The UK has officially joined the Coral Reef Life Declaration
The UK government has pledged to safeguard the world’s coral reefs from climate change and rising sea temperatures.
Speaking at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton on Monday (9 April), environment minister Thérèse Coffey announced that the UK had officially joined the Coral Reef Life Declaration.
“Few people know the waters around the UK contain riches to rival the tropics – with our waters home to a vast array of cold water coral reefs that protect important marine life,” she said.
“Through tapping into the UK’s world-leading marine science and working with our partners across the Commonwealth, we will help to safeguard this vital habitat and protect our oceans for future generations.”
The Coral Reef Life Declaration encourages countries to join forces to protect coral reefs. Launched by Prince Albert II of Monaco in October 2017, it has already been signed by 12 countries, including Fiji, Australia and the Seychelles.
The oceans surrounding the UK are home to cold-water corals which are more than 8,000 years old. The only known coral reef in English waters is located off the Cornish coast and is protected as a Marine Conservation Zone. There are also extensive reefs off the West coast of Scotland.
The announcement comes one week ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, where member states will gather in London to agree further global measures to protect our oceans.