In partnership with BHP Foundation
We’re proud of our partnership with the BHP Foundation, establishing the Resilient Reefs Initiative which supports five of the world’s most treasured World Heritage-listed coral reef sites and the communities that depend on them.
Coral reefs are critically important ecosystems for the planet. Occupying less than one percent of the ocean floor, they support 25% of all marine life and the livelihoods and wellbeing of almost one billion people across 101 countries. But, right now, 75% of the planet’s coral reefs are under threat from local stresses and climate change.
Healthy reefs contribute an estimated $10tn in ecosystem services through local tourism opportunities, crucial fish habitats, food, recreation, and protection from storms. As such, the loss of reef ecosystems will have major consequences for communities around the world.
Business-as-usual approaches to coral reef management are no longer enough. The impacts of a changing climate mean we are rapidly running out of time, and the scale and urgency of the challenges need new approaches, now.
The Resilient Reefs Initiative directly responds to the call to action from those charged with managing the world’s most treasured coral reefs and acknowledges that the communities that depend on those reefs are threatened and need to be a part of the solution.
By bringing together local communities, reef managers and resilience experts across five World Heritage reef sites, this bold new approach puts people at the centre of decision making, drawing on a global resilience practice to innovate, build capacity and drive a whole-of-community approach to the challenges facing our treasured reefs.
Resilient Reefs is piloting this work with five sites around the world: Belize Barrier Reef, Belize; Great Barrier Reef, Australia; Lagoons of New Caledonia, France; Ningaloo Coast, Australia; and Rock Island South Lagoon, Palau. These five World Heritage-listed reefs are home to unmatched natural ecosystems, containing the most significant habitats for conservation of biological diversity. They are also at great risk; recent research projects that 25 of the 29 World Heritage reefs will severely bleach twice-per-decade by 2040 under a business-as-usual CO2 emissions scenario.