Conserving Coral Reefs
The world’s ocean is facing dire threats — and coral reef ecosystems are on the frontlines. Unrestrained tourism, declining water quality, and overfishing continue to endanger coral ecosystems but climate change has become their biggest threat. Even with drastic emission reductions, most of the world’s corals could still vanish by mid-century. But there’s hope: climate resilient corals have been found around the world. Reducing emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, and managing local pressures on resilient reefs, allows these reefs to thrive and replenish neighboring reefs – ensuring the long-term survival of our world’s coral reefs.
Coral reef ecosystems around the globe are likely to disappear by 2050 if the goals of the Paris Agreement are not met.
Even with drastic emission reductions to ensure we keep warming within 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels, 70-90% of the world’s corals could still vanish by mid-century, leaving only remnants of the reefs we see today.
Top 5 Human Pressures on Coral Reefs
We know climate change is having a huge impact on coral reefs – but what are the human pressures on coral reefs?
Coral reefs are home to over a quarter of all ocean life. They are also a source of food, livelihoods, and cultural heritage for 500 million people, and protect coastlines and communities from storms and erosion.
Risk-Sensitive Planning for Conserving Coral Reefs Under Rapid Climate Change
In this study, informally known as the 50 Reefs, a team of scientists lead by Hawthorne L. Beyer identified coral reef locations globally that, in the absence of other impacts, are more likely to survive projected climate changes than other reefs.
Funding partners of the initial study include the Tiffany & Co. Foundation and Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. For our ongoing conservation work, partners include Oceans 5, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and Tiffany & Co. Foundation. Conservation partners include WCS, Rare, The Nature Conservancy, Blue Ventures, and Conservation Ecosystem Partnership Fund.