The world’s reefs are an untapped source of billions in revenue, a new report published by the United Nations has found.
The new findings suggest that investment in the world’s reefs could provide tens of billions of dollars in revenue for the world’s business communities in just over a decade.
Focussing on two of the world’s major coral reef areas, the Coral Triangle and the Mesoamerican Reef, the study, The Coral Reef Economy, compared the estimated economic outcomes of two scenarios from now until 2030: one a Healthy Reef Scenario, where reefs are returned to a healthy state through increased investment in protection and preservation; and two, a Degraded Reef Scenario, where the health of the reefs continues to decline from current levels.
Jerker Tamelander, head of UN Environment’s coral reef unit, said: “Investing in coral reefs offers a significant prize, not only economic, but importantly also for the marine life, and coastal populations who depend so heavily on healthy coral reefs for their food, livelihoods and protection.”
The report’s findings show if coral reefs continue to decline in line with historical trends, the value of the reef to key sectors could fall in real terms by $3.1 billion in Mesoamerica and $2.2 billion in Indonesia per annum by 2030 compared to today.