What is the Coral Reef Rescue Initiative?

The Coral Reef Rescue Initiative (CRRI) is a global programme, established to protect and regenerate the world’s rapidly degrading tropical coral reefs for the benefit of people through nature-based solutions.

We are a group of leading scientists, NGOs and influential partners, working in collaboration with governments and communities to safeguard reefs, food security and livelihoods against climate change.

We have initially identified seven countries with resilient reefs, chosen for their potential to survive in a warming ocean and withstand the threats of climate change. This initiative offers essential support to communities on the frontline in developing countries where these reefs can be found.

In all seven countries, our partners have a longstanding relationship with local communities and different levels of government.

Objectives

objective 1

Build coral reef resilience

Create a network that connects climate-resilient reefs in seven countries around the world

objective 2

Empower coastal communities

Build the economic capacity and resilience of coastal communities in a rapidly changing climate

objective 3

Create a global knowledge alliance

Use the power of sharing and learning to grow a sustainable future for coral reefs

What we do

By combining knowledge and expertise, building on tried-and-tested interventions as well as the latest science and emerging innovations, we work with communities to develop integrated nature-based solutions that can be widely replicated and scaled up.

© James Morgan / WWF
Developing science-based solutions to build reef and community resilience
© James Morgan / WWF
Demonstrating the value and impact of coral reefs to communities
© Jürgen Freund / WWF
Strengthening governance and empowering stakeholders
© Jürgen Freund / WWF
Creating a learning and sharing network for best practices in reef conservation and sustainable development of coastal communities
© Jürgen Freund / WWF
Innovating financial solutions for a sustainable blue economy
© Jürgen Freund / WWF
Enabling environmental policy at a local, regional, national and global level
© Jürgen Freund / WWF
Scaling successful interventions to other key locations
© Jürgen Freund / WWF
Nurturing communities and coral reefs together
Developing science-based solutions to build reef and community resilience
Demonstrating the value and impact of coral reefs to communities
Strengthening governance and empowering stakeholders
Creating a learning and sharing network for best practices in reef conservation and sustainable development of coastal communities
Innovating financial solutions for a sustainable blue economy
Enabling environmental policy at a local, regional, national and global level
Scaling successful interventions to other key locations
Nurturing communities and coral reefs together

We have identified reefs that offer both local and global benefits. These ‘innovation hubs’ provide test beds where we can innovate, refine and demonstrate the power of coral reefs to increase community resilience in coastal areas.

These successes can then be scaled up at a local, national and global level.

A strategic approach

  • Science-based selection process
  • Community-led conservation
  • Evidence-based decision making
  • Strategic focus on resilient coral reefs
  • Addresses both climate change and local stressors
  • Wide network of partners and collaborators
  • Nature-based solutions for the benefit of people and biodiversity

A global partnership

Our Initiative is led by WWF, in collaboration with leading conservation, science and development partners such as the University of Queensland, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Rare, CARE International, Blue Ventures and Vulcan Inc.

Led by science

Through careful and thorough analyses of climate change data, we’ve identified reefs in seven locations around the world with the best chance of survival. CRRI can safeguard an estimated 70% of these essential climate-resilient reefs for future generations, by combining the latest science, technology and investment knowledge. One groundbreaking new strategy involved in our approach is Modern Portfolio Theory.

What we aim to achieve

Resilient Reefs

Our aim is to build a climate-ready future; protecting coral reefs from climate change and local threats such as pollution, overharvesting, destructive extraction and unsustainable coastal development.

By 2030, this initiative expects to achieve the following impacts in selected coral reefs:

  • 70% of the world’s <strong>climate-resilient</strong> coral reefs will be safeguarded

    70% of the world’s climate-resilient coral reefs will be safeguarded

  • Key spawning areas and nursery sites for reef fish will be under protection

    Key spawning areas and nursery sites for reef fish will be under protection

  • Cover of corals and biomass of selected marine indicator species (such as whale sharks, sea turtles, octopus and groupers) will be maintained or improved

    Cover of corals and biomass of selected marine indicator species (such as whale sharks, sea turtles, octopus and groupers) will be maintained or improved

  • 50,000km2 in selected seascapes will benefit from improved management

    50,000km2 in selected seascapes will benefit from improved management

  • 30% increase in fish stock biomass through LMMA or MPA networks

    30% increase in fish stock biomass through LMMA or MPA networks

Resilient Communities

Our aim is to strengthen community resilience, by diversifying skills and livelihood opportunities. By empowering local communities to manage coastal resources, we can build economic capacity in the face of a rapidly changing climate.

By 2030, this initiative expects to achieve the following impacts in coastal communities:

  • 30 million people in seven countries will benefit from resilient reefs

    30 million people in seven countries will benefit from resilient reefs

  • Diversification in skills and livelihood opportunities

    Diversification in skills and livelihood opportunities

  • Improved food security for at least 1,000 households

    Improved food security for at least 1,000 households

  • 100,000 people will have access to micro-finance and improved financial literacy

    100,000 people will have access to micro-finance and improved financial literacy

 
 

What's Next?

Just as the larvae from resilient corals will replenish other reefs in future, we will take the lessons learned and seed them elsewhere, to secure regeneration reefs across all seven countries and safeguard 70% of our planet’s most precious corals.

We will scale successful approaches through the following actions:

  • Sharing knowledge and experiences
  • Peer-to-peer learning and community exchanges
  • Leveraging public and private financing
  • Raising awareness of coral reefs and their importance