FRANCE: With 10% of the world’s reefs, France has a great responsibility in the protection of these ecosystems. It is committed to protecting 100% of coral reefs by 2025.
To do so, it relies on an assessment of the state of health of coral reefs and associated ecosystems carried out every five years. The 2020 assessment, which is the result of a collective effort with all the overseas coral reefs, shows that the state of health of French coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves is mixed: there are major disparities between regions, territories and within the same territory.
– The reefs are rather preserved in large territories, with low population or uninhabited, whose coastal areas are subject to low or moderate pressure: in the Pacific (New Caledonia, French Polynesia – excluding the Society archipelago, Wallis and Futuna), and the Éparses islands (Indian Ocean): 70% of the stations monitored there are in good condition.
– They are rather degraded in the smaller territories, subject to strong demographic pressure and highly anthropized: French West Indies (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin, Saint Barthélemy) and Indian Ocean (Mayotte, Reunion Island): 62% of the monitored stations are degraded. The main recommendations concern the reduction of “local” anthropic pressures (sanitation, reduction of erosion, management of coastal developments, etc.), the extension of strongly protected marine areas, and innovation to strengthen the resilience of reefs and their associated ecosystems to the impacts of climate change.