The bank for a changing world

COP23: The future of coral reefs facing climate change

  • Valeriano Parravicini École Pratique des Hautes Études at CRIOBE and Coordinator of the REEF Services project
  • 10.11.2017

What is the role of oceans facing climate change? What solutions can Science bring? What future and what issues for coral reefs? EU Oceans Day conference on November 10 2017, at the COP23 European Union Pavilion in Bonn, Germany, tried to solve these major issues with the expertise of Valeriano Parravicini, from the École Pratique des Hautes Études at CRIOBE (USR 3278 PSL-EPHE-CNRS-UPVD) and Coordinator of the REEF Services Project, supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation.

Coral reefs facing climate change

Coral reefs are the most diverse marine ecosystem on Earth. To most of us, this diversity invokes images of bright blue waters and colorful coral reefs, teeming with life. For Pacific Islanders, coral reefs represent life itself. In 2016 and 2017 climate change decimated coral reefs around the globe.  

Coral reefs provide services, including food and shoreline protection, to more than 500 million people worldwide. The ability of coral reefs to deliver these services is largely attributed to a healthy relationship between the corals and the fish that live on these reefs and today, this relationship is under threat. Researchers have shown that the ability of reefs to provide these important services is already being impacted by climate change. Now, more than ever, politicians, resource managers and the scientific community need to work together to find solutions to ensure the persistence of human and ecological populations into the future

©Lauric Thiault

The REEF Services project

How will climate change impact ecosystem services? Are these services resilient to coral bleaching? What services are directly derived from fish, and the fish-coral relationship?  Can we accurately predict the impact of climate change on ecosystem service? These are the questions that REEF SERVICES will answer.

The REEF SERVICES project is a 3-year project funded by the BNP Paribas Foundation, that seeks to measure and predict the impacts of global warming on coral reefs and the services they provide. It is a research collaboration between experts from 5 institutions (CRIOBE USR 3278 PSL-EPHE-CNRS-UPVD), ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies/James Cook University, The Smithsonian Institution, University of Lancaster, University of Montpellier) from 4 countries – France, the United States, the UK and Australia, and is coordinated by Dr. Valeriano Parravicini (EPHE) and Serge Planes (CNRS) from the Centre for Island Research and Environmental Observatory (CRIOBE USR 3278 PSL-EPHE-CNRS-UPVD).


Valeriano Parravicini is an associate professor at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE) at the Centre for Island Research and Environmental Observatory (CRIOBE USR 3278 PSL-EPHE-CNRS-UPVD) based in Perpignan, France. After a PhD (obtained in 2011) on the effects of climatic and anthropogenic pressures on Mediterranean rocky reef benthic communities, he obtained a post-doctoral grant CESAB, the French Centre for the synthesis and analysis of biodiversity, based at the IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement). During his post-doc, VP was charged to coordinate an international group of scientists for testing general macro-ecological and biogeographical theories. The results of his research are published in high impact scientific journals including Science, PNAS, Current Biology, Nature Communications and Ecology Letters. He has gained extensive experience in ecology, macroecology, biogeography and community ecology. Since 2014 Valeriano is laureate of the BNP Paribas Foundation to study the impact of climate change on ecosystem services delivered by coral reefs in the Pacific.

COP23

The 23rd Annual United Nations Climate Change Conference will take place 6-17 November 2017 in Bonn, Germany, two years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement. COP23 (or Conference of Parties) aims to engage countries in a concrete fight against greenhouse gas emissions, responsible for global warming. During COP23, the city of Bonn will host not only the conference, but also many cultural events that will bring climate action closer to the people in the city. On this occasion and as part of its Climate Initiative program, the BNP Paribas Foundation presents the Climate exhibition, created in 2015 by the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie for COP21, and also supports conferences on the role of the oceans and Science's solutions to climate change.

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