Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) is a model that is used in finance and investments to identify a portfolio of options that can maximise return on investment. We applied this approach to coral reef conservation planning to identify a portfolio of reefs that are expected to be among the least impacted by climate change, while also safeguarding against the uncertainty of future climate conditions.
This concept is based on the analysis from a project called 50 Reefs, which provides key metrics where these survivor reefs are going to be found through future climate modelling of up to 2 degrees celsius. This is a network of 50 sites globally that are less exposed to climate change (Beyer et al 2018, Hoegh-Guldberg et al. 2018), developed as a collaboration between the University of Queensland and Underwater Earth, and helping frame the CRRI across seven countries (Indonesia, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Cuba, East Africa, Madagascar and Fiji).