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Tuesday 24 July 2012

Reef care goes global

Grants may be used to create 'no-take' area in Egypt.

Small communities from around the world will be better able to protect coral reefs after successfully securing grants announced at the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) general meeting in Cairns last week.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Chairman Russell Reichelt said more than $32,000 in grants had been provided by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).

Home page image by Daniel Hough

"The projects range from restoring coastal areas in the wake of the 2009 tsunami in Samoa to surveying fishermen in Egypt with a view to creating no-take areas," he said.

"There will also be a review into the effects of community conserved areas on Kenyan coral reefs, as well as further work on eradicating the invasive crown-of-thorn starfish in Micronesia," Mr Reichelt said.

"All actions at the local level are important in protecting coral reefs globally and the funding provided will help these groups protect their local environment.

"A strong focus of the International Coral Reef Initiative is building the knowledge and skills of developing countries to help protect coral reefs for the future. We are grateful to AusAID for strongly supporting this grants program."

Belize Fisheries Administrator and ICRI Co-Chair Beverly Wade said the grants would make a big difference by enabling groups in developing countries to increase their protection efforts.

"These projects have the clear potential to deliver substantial environmental outcomes for coral reefs and the people that depend on them," she said.

The four community groups will receive grants ranging from $2,700 to $10,000, with projects due to be completed over the next 12 months.

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