CAIRNS, Australia and STANFORD, California 9 July 2012 -- Like their warrior ancestors, leaders of many Pacific Island nations have been making efforts to safeguard their countries, this time by sounding an alarm as the impact of climate change becomes more apparent. Today their efforts received a big boost with the release of a Scientific Consensus Statement on Climate Change and Coral Reefs that is supported by over 2,400 scientists, showing the threats that reef corals are under across the globe and calling for governments worldwide to take steps to protect valuable coral reef ecosystems. The statement was drafted by a group of eminent scientists under the auspices of the Center for Ocean Solutions (COS) at Stanford University in California and was released at the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium in Cairns, Australia.
"Rising sea levels, more intense storms, changes in ocean chemistry due to air and water pollution - all these stress coral reefs," observed Steve Palumbi, an expert on corals with the Center for Ocean Solutions and the chief organizer in developing the consensus statement. "At least 25 percent of the world's coral reefs have been degraded. Because of the global origin of climate change, the only way to tackle this is through a worldwide effort."
Pacific island nations have a special relationship with coral reefs. Long a part of their culture and heritage, today many islanders derive their livelihoods from tourism and fishing that are dependent on healthy reefs. Pacific island leaders will again take their case for a concerted effort to help coral reefs to world bodies including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Pacific Islands Forum where they hope the support of scientific experts representing diverse interests will galvanize action by governments and the islands' development partners.
"We want leaders of Pacific island nations to know that the scientific community has their ba
|Contact: Karen Marvin|