ICB Mataram Abstract

Wed, 07/25/2012 - 19:50 -- admin-media

ICB Mataram Abstract

SAVING CORAL REEF ECOSYSTEMS FROM GLOBAL WARMING

Thomas J. Goreau, PhD

President, Global Coral Reef Alliance

Scientific Advisor, Yayasan Karang Lestari, Pemuteran, Bali

Scientific Advisor, Gili Eco Trust, Gili Trawangan, Lombok

 

Invited Keynote Talk

International Conference on Biodiversity, Mataram, Lombok, Indonesia, November 6-8 2012

ABSTRACT

 

Coral reefs are the most sensitive ecosystems to high temperatures, sediments, and nutrients. Coral death from global warming, new diseases, land-based sources of pollution, and other human stresses has already killed most corals in the world and is rapidly accelerating. There is still no sign of seriousness by governments or international agencies to reverse any of the rapidly accelerating human threats to coral reefs in time to prevent their impending mass extinction as functioning ecosystems, or save the biodiversity, food, shore protection, and tourism services they provide. The only remaining hope of preserving them is large-scale application of new methods that use electrical trickle charges to greatly stimulate natural biophysical and biochemical mechanisms accelerating marine organism settlement, growth, survival, and resistance to environmental stresses. Indonesia is the leader in applying these methods, with the world’s largest coral reef restoration projects in Bali and Lombok, and smaller ones in Sulawesi, Java, Flores, and Sumbawa. These projects, now growing around half of all the coral species in the world, routinely show 2-8 times faster growth rates of corals, much higher settlement, and greatly increased survival from extreme environmental stress including high temperature, rapidly building fish populations and quickly growing back biodiverse reefs where there had been little or no natural recovery. The Bali projects received the 2012 UNDP Equator Award for Community-Based Development and the 2012 UNDP Special Award for Marine and Coastal Zone Management. These projects, run by local community-based environmental groups and assisted by Indonesian university researchers, with no funding support from governments or international funding agencies, urgently need to be expanded throughout Indonesia and the tropics before it is too late.

 

 

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