The Coral Sea Park #ST61 [fr]
Preservation and economic valorisation of New Caledonian biodiversity
New Caledonia has an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) with an area of 1.3 million km2. Created in April 2014 to preserve the exceptional biodiversity of New Caledonia’s maritime space, the Coral Sea Park (CSP) encompasses the entire EEZ of New Caledonia (see map), representing the largest marine protected area (MPA) in France.
The creation of the CSP is aligned with the Pacific Islands Forum’s strategy “2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent" of the Pacific Islands Forum which focuses on integrated ocean management and adaptation to climate and environmental change. It also represents a contribution from New Caledonia to the Declaration of Intent on the Sustainable Management of the Coral Sea, signed in 2010 between France/New Caledonia and Australia.
Thanks to €15 million in funding from the Innovation Territories component of the French government’s Programme d’Investissements d’Avenir (PIA), New Caledonia aims to turn the preservation of the CSP’s biodiversity into an engine for growth. Three approaches (divided into 18 actions) have been selected to meet this objective:
- the development of research activities, with optimisation of means of observation and monitoring through innovation and new technologies: fleet of underwater drones, Smart Cables (Sciences Monitoring And Reliable Telecommunication) with environmental sensors, biochemical monitoring gliders, Geospatial Hub;
- the economic valorisation of marine biodiversity, by supporting the structuring of the biotechnology sector: microalgae production farm in sea water, production of coral colonies and rehabilitation of degraded sites, valorisation of fish waste into liquid hydrolysate (fertiliser), molecules of interest for the cosmetic and food industries, valorisation of natural substances produced by microorganisms ;
- awareness of biodiversity and its economic value, through the creation of a Marine City of Knowledge, a structure to support and host scientists, students, companies and start-ups.
By showing its willingness to make the preservation of its marine biodiversity an engine of economic growth, New Caledonia wishes to stand as a pole of attractiveness for research and innovation, in order to contribute to better respond to the environmental challenges facing the Pacific region.
For more information, please contact:
Yves Lafoy, Official Representative of New Caledonia to Australia (based at the French Embassy, Canberra)