United Nations Environment Program develops new strategy on coral diseases

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Cartagena Convention Secretariat and Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) say they have developed document designed to assist partners regions to make informed decisions about coral diseasese surveillance and response to the newly identified stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD).

“The disease of rocky coral tissue loss can have devastating effects on Caribbean coral reefs and the communities and economies that depend on them,” said Ileana Lopez, Program Officer for the Cartagena Convention Protocol concerning specially protected areas and fauna.

The new document provides a comprehensive overview of coral disease, its distinctive features and surveillance strategies appropriate to its impacts on coral reef ecosystems and threats to the economies of the region.

It also highlights best management practices and communication techniques, as well as possible interventions to respond to the disease.

“The document contains up-to-date, credible scientific information,” said Robert Glazer, Executive Director of GCFI, adding “that it is also designed to be as user-friendly as possible for Caribbean policymakers, natural resource managers and practitioners. who need to have the best science at their fingertips as they face this new threat to coral reefs ”.

“We know that regional collaboration between managers and multiple actors at different levels is essential to address the threat that SCTLD poses to the Caribbean region,” added Lopez.

Accordingly, the white paper describes existing collaborative platforms, such as the SCTLD Caribbean Cooperation Team coordinated by the Coral Reef Conservation Program of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Conservation Program. Rapid Assessment of Atlantic and Gulf Reefs (AGRRA). It also highlights other recommendations. on how actors at regional, national and local levels can plan and work together to combat coral disease.

The Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease White Paper is available on the website of the UNEP Cartagena Convention Secretariat and the Gulf and Caribbean Institute of Fisheries. The development of the White Paper was made possible by funding provided by the Swedish government.


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