The coral reefs all around the world are facing a crisis. About 90 percent of them are expected to die due to pollution and destructive fishing practices. To save the reefs from extinction, various philanthropists and conservationists have come up with a plan to save the remaining 10 percent of the reefs.

The 50 Reefs Project plan, touted to be the first global plan focusing on conservation of coral reefs, was launched earlier this week at the Economist World Ocean Summit in Bali.

This initiative has brought together various marine scientists and conservation practitioners with an aim of identifying 50 most endangered coral reefs around the globe that stand a chance of suffering due to climate change.

The initial list of the coral reefs is likely to be announced in the later part of 2017. Currently, it has been estimated that 90 percent of the coral reefs are likely to disappear by 2050.

50 Reefs Project Plans

The 50 Reefs Project came into being after the Australian government stated that the Great Barrier Reef has been experiencing extensive bleaching since the past four years. The initial budget of the project has been kept at $2 million.

The project will be funded by Tiffany & Co. Foundation, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Strategies To Address The Coral Crisis

The 50 Reefs Project plans to utilize three strategies to conserve the coral reefs. Firstly, the project aims at collaborating with scientists from all over the world to help decide the criteria on which the coral reefs will be chosen for conservation.

The second strategy is to identify the critical needs and relevant solutions provided by scientists and conservation experts. Lastly, the project will start a campaign to make people aware of the need to conserve coral reefs worldwide.

Selection Of Coral Reefs

The initial listing of the coral reefs will be prepared by using an algorithm, named "decision algorithm." The algorithm has been developed by the Centre for Excellence in Environmental Decisions at The University of Queensland.

Reports suggest that independent panels of scientists will be examining the datasets associated to the project. The datasets would include current reef connectivity, reef biodiversity climate vulnerability, and many more factors.

The scientists will be focusing on critical efforts of conservation to ensure that the coral reef domain survives for a longer period.

"What we already know about the future of our coral reefs is alarming: Without immediate action, we could lose this crucial ecosystem entirely within a few short decades," said Paul G. Allen, philanthropist and Microsoft cofounder.

Photo: Matt Kieffer | Flickr

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