It is estimated that up to 70% of reefs could disappear by 2030, including the reef-rich regions of Latin American and the Caribbean. Thanks to coral reefs, we have fish to eat, places to recreate, barriers from storms, and many medical cures. But this could change in the coming decades. Corals reefs are threatened by human activities and impacts of climate change. AIDA provides much-needed guidance to implement effective laws and practices to preserve and protect reefs.
Despite their beauty, biological importance, and economic value, coral reefs are at risk from unsustainable development, industrial, and recreational activities, and impacts of global warming. Latin American and Caribbean reefs are treasures of the region, but many countries don't have laws to protect them. Enacting and implementing laws and policies can be difficult because of limited budgets and personnel, and competing national priorities.
AIDA's reef initiative is based on years of site work, an understanding of national and international laws, and a global review of best practices. We will provide decision-makers and advocates within government, industry, and civil society with practical resources, recommendations, and tools to improve coral reef protection. Strong laws are needed to support research, monitoring, and conservation campaigns. AIDA will promote best practices that can be adapted to specific countries and contexts.
Coral reef health in the Americas will improve where it has suffered and be preserved where it is sound. Decision-makers will be more informed of threats and how to mitigate them, and able to tailor protections for site needs and resources. Cross-sector alliances will be formed to support long-term commitments to coral reef health. Beneficiaries of AIDA's work will include marine species, coastal communities, and reef-dependent industries, as well as those of us who enjoy reefs for recreation.