Coral reefs cover less than 0.1% of our ocean, but they are home to 25% of its wildlife and provide for an estimated 850 million people in coastal communities worldwide. 

This makes them one of our planet’s most productive and important ecosystems. And yet, with ocean temperatures rising, coral reefs are disappearing at an alarming rate. 

Learn more about the Coral Reef Rescue Initiative, a partnership to safeguard globally significant coral reefs and address the needs of communities that depend on them for survival.

Half of all coral reefs have been lost since 1980
© WWF-Australia
Coral reef tourism is valued at $36 billion
© Jürgen Freund / WWF-Canon
30 million small-scale fishing jobs depend on healthy reefs
© Antonio Busiello / WWF-US

Saving 70 with 7

As the ocean warms and becomes more acidic, we could lose as much as 90% of the world’s coral reefs by the end of the century.

Without addressing climate change, coral reef conservation interventions will be in vain. But at the same time, we need to focus on protecting reefs that have the greatest potential to survive in a warming ocean. 

A global analysis has shown that some reefs are less exposed and vulnerable to climate change impacts. And almost 70% of these climate-resilient coral reefs are found in just seven countries: Indonesia, Philippines, Cuba, Fiji, Tanzania, Solomon Islands, Madagascar. Linked by ocean currents which transport coral larvae and fish, these refuges of resilience could act as source reefs from which the world’s corals can regenerate in the future. 

The Coral Reef Rescue Initiative is implementing a collaborative strategy that aims to improve the management and protection of selected seascapes while strengthening community resilience through diversified skills and livelihood opportunities to help build their economic capacity in the face of a rapidly changing climate.