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Atlas of Ocean Wealth

June 1, 2016

The Atlas of Ocean Wealth is the largest collection to date of information about the economic, social and cultural values of coastal and marine habitats from all over the world. It is a synthesis of innovative science, led by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), with many partners around the world. Through these efforts, they've gathered vast new datasets from both traditional and less likely sources.The work includes more than 35 novel and critically important maps that show how nature's value to people varies widely from place to place. They also illustrate nature's potential. These maps show that one can accurately quantify the value of marine resources. Further, by enumerating such values, one can encourage their protection or enhancement for the benefit of people all around the world. In summary, it clearly articulates not just that we need nature, but how much we need it, and where.

The End of Coral Reefs? Not Yet.

November 13, 2015

Coral reefs are highly dynamic ecosystems. They all have a degree of resiliency, which enables them to bounce back after being hit by storms, starfish plagues or disease. They go through phases of loss and growth. This is natural. In an article published in one of the world's leading academic journals, Science, authors Mark Spalding, Senior Marine Scientist for The Nature Conservancy and Barbara Brown, Newcastle University, look at the broad issues surrounding the current situation of coral reefs and together highlight points of hope. This paper describes how many corals are showing some degree of adaptive capacity to both warming and to acidification, more than some scientists were expecting. Spalding notes that such adaptive capacity, alongside the natural resilience of reefs can enable them to recover even from quite severe perturbations. For example, most reefs in the British Indian Ocean Territory and the Seychelles, which lost virtually all their coral in 1998 due to warm-water induced coral "bleaching", showed good recovery within a decade.

Attaining Aichi Target 11: How Well Are Marine Ecosystem Services Covered by Protected Areas?

November 1, 2014

The spatial coverage of marine and coastal protected areas worldwide has shown a rapid increase in recent years. Over 32% of the world's coral reefs and over 36% of the world's mangrove forests now fall within protected areas. However, simple measures of extent are insufficient for assessing progress toward achieving global targets. Notably, the CBD Aichi Target 11 calls for 'at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water areas, and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services' to be protected. There is, therefore, an urgent need to assess how well protected areas cover these areas of importance for ecosystem services.

Mapping Ocean Wealth

July 1, 2014

This document describes a major new initiative to develop detailed and spatially explicit accounting of the value of marine ecosystem services at different scales. This information will inform key decision-makers in sectors ranging from international development to insurance and extractive industries to engineering. The Nature Conservancy's vision is to change perception and utilization of marine and coastal ecosystems. Working with stakeholders, it will catalyse a transformation in ocean management toward a paradigm based on explicit understanding of how and where "ocean wealth" is built, stored and generated.

Reefs at Risk Revisited

February 1, 2011

Updates estimated threats to coral reefs from human activities, such as overfishing and coastal development, as well as global climate change by type of threat and region. Outlines social and economic implications and approaches to sustainable management.

Reefs at Risk in Southeast Asia

January 1, 2002

Draws on detailed information to analyze current threats to coral reefs across Southeast Asia and provides an economic valuation of what will be lost if destructive fishing, over-fishing, and marine based and inland pollution coastal development continue.

Reefs at Risk: A Map-Based Indicator of Threats to the Worlds Coral Reefs

January 1, 1998

This report presents the first-ever detailed, map-based assessment of potential threats to coral reef ecosystems around the world. "Reefs at Risk" draws on 14 data sets (including maps of land cover, ports, settle-ments, and shipping lanes), information on 800 sites known to be degraded by people, and scientific expertise to model areas where reef degradation is predicted to occur, given existing human pressures on these areas. Results are an indicator of potential threat (risk), not a measure of actual condition. In some places, particularly where good management is practiced, reefs may be at risk but remain relatively healthy. In others, this indicator underestimates the degree to which reefs are threatened and degraded.Our results indicate that:Fifty-eight percent of the world's reefs are poten-tially threatened by human activity -- ranging from coastal development and destructive fishing practices to overexploitation of resources, marine pollution, and runoff from inland deforestation and farming.Coral reefs of Asia (Southeastern); the most species-rich on earth, are the most threatened of any region. More than 80 percent are at risk (undermedium and high potential threat), and over half are at high risk, primarily from coastal development and fishing-related pressures.Overexploitation and coastal development pose the greatest potential threat of the four risk categories considered in this study. Each, individually, affects a third of all reefs.The Pacific, which houses more reef area than any other region, is also the least threatened. About 60 percent of reefs here are at low risk.Outside of the Pacific, 70 percent of all reefs are at risk.At least 11 percent of the world's coral reefs contain high levels of reef fish biodiversity and are under high threat from human activities. These "hot spot" areas include almost all Philippine reefs, and coral communities off the coasts of Asia, the Comoros, and the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean.Almost half a billion people -- 8 percent of the total global population -- live within 100 kilometers of a coral reef.Globally, more than 400 marine parks, sanctuaries, and reserves (marine protected areas) contain coral reefs. Most of these sites are very small -- more than 150 are under one square kilometer in size. At least 40 countries lack any marine protected areas for conserving their coral reef systems.