The commitment will launch the Global Fund for Coral Reefs, a blended finance instrument dedicated to protecting and restoring coral reef ecosystems globally. According to the Allen Family Foundation, coral reefs provide an estimated one billion people with jobs and food while protecting coastlines from storms and flood. But over the last fifty years, half the world's corals have been lost or degraded as a result of climate change, overfishing, and growing local pressures, and if global temperatures continue to rise, 90 percent of the remaining reefs could disappear. To keep that from happening, the fund will work to raise and invest $500 million over ten years to improve the health and sustainability of reefs and associated ecosystems and empower local communities and enterprises.
"Coral reefs are one of the habitats most threatened by climate change. They make an important contribution to the biodiversity of our planet and to coastal protection," said Gerd Müller, German federal minister for economic cooperation and development. "The Global Fund for Coral Reefs is an important step toward protecting these ecosystems."
(Photo credit: Matt Curnock / Coral Reef Image Bank)