The current methods of coral reef protection have failed repeatedly. These approaches tend to focus on local biodiversity, or try to restore specific coral reefs or areas to an idealized 'previous state'. In the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef system, half of the coral deaths were concentrated in 2016 and 2017.
Scientists from the coral reef research excellence center of the Australian Research Council suggest that policymakers should replace coal and electricity with renewable energy in the 425000 square kilometer basin of the Great Barrier Reef, develop land-based aquaculture, and restore or repair land vegetation and wetlands. These actions will 'reduce global emissions, improve carbon capture, prevent agricultural runoff from flowing to coastal coral reefs, and improve human life and food security'.
"As long as the coral reef rescue operation can be carried out correctly, it can protect other ecosystems by protecting coastal watersheds and providing a model that can be applied to different ecosystems in a similar way," the scientists wrote. They said that the protection of cherished coral reefs can also "set an example for the world" -- countries and regions led by Costa Rica, California and Copenhagen are playing a strong leading role in other parts of the world through mitigation and adaptation initiatives.
The review is an article on climate change published by the "report on climate now" initiative of Nature magazine. This initiative will cover climate change for a week from September 16 to 23.