Oakland, CA 94612
Occupying less than 1 percent of the oceans, coral reefs have greater biodiversity than rain forests; are the main source of food, income, and coastal protection for one billion people; and provide resources for lifesaving medicines. Highly endangered ecosystems, reefs contribute more than $400 billion to the annual global economy. Currently, 70 percent of reefs are at risk of collapse due to negative human impacts.
The world's foremost conservationists agree that well-managed marine protected areas (MPAs) are the best chance we have to save coral reefs. CORAL's work creates partnerships among local residents and the public and private sectors to build strong MPAs that support healthy reefs and vibrant communities.
In Fiji, CORAL developed a user fee system that in 2006 generated US$25,000 for marine park management and community development, which funded scholarships for 44 village children. This year, with CORAL microgrant funding, Fiji will install enough mooring buoys to create an anchor-free zone within the Namena Marine Reserve, preventing chronic anchor damage to the reefs. As a result of CORAL's investment in Fiji, Namena is now considered a world-class dive destination and consumer demand is growing. Most importantly, the reefs as well as the surrounding community are thriving.