19 March 2021

Coral reefs are in grave peril, and the consequences of their extinction could be catastrophic. They support more than a quarter of all marine life, but 90 per cent could disappear by 2050, largely as a result of climate change.  

Coral reefs can support local jobs including fishing., by Coral Reef Image Bank/Rick Miski

The Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR), backed by UN agencies, aims to provide stronger protection for the world’s reefs, which currently rank very low on most development banks’ lists of climate finance priorities. 

The fund is working in six priority countries, including Fiji, where the UN is aiming to promote businesses that will develop the economy without causing further harm to the coral. 

Despite the dire warnings that coral reefs risk being wiped out, there is hope that the grim situation can be turned around. 

You can find out more about the GFCR-supported projects, and see a selection of stunning photos, here.  


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News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

State of the ocean will ‘ultimately determine the survival of our species’: UN Special Envoy

The health of the ocean will ultimately determine the survival of humankind on Earth, according to the UN Special Envoy for the Ocean, Peter Thomson. Marking the opening of the International Decade for Ocean Science, the former top Fijian diplomat and General Assembly president, told UN News that a healthy planet is inextricably linked to a healthy ocean.

FROM THE FIELD: Mapping coral reefs from space

A plan to use satellite imaging to build up a global picture of coral reefs, to better understand how to protect them from warming seas brought on by climate change, is being supported by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).