The challenge

Coral reefs occupy only 0.1% of the ocean’s surface, yet they are the world’s richest repository of marine biodiversity. They are the largest living structures on Earth - the only natural communities distinctly visible from space. Complex and productive, coral reefs have survived over the course of more than 400 million years of evolution, and possess a remarkable richness, diversity of life and structure.

Today, coral reefs around the world are in such serious decline that they put at risk the environmental and economic stability of many coastal nations. Of the 109 countries with significant coral reef communities, at least 93 are experiencing damage. Many coral reefs have reached a state of decline that they can no longer be considered as coral reefs, while others are under increasing threat from local human disturbances and impacts from a changing global climate.

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