Reefs at risk - Chapter 8 - Facing the challenge

8. Facing the challenge

Coral reefs can and must be preserved.

The coral reefs of the world represent an important resource, both in terms of global biological diversity and with respect to the well-being of the people who live near and depend upon them. With a history of survival over geologic time and clear present evidence of vulnerability to the combined stresses of human overexploitation and climate change, reefs are an ecosystem at once threatened and saveable. They represent a clear challenge to the scientists, managers, national bodies and international programmes concerned with such issues -- a challenge that the programmes and information described in this booklet are intended to address. Further work, much co-ordination, and more resources will be needed, but the reefs of the world can and must be preserved.

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