. Coral reefs in the Indian Ocean were seriously damaged due to the unprecedented bleaching event in 1998 from which many reefs have not recovered to their pre-bleaching status. South Asian reefs also suffered damage from the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, Andaman & Nicobar Islands lost some fringing reefs due to upliftment or subsidence. (Keating and Helsley, 2005, Obura et al., 2008; Wilkinson et al., 2006 and Wilkinson 2008)

11 Challenges, Gaps and Constraints Ø Geographical Setting and population dispersal Ø Capacity of Enforcements and civil society Ø Limited technical, technological and human capacity Ø Role of private sector in conservation coral reef biodiversity Ø Lack of general awareness on the value of reef biodiversity among the public and decision makers Ø Knowledge managements and sharing Ø Lack of adequate mechanisms to monitor change Ø Lack of research in the filed of coral reef biodiversity Ø Demand for Land, modern Infrastructures and economy growth

12 THANK YOU..

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