Looking for $12 billion to save coral reefs – Le Devoir

A coalition of 45 countries pledged Tuesday to raise $12 billion by 2030 to protect and restore the world’s coral reefs threatened by climate change.

Announced by the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), founded in 1994, this project, called “Coral Reef Breakthrough,” brings together countries that are home to three-quarters of the world’s coral reefs.

This is a commitment to double the currently protected coral reef areas of around 60,000 km2 and to restore around 10,500 km2.

Overall, the project includes a commitment to invest a total of $12 billion from public and private funds by 2030.

“This investment will allow us to manage coral reefs more effectively, including water quality, coastal areas and local and regional regulations,” the group announced.

In 2020, a study estimated the funding needs for broader ocean protection at $174.5 billion per year.

This new commitment comes as coral reefs worldwide are under threat due to record ocean heat this year. The frequency and intensity of marine heat waves have increased.

“The initiative is important and timely,” David Booth, professor of marine ecology at the University of Technology in Sydney, commented to AFP.

However, “$12 billion is very little to make a global impact; They need to be used judiciously,” he said.

“Initiatives to reduce fossil fuel use are most important for coral reefs,” he said.

The oceans absorb 90% of the Earth system’s excess heat caused by human activities in the industrial era, and this energy accumulation continues to increase as greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere.

Warming ocean temperatures lead to bleaching, which can be fatal to corals.

Florida has already seen massive bleaching this year, and there are fears the worst is yet to come with the El Niño weather phenomenon.

To watch in the video