The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is responsible for safeguarding the United Kingdom’s natural environment, supporting the UK’s world-leading food and farming industry, and sustaining a thriving rural economy. Our broad remit means we play a major role in people’s day-to-day life, from the food we eat, and the air we breathe, to the water we drink.
IYOR Activities Plan
As the government department responsible for marine protection in the UK, Defra welcomes the fact that 2018 has been made the International Year of the Reef (IYOR) by the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), recognised by the UK as the key international body for the conservation of coral and related habitats.
Defra promoted IYOR in April at the Commonwealth Marine Science Event hosted by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), where Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey announced UK’s commitment to the Coral Reef Life Declaration and committed to safeguarding coral reefs and bolstering scientific research into the threats they face.
As stated in the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, Defra plans to increase engagement with ICRI and work with the UK’s Overseas Territories to encourage the adoption of best sustainable management practice of coral reefs and their ecosystems. We want to provide sustainability for fisheries and ensure food security while upholding social and cultural wellbeing and protecting this precious assets for future generations.