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The future of coral reefs – IYOR, Germany


Coordination group for International Year of the Reef activities in Germany

The Keynote speech from the 2018 Boat Show & Watersports Exhibition (#boot2018) is now available in English.

Reinhold Leinfelder, Professor at the Free University Berlin, presents to 800 dive instructors on the German activities to celebrate the International Year of the Reef.

“The idea of ​​an “International Year of the Reef” (IYOR) was discussed in 1996 by an initiative of reef scientists at the International Coral Reef Symposium in Panama City and implemented one year later for the first time. The author was one of the co-initiators. The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), a partnership between nations and organisations with the common goal of preserving and protecting coral reefs and related ecosystems around the world. After IYOR 1997 and IYOR 2008, the 3rd International Year of the Reef, IYOR 2018 was declared at the ICRI General Meeting in 2016. Regarding the German activities, the author was part of the organisation team right from the start.”

“Despite extensive activities and education on the condition and protection of reefs, the progress is unfortunately rather small, in some areas not available at all. While we hope that we will not have to settle for crocheted reefs in the museum in the future, for a long time the reefs will not look the way they used to look decades ago. This will only succeed if comprehensive and rapid implementation of protection and management measures at local, regional and global level is achieved. Likewise, this article seeks to arouse interest, perhaps also fascination for our reefs, as well as their benefits for humanity, but also to explain the damage and necessary measures. The scuba diving community became more and more important for reef surveillance as well as reef protection measures. Since 1997 ReefCheck has been training SCUBA divers and researchers to investigate the status of coral reefs worldwide. The results, together with other monitoring results (such as the Coral Reef Monitoring Network), are summarised into condition reports and are an essential basis for decision-making for reef protection measures. Therefore, I am particularly pleased to speak here in front of almost 800 diving instructors of the Association of German Scuba Divers.”

Full speech with slides here.