31 Aug Coral Reef Conservation and the Communities Leading the Way

Coral reefs are a vital source of life for oceans and people. With coastal communities across the world dependent on incomes from fishing industries, millions of people relying on seafood for protein, and 25 percent of all marine life calling reefs home, they are a vital resource for our world. The Coral Triangle region is the epicenter of reef biodiversity, with 76 percent of reef fish species found between the six Coral Triangle countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste.

Bali, one of the most popular spots in the region, is usually bustling with tourists and operators offering them the opportunity to experience life underwater. As businesses across the region reel from the fallout of lockdown measures to control the spread of COVID-19, many are now wondering how, and when, the island will recover. Developed on the ever-growing wave of international tourism, it is not yet known what the long-term impact of the pandemic will be for Bali’s tourism sector.

But as humanity tackles this unprecedented global health crisis, coral reefs are still faced with catastrophe, as climate change continues to alter the nature of our oceans. As businesses look towards recovery from the COVID-19 shutdown, returning with conservation in mind could shift key industries towards sustainable practices. While a global shuffle in policy and priorities are required to prevent the destruction of the reefs, for now, the small-scale actions of coastal communities and individuals are already having an impact. Community groups across the small islands off the east coast of Bali are becoming involved in protecting, managing and rehabilitating coastal and marine ecosystems, helping to slow the effects of climate change and reverse destructive fishing practices.

Continue reading the story written by our former Volunteer Minka Curr here: https://www.insideindonesia.org/coral-reef-conservation-and-the-communities-leading-the-way

Photo credit by Brooke Pyke

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