Boost to small communities caring for coral reefs

Published: 19/07/2012

Small communities from around the world will be better able to protect coral reefs after successfully securing grants announced at the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) general meeting in Cairns today.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, on behalf of the Australian Government, is hosting the initiative over the next two years in partnership with the Belize Government.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Chairman Russell Reichelt said more than $32,000 in grants had been provided by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).

"The projects range from restoring coastal areas in the wake of the 2009 tsunami in Samoa to surveying fishermen in Egypt with a view to creating no-take areas," he said.

"There will also be a review into the effects of community conserved areas on Kenyan coral reefs, as well as further work on eradicating the invasive crown-of-thorn starfish in Micronesia.

"All actions at the local level are important in protecting coral reefs globally and the funding provided will help these groups protect their local environment.

"A strong focus of the International Coral Reef Initiative is building the knowledge and skills of developing countries to help protect coral reefs for the future. We are grateful to AusAID for strongly supporting this grants program."

Belize Fisheries Administrator and ICRI Co-Chair Beverly Wade said the grants would make a big difference by enabling groups in developing countries to increase their protection efforts.

"These projects have the clear potential to deliver substantial environmental outcomes for coral reefs and the people that depend on them," she said.

The four community groups will receive grants ranging from $2,700 to $10,000, with projects due to be completed over the next 12 months.

The International Coral Reef Initiative involves government and international and non-government organisations raising awareness of coral reefs and threats to their future.

 


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