The bank for a changing world

The BNP Paribas Foundation & the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) launch CORALS MATTER

  • 16.10.2018

Over the last 30 years, rising water temperatures and ocean acidification have eliminated almost all of the world's coral reefs. Aggravated by these two factors, namely climate change and the pressures of human activity, coral reefs have become one of the most endangered ecosystems on our planet.

These threats have triggered such a massive coral bleaching effect that an international coalition declared 2018 the International Year of the reefs (IYOR2018). The goal is to raise maximum awareness about marine biodiversity protection and these ecosystems. It is with the same aim that the Corals Matter platform has been created: to provide the general public with tools and information to act about the protection of coral reefs.

Why is the BNP Paribas Foundation committed to this cause and launching Corals Matter?

By supporting the REEF Services project through the Climate Initiative program, the BNP Paribas Foundation supports research efforts that seek to measure and predict the consequences of global warming on coral reefs, as well as ones which highlight the invaluable services that coral reefs render to their ecosystems (fishing, tourism, protection of the littoral).

Thanks to Valeriano Parravicini, professor and researcher at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Perpignan, and his team REEF Services, the BNP Paribas Foundation will collaborate with museums and research centers to develop analytical tools and share their knowledge of coral reefs.

Preliminary results since the beginning of the REEF Services project highlight
the urgent need to protect coral reefs

The structural complexity of the reefs breaks wave energy and protects our coasts. With the rise of the sea level, these render an invaluable service.
2. Corals are essential to the food chain thus to marine biodiversity.



In order to raise public awareness about the challenges marine biodiversity is faced with, the BNP Paribas Foundation has decided to collaborate with the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) to develop the Corals Matter site. To do so, the Foundation and ASTC have asked marine biodiversity experts, researchers supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation, ASTC’s network of museums, foundations, associations, to bring together quality scientific content.

provide the general public with tools and information to act about the protection of coral reefs.

Corals Matter: raising public awareness of the future of coral reefs

Corals Matter is therefore a concentrate of scientific information, images, videos of very high quality completely free and accessible online. Beyond the dedicated website, all this is also exploitable in the form of an interactive panel that will be presented free of charge in all partner museums. The interactive Corals Matter panel is a huge printed panel representing a coral reef on which the visitor can scan QR codes using only his smartphone camera. These QR codes then redirect the user to all of the content mentioned previously, namely 360° videos, pictures of bleached corals and healthy corals as well as interviews of experts on threats and individual or collective solutions to preserve biodiversity, and even links to scientific publications. These contents are all hosted on the website www.coralsmatter.org.

The use and dissemination of these tools will raise awareness at an international scale about the importance and threats to coral reefs and their ecosystems.

5 key messages

Human life is closely linked to the health of oceans and coral reefs as they are a key part of the sustainability of our planet's biodiversity.

Human activity threatens coral reefs not only by direct pollution of the oceans, but also by highly CO2-generating activities that stress the corals.

Individual action by each of us, not just those who live near the reefs, is necessary and possible.

Restoration of coral reefs is possible through collaborative work.

Coral reefs are indispensable ecosystems whose richness contributes to the biodiversity of the planet.

Corals Matter

www.coralsmatter.org

Corals Matter, raising awareness about the value of, and threats to, coral reefs and what it will take to save them: a concentrate of scientific information, images, videos of very high quality completely free and accessible online.

More information

Corals Matter Partners

BNP Paribas Foundation (Paris, France) - Association of Science -Technology Centers, ASTC (Washington DC, Etats-Unis) - Museon (Den Haag, Pays-Bas) - Institut Océanographique et Musée Océanographique de Monaco (Monaco, Paris, France) - Aquarium Nausicaa (Boulogne-sur-Mer, France) - Philipp and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (Miami, Etats-Unis) - The Foundation for Research on Biodiversity, FRB (Paris, France) - Coral Guardian (Paris, France) - Reef Services, projet du CRIOBE (EPHE/CNRS/UPVD/PSL) (Polynésie française, France) - Underwater earth (Sydney, Australie) - Trust for Sustainable Living, TSL (Hampstead Norreys, Royaume-Uni) - Paleontological research institution (Ithaca, Etats-Unis) - World Ocean network (Bruxelles, Belgique)

Photos Header ©Coral Guardian / M. Colognoli   
 ©Lauric Thiault // ©Jakob Owens // ©masahirosuzuki

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