Reefs at Risk Revisited - Regional Key Points

The World Resources Institute (WRI) spearheaded a broad collaboration of leading conservation organizations and research institutes to conduct a global, map-based analysis of threats to the world’s coral reefs called Reefs at Risk Revisited. This report provides detailed examination of human pressures on coral reefs, implications for reef condition, and projections of associated socioeconomic impacts in coastal communities (download the Reefs at Risk Revisited fact sheet).

Atlantic key points:

  • The Atlantic region includes about 10 percent (26,000 sq km) of the world’s coral reefs.
  • About 43 million people in this region live on the coast within 30 km of a reef, many of whom reside in densely-populated small island nations.
  • More than 75 percent of reefs here are affected by local threats (coastal development, marine-based pollution and damage, overfishing, or watershed-based pollution), with more than 30 percent at high or very high risk.
  • About 630 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are established in this region, covering about 30 percent of the reefs.
  • Download the fact sheet (PDF File)

Australia key points:

  • Australia is home to more coral reefs than any other single nation – approximately 42,000 sq km (17 percent of global total). Most of Austra- lia’s reefs are found within the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Australia has the lowest coastal population density of any region, with only about 3.5 million people living on the coast within 30 km of a coral reef.
  • About 15 percent of reefs here are affected by local threats (coastal development, marine-based pollution and damage, overfishing and de- structive fishing, or watershed-based pollution), with only about 2 percent at high or very high threat-- making them the least threatened of any region.
  • About 75 percent of Australia’s reefs are within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). This includes 30,000 sq km (12 percent of the world’s coral reefs) within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
  • Download the fact sheet (PDF File)

Indian Ocean Key Points:

  • The Indian Ocean region is home to 13 percent of world’s coral reefs (31,500 sq km).
  • More than 65 million people in this region live on the coast within 30 km of a reef.
  • Over 65 percent of reefs here are at risk from local threats (coastal development, marine-based pollution and damage, overfishing and destructive fishing, or watershed-based pollution), with one-third at high or very high risk.
  • Marine protected areas (MPAs) cover 19 percent of the region’s coral reefs, with 11 percent in MPAs rated as having effective or partially effective management.
  • Download the fact sheet (PDF File)

Middle East Key Points:

  • The Middle East is home to about 6 percent of the world’s coral reefs (14,000 sq km).
  • About 19 million people in this region live on the coast within 30 km of a coral reef.
  • Nearly two-thirds of reefs here are at risk from local threats (coastal development, marine-based pollution and damage, overfishing and de- structive fishing, or watershed-based pollution).
  • Only 12 percent of the region’s reefs are within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
  • Download the fact sheet (PDF File)

Pacific Key Points:

  • Spanning almost half the globe, the Pacific is home more than a quarter of the world’s reefs – nearly 66,000 sq km.
  • About 7.5 million people live on the coast within 30 km of a coral reef in the Pacific, representing 50 percent of the total population of the region.
  • After Australia, the Pacific is the least threatened region, with slightly less than 50 percent of reefs affected by local threats (coastal develop- ment, marine-based pollution and damage, overfishing and destructive fishing, or watershed-based pollution), of which only 20 percent are at high or very high threat.
  • More than 920 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are located in the Pacific, and include 13 percent of the region’s reefs.
  • Download the fact sheet (PDF File)

Southeast Asia Key Points

  • Southeast Asia is home to the most extensive and diverse coral reefs in the world, making up 28 percent of the global total (almost 70,000 km2).
  • More than 138 million people live on the coast within 30 km of a coral reef – more than every other region combined.
  • Reefs in this region are the most threatened in the world – 95 percent are at risk from local threats (coastal development, marine-based pollution and damage, overfishing and destructive fishing, or watershed-based pollution), with almost half in the high and very high threat categories.
  • Of the nearly 600 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) covering 17 percent of the region’s reefs, only 3 percent of reefs are in MPAs rated as effectively managed.
  • Download the fact sheet (PDF File)