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Shaping the future of climate adaptation
through Resilient Reefs

Climate change is today the biggest threat to coral reefs. Under a business-as-usual scenario, nearly 90% of the 29 World Heritage-listed coral reefs are expected to severely bleach twice-per-decade by 2040.

Resilient Reefs Initiative

Building resilience and adaptation

is an essential component of the long-term response to climate change. It requires looking at ecosystems and communities holistically and securing the active and sustained engagement of stakeholders across the private and public sectors.

With the help of an international consortium of partners, four World-Heritage listed coral reefs and their local communities have embarked on a leading-edge approach to develop new solutions for adapting to the effects of climate change and local threats. The Great Barrier Reef (Australia) plays a key knowledge sharing role in the initiative.

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Rock Islands Southern Lagoon

Local partners:

  • Andrea Uchel (Chief Resilience Officer at Koror State Government)
  • Ben Carroll (Resilience Advisor at Palau International Coral Reef Center)

Projects supported:

  • Implementing the Koror State Fisheries Management Plan to build resiliency through sustainable fisheries (ongoing)

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What is Reef Resilience?

The capacity of reef ecosystems and the individuals, businesses and communities that depend upon them to survive, adapt and recover from the stresses and shocks that they experience. By building resilience, we are strengthening the ability of reef communities to prepare for and recover quickly from disturbances, adapt to changing circumstances and plan for an uncertain future.

Resilient Reefs Factsheet

Resilient Reefs Highlights

Key pathways
to concrete solutions

Strategic Planning

The initative provides financial support, capacity building and technical expertise to assist the selected coral reefs to develop a holistic Resilience Strategy. Impact is delivered through innovation and by amplifying work already performed on the ground.

Action Implementation

Implementation is at the heart of the initiative. Once the Resilience Strategy is in place, funding and design support is focussed on implementing solutions critical to strengthen the resilience of communities and ecosystems.

Local Leadership

The initiative supports the funding and hiring of a Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) embedded within local management organisations. The CRO galvanizes support across private entites, public sectors and local communities to collectively build a Resilience Strategy that works for both people and nature.

Global Expertise

Through a series of exchanges and sharing of best practices, the initative builds expertise at other coral reefs across the globe toward a holistic approach to resilience and adaptation in which both people and nature thrive.

With thanks to our partners

Initiated by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the Resilient Reefs initiative is a six-year AUD$14 million (approximately USD$10.5 million at the time of writing) collaboration between the Nature Conservancy's Reef Resilience Network, the Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes at Columbia University, the Resilient Cities Catalyst, UNESCO and AECOM. The program is supported by the BHP Foundation.

Photos: © Joel Johnsson/DBCA, © La Zona/Shutterstock.com, Palau: © Brian Sullivan, New Caledonia: © Martial Dosdane - province sud,
Belize: © David Doubilet/National Geographic Stock, Australia: © Sean Steininger/Shutterstock.com, © Joel Johnsson/DBCA, © Bec Taylor