HEPCA is calling to declare the Great Fringing Reef of the Egyptian Red Sea to be a protected area.
The Great Fringing Reef of Egypt is extended for more than 2000km length, along the shoreline of the Gulfs of Aqaba and Suez, the shoreline of the mainland of the Red Sea Governorate and surrounding fringing reefs of almost 44 islands. Approximately 50% of the fringing reef of Egypt is located with the boundary of declared protected areas (namely Abu-Gallum, Nabq and Ras Mohamed on the Gulf of Aqaba, and Northern Islands, Wadi Gimal and Gabal Alba Protected areas on the cost of the Red Sea). Approximately 50% still needs to be protected.
No ordinary Reef
The Great Fringing Reef of the Egyptian Red Sea is a world-renowned coral reef system supporting a huge amount of marine life, however these are no ordinary reefs - they have been identified as some of the most climate-tolerant reefs in the world (as identified by the 50 Reefs and other scientific studies). As such these reefs provide a vibrant symbol of hope for not just saving coral reefs (the most biodiverse and valuable ecosystem on the planet) but also hope for biodiversity as a whole.
Climate Change Survival
The Great Fringing Reef of the Egyptian Red Sea still has the potential to not just survive current committed heating due to climate change (unlike most remaining reefs), but to help repopulate surrounding reefs over time and help bring coral reefs back from near extinction.
HOPE for The future
The Great Fringing Reef of the Egyptian Red Sea can be used as a symbol of hope for the entire ecosystem and even as a symbol of hope for other ecosystems as they represent Nature’s Tipping Point better than virtually anywhere else on Earth.
If we can save these reefs (by achieving the target set in the Paris Climate Agreement and through local marine protection) we can avoid going past Nature’s Tipping Point and losing entire ecosystems on which we depend (with hundreds of thousands of species).
There is clear scientific evidence that the Great Fringing Reef of the Egyptian Red Sea is characterized with high resilience and tolerance to climate change and that it could be a last refuge for coral reefs worldwide. Therefore, it could be a hope for future generations and a hope for future coral reefs recovery.
Simply put, if we can save these reefs there is a way we can prevent a biodiversity crisis, not just in the ocean, but for the planet as a whole.