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A global coalition is aiming to secure $12 billion to preserve the world’s threatened coral reefs.
Initiated by the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), the Global Fund for Coral Reefs, and the UN High-Level Climate Champions, the Coral Reef Breakthrough project has set its sights on safeguarding approximately 77,671 miles of shallow-water tropical coral reefs.
According to the involved organizations, coral reefs rank among the world’s most endangered ecosystems. Since 2009, 14% of the world’s coral has been lost, with environmentalists claiming that climate change is exacerbating the decline. The joint statement emphasized, “To reverse this downward trajectory, we must… enable the survival and recovery of resilient coral reefs on a global scale.”
Funds raised will tackle various facets of coral reef protection, encompassing the reduction of human-induced pollution, curbing destructive coastal development, and mitigating overfishing. Additionally, there are plans to bolster the coverage of protected reef areas and introduce climate-smart coral adaptation designs.
Francis Staub, ICRI’s global coordinator, highlighted the project’s scientific foundations, noting it has been crafted with inputs from over 30 leading coral reef experts. The initiative’s objectives and plans will undergo further discussion at the forthcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai, scheduled from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12.