France is one of the very few countries in the world with coral reefs in the three oceans of the world. The reefs and lagoons covering 57 557km2 (source: Andréfouët et al, 2008 Atlas reefs France overseas, IRD.).
Thanks in large part to the presence of reefs, France has the second-largest Exclusive Economic Zone in the world with over 11 million km2 overseas territories account for over 90% of the national maritime space.
The French overseas territories surrounded by coral reefs are distributed as follows:
- Pacific Ocean: New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, Clipperton.
- Indian Ocean: La Reunion, Mayotte and the Scattered islands of the Indian ocean.
- Atlantic Ocean: Martinique, Guadeloupe,Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin.
France thus has a global responsibility for conservation and sustainable management of coral reefs and mangroves and seagrass beds that are linked to them.
The French Coral Reef Initiative (IFRECOR)
IFRECOR is placed under the co-presidency of the ministers in charge of ecology and overseas territories, respectively. Its governance, innovative, is built on the will to gather all the overseas reef territories and actors concerned by these ecosystems, nationally and locally. It has the support of a national committee and a network of 9 local ones. Its actions are part of a national action plan, adopted in 2000 and divided into five-year implemented programs (2000-2005, 2005-2010 and 2010-2015). The fourth action program was set to begin in 2016. It has been implemented by IFRECOR’s members and the local committees, with the cooperation of national and international experts.