A global plan to save coral reefs.
Climate change is now the greatest threat to coral reefs. In the past 30 years alone, half of the world's corals have died. Science now tells us that only 10% of reefs can survive past 2050 - even if the target limits set by the Paris climate agreement are met. Urgent action is needed to save the coral reefs we can.
The 50 Reefs initiative was a plan we came up with, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation and Paul G. Allen Philanthropies, that aims to rapidly bolster existing coral reef conservation efforts globally by catalyzing new targeted action and investment in key reef geographies - it focuses on identifying and protecting the reefs that are least vulnerable to climate change that also have the greatest capacity to repopulate other reefs over time. 50 Reefs focuses on science, conservation, and communication with the aim of catalyzing the global action needed to protect this vital global ecosystem - an ecosystem that is home to a quarter of marine life and one that half a billion people rely on for food and livelihoods.
93% of climate change heat is being absorbed by the ocean, and a third of CO2 emissions, rapidly changing ocean chemistry – the ocean is where the momentum of climate change is building up. Letting rapid ocean change continue is quite frankly not an option, not if we want humanity to continue to flourish.
The 50 Reefs initiative has resulted in the first-ever research of its kind to create a global portfolio of coral reefs anticipating climate-related risks. The funders, and the conservation community, are encouraged that the study actually identified a greater number of reefs than they had originally anticipated. The scientific study, published in June 2018, can be read in Conservation Letters. This publication marks the climax of the 50 Reefs initiative.