Oceanographic Institute, Albert the 1st Foundation, Prince of Monaco
On December 18th an event was held to discuss and celebrate coral reefs. With roughly 250 people attending the event, it was a good opportunity to present France’s involvement in the IYOR 2018 in front of many IFRECOR’s stakeholders as well as in front of the general public.
Aurélie Thomassin from the IFRECOR’s secretariat presented many of the emblematic actions that occurred in France and its overseas territories during the International Year of the Reef 2018 and thanked the organizers for their engagement throughout the year.
Her intervention was followed by Lambert Wilson’s call for active engagement in favour of coral ecosystems, not only in Polynesia but all around the world. He then presented an extract of the documentary ‘Beyond Polynesian reefs, life’ by Sintes, in which the beauty of coral reefs was put forward as a part of human experience, something worth protecting for future generations.
Serge Planes, CRIOBE’s research director, gave a science-based presentation on corals focusing on three questions: what are they? Why should we care about them? What threats do they face? He reiterated that climate change was the most immediate threat to their survival and stated that on the long-term, climate change impacts are unavoidable, and therefore coral protection is not about preserving corals but rather about ensuring these precious ecosystems still exist after 2100.
Following this presentation, five artists from French Polynesia’s exposition ‘Coral reefs, art and science objects’ presented their work to the audience. This gave a new perspective, depicting humanities role in the degradation of these ecosystems
Finally, Alexis Rosenfeld presented his work for the photo exposition ‘coral reefs, a challenge for humanity’, which was pictured in several events in France (Paris’ UNESCO headquarters, Paris Gare de Lyon train station, Perpignan, Montier-En-Der) and in some overseas territories (Guadeloupe, French Polynesia) throughout the year.