CORAL MAPPING TECHNOLOGY TO ACCELERATE REEF RESTORATION AND PROTECTION IN THE COMMONWEALTH 

Coral Mapping

June 9, 2020

The Commonwealth Secretariat is joining forces with Vulcan Inc. to help member countries manage their ocean spaces via cutting-edge mapping technology. 

Commonwealth countries are responsible for more than a third of the world’s coastal ocean, and 45 percent of its coral reefs. 

The new tool will use satellite technology to create country-specific data and generate high-resolution images to help map, manage and monitor coral reefs in the Commonwealth. 

Announcing the initiative in time for World Reef Awareness Day, 1 June, Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: “The threats confronting our ocean are numerous and can be perceived by governments as overwhelming, with 90 percent of coral reefs at risk of disappearing within the next few decades due to climate change.

“That is why Commonwealth leaders launched the Commonwealth Blue Charter in 2018, which is a shared commitment from all 54 member countries to tackle urgent ocean issues together. Our partnership with Vulcan Inc, as well as others in the private sector, academia and science networks, will work to translate our vision into meaningful on-the-water actions.”

Building on the technology behind Vulcan’s Allen Coral Atlas – a public platform that converts data from a range of sources to generate detailed maps, images and alerts on coral reefs – a dynamic interactive coral reef map will be hosted online on the Commonwealth Innovation Hub. The information it contains will support marine ecosystem planning, management, governance and community action in member countries.

Chuck Cooper, Managing Director of Government and Community Relations at Vulcan said: “We have already lost 50 per cent of the world’s coral reefs which support the safety, well-being, and economic security of hundreds of millions of people. The Allen Coral Atlas is helping to provide foundational data which inform critically important conservation efforts. Working with Commonwealth countries, we can change the trajectory of the coral reef crisis.”

The joint project was unveiled with a special virtual presentation on World Oceans Day, 8 June. 

About Vulcan Inc.

Seattle-based Vulcan Inc. strives to make and leave the world a better place.  Our work focuses on solving some of the world’s biggest challenges facing oceans, climate, conservation, and communities. Our commercial work focuses on thoughtful investing and innovative community development. Vulcan was founded by technologist and philanthropist Paul G. Allen.

About the Commonwealth

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal sovereign states. The Commonwealth is home to 2.4 billion people and includes both advanced economies and developing countries. More than 60 per cent of the Commonwealth’s population is under the age of 30. Thirty-two of our members are small states, many of which are island nations. Our shared values and principles are inscribed in the Commonwealth Charter. Member countries are supported by a network of more than 80 intergovernmental, civil society, cultural and professional organisations.

Website www.thecommonwealth.org

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