Reefs at Risk Revisited

75 percent of the world's coral reefs are currently threatened by local and global pressures

"Reefs at Risk Revisited," the most detailed assessment of threats to coral reefs ever undertaken, was released by the World Resources Institute, along with the Nature Conservancy, the WorldFish Center, the International Coral Reef Action Network, Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, and the UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Center, and a network of more than 25 organizations.

The report shows that local pressures — such as overfishing, coastal development and pollution — pose the most immediate and direct risks, threatening more than 60 percent of coral reefs today. Global pressures are leading to coral bleaching from rising sea temperatures and increasing ocean acidification from carbon dioxide pollution. According to this analysis, if left unchecked, more than 90 percent of reefs will be threatened by 2030 and nearly all reefs will be at risk by 2050.

Elizabeth Selig, Conservation Scientist at Conservation International, who co-authored "Reefs at Risk Southeast Asia (2002)" and contributed to "Reefs at Risk Revisited" (2011), said: "It is troubling to me to see how drastically impacts on these extremely valuable resources have increased in the last 10 years. This latest report is an urgent warning that we can lose many of the world's coral reefs within our lifetimes, and highlights the critical linkage between healthy ecosystems and human well-being. We strongly encourage local and global policy makers to take these factors into consideration and take action now to preserve coral reefs."

FROM THE BLOG: Working to Protect Reefs at Risk, by Elizabeth Selig

DOWNLOAD: Reefs at Risk Revisited (PDF - 6.13 MB)

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  World Resource Institute   Coral reefs; Marine