Together, we raised critical funds for coral conservation priorities and implemented 2000 new actions including global coral monitoring projects, reef cleanups and AWARE Kids missions.
These results are significant but we can't stop now. As we celebrate the success, we also need to carry reef efforts forward. According to scientists, only 8 to 10 years remain in the battle to rescue reefs. And what we do now will affect the future of our most valuable underwater environments.
But Project AWARE Foundation and its partners remain hopeful. The Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2008, just released in December, declares 45 percent of the world's reefs are currently healthy. And focusing on climate change, now considered a leading threat to surviving reefs, can help reverse downward trends. Hope is also found in the ability of some corals to recover after major bleaching events, caused by warming waters, adapting to climate change threats.
"The report details the strong scientific consensus that climate change must be limited to the absolute minimum. If nothing is done to substantially cut emissions, we could effectively lose coral reefs as we know them, with major coral extinctions," says Clive Wilkinson, Coordinator of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and Editor of The Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2008.
Find out what was accomplished for International Year of the Reef 2008, read more about the latest report The Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2008 and discover tips for reducing your carbon footprint.