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MSC Foundation to support IUCN in protecting and restoring coral reefs

Daniela Picco and Razan Al Mubarak at Monaco Ocean Week where the partnership was announced
MSC Foundation and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have formed a new partnership to conserve and restore coral reefs under threat.

Support from MSC Foundation will enable completion of the comprehensive global assessment of the world’s coral species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Global Coral Biodiversity Assessment project aims to deliver concrete, actionable restoration plans for coral reefs, as well as the threatened species populating them.

MSC Foundation previously unveiled a partnership with the Ba’a Foundation in Saudi Arabia to support novel coral reef resilience and restoration programmes in the Red Sea. Plus, it is building its own Marine Conservation Centre on Ocean Cay island, which will include a biolab, coral nurseries and outreach and education facilities.

A third of coral face extinction 

Offering thanks to MSC Foundation for its support, Razan Al Mubarak, president of the IUCN, stated, ‘It could not be more vital; over a third of coral species assessed on the IUCN Red List face extinction. This partnership will enable us to complete further assessments, and ensure the world has the information needed to protect corals and the livelihoods of the more than half a billion people who depend upon them.’ 

Restoring coral reefs, mangrove forests and seagrass beds

Pierfrancesco Vago, chair of the MSC Foundation executive committee and executive chairman of the cruise division of MSC Group, said, ‘As stewards of our planet, we have a responsibility to protect its precious ecosystems. Our new partnership with IUCN is a powerful commitment to conserve and restore threatened coral reefs, mangrove forests and seagrass beds. 

‘By empowering decision-makers and practitioners to act on the global recommendations emerging from the Global Marine Biodiversity Assessment, we can safeguard these essential ecosystems for future generations.’ 

Project aims 

The project will include identifying the most vulnerable species of coral and areas of reef, prioritising conservation and restoration actions based on the threats they face, and reporting the contribution that conserving these ecosystems makes to achieving the targets in the United Nations (UN) Global Biodiversity Framework.

The partnership will also contribute to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

Driving meaningful change

‘The MSC Foundation is committed to advancing ocean science and delighted to partner with IUCN to drive meaningful change in the marine conservation space,’ commented Daniela Picco, executive director, MSC Foundation.

‘This partnership marks a significant step forward in our efforts to restore and protect the world's oceans. It complements our Super Coral Programme and other work in the marine conservation area, while offering promising scope to involve new partners on the communication and dissemination side. Together, we will work towards a sustainable future for our planet, where marine life thrives and the oceans are restored to health for generations to come.’

Monaco Ocean Week

The announcement was made during Monaco Ocean Week, which brings professionals from across the marine conservation community together to discuss key challenges facing the world's oceans.