WHY SAVE THE REEFS?
The reefs hold major roles in our environment and also the community.
The 4 main roles are:
HABITAT & BIODIVERSITY BENEFIT
Tropical coral reefs are one of the most biodiverse ecosystems, containing approximately 830,000 species world‐wide.¹ The diversity of reefs helps engineer the environment, interacting with and creating suitable conditions for other tropical nearshore ecosystems.²
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL NECESSITY
Reef tourism (on-reef and indirect contributions) are calculated to be worth US $35.8 billion dollars globally per annum for both international and domestic visitors,³ while also sustaining the livelihood of many local communities.⁴
NATURAL SOURCE OF INFORMATION
Coral reefs are highly sensitive systems and extensively used in monitoring the recent changes in the marine environment, the effects of human disturbances, such as pollution records, and also climate records.⁵ ⁶ ⁷ ⁸ ⁹ ¹⁰
COASTAL PROTECTION, WATER QUALITY, AND BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLING
Coral reefs dissipate 97% of the energy that would otherwise hit shorelines. This shoreline protection benefits 197 million people who live below 10 m elevation and within 50 km of reefs.¹¹ Therefore, they help reduce annual expected damage from storms by more than $4 billion.¹²