American Academy states: Only by Reducing Local Threats can Coral Reefs be Saved
Until recently, the threats to coral reefs seemed manageable. While alarming, the impact of such human activities as over-fishing, coastal development, sewage, and mining have site-specific and proven solutions. Now, however, climate change and ocean acidification present massive and intractable challenges that have no simple or tested solutions. And this multi-factor global assault means destruction of most coral reefs within 100 years is highly probable if nothing is done.
But much can be done. The same scientists who predict the demise of coral reefs have also given us the solution. By eliminating local threats, we can build the resiliency of coral reefs to help them better withstand the impacts of increased ocean temperature and acidity. Managed Marine Areas (MMAs) remain the best tool we have to conserve reefs. And yet, of the more than 1,000 coral reef Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) around the world, less than 20 percent have any management whatsoever. CORAL’s job is to make the majority of these MMAs effectively managed. And we have to start now.
To protect coral reefs from the effects of climate change and human-induced stresses, CORAL:
- Works with communities to identify and solve conservation challenges
- Changes attitudes and behavior through education and training
- Provides resources to strengthen conservation efforts
- Creates incentives for sustainable development