Channelling Innovative Finance for Coral Restoration
Anthropogenic influence on coral ecosystems is tremendous. Corals are dying because of bleaching, disease and weakness. This is due to ocean warming and acidification caused by climate change. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report paints an ominous picture of coral’s future, projecting a 99 percent decline by 2050. Urgent action is critical to prevent dire consequences.
Coral degradation has cascading effects on marine life, fishing livelihoods, food security, natural infrastructure, and nearby tourism, threatening coral’s $2.7 trillion USD annual valuation of its ecosystem services, according to the International Coral Reef Initiative.
The Marine Conservation Institute reported that only 2.8 percent of the ocean is protected today. This is far from the 20 to 30 percent recommended by International Union for Conservation of Nature as necessary to safeguard marine life. That would require $18.8 billion USD per year, according to a 2004 research paper from University of Oxford. Yet only $1.9 billion USD has been committed toward coral conservation between 2010 and 2016, UN Environment reports.