[Coral-List] Global Human Coral Reef Dependence in 2018

Miguel Figuerola - NOAA Affiliate miguel.figuerola at noaa.gov
Tue Jan 2 16:37:29 EST 2018


My name is Miguel Figuerola, a graduate student from the University of
Puerto Rico. I am currently finishing a fellowship with NOAA's Coral Reef
Conservation Program, supporting various outreach efforts.

I am preparing a couple of presentations that capture the value of coral
reefs. It is often cited that about *500 million people* depend on coral
reef ecosystem services (Wilkinson, (2008)
I understand there are estimates that identified *850 million people* who
live within 100 km from coral reefs (Burke et al., 2011
<http://pdf.wri.org/reefs_at_risk_revisited.pdf>). In addition, about *350
million people* travel to coral reef coasts of the world every year (Spalding
et al., 2016

As weather patterns, human population, immigration, tourism, and
agricultural sovereignty change, it might also be true that human coral
reef dependence is changing by the numbers as well.

It is logical that a healthy proportion of the 850 million population
within 100 km from coral reefs might develop a higher need of coral reef
resources (and any natural resource) as global socio-ecological systems
change, specially in developing countries. For example, people in coastal
areas affected by precipitation changes that reduce their agricultural
output or by other economic crisis, might be forced into a more
coral-related livelihood to get food and income (an alternative to
unemployed villagers).

It could be logical as well to think that the less opportunities satisfied
by increasingly degraded reefs, less people will seek their ecosystem
services, reducing coral reef social dependence, specially in developed
countries. For example, if ecological tourism and fisheries collapse around
a popular Natural Reserves, alcohol, shopping, and coastal real estate
could proliferate (economies not very coral-dependent in the short term).

Therefore, I wanted to ask if any of you know about the most recent
reference that estimates the global human coral reef dependence in light of
these scenarios. Maybe these trends take one more decade to be quantified
if monitored. An updated statistic is of utmost importance when narrating
coral reef values to young audiences with globalized societal concerns and
perspectives, not to mention societal prioritization.


*Miguel G. Figuerola-Hernández*
2017 Sea Grant Knauss Fellow - Coral Program Fellow
*Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP)*
*Cubicle 10335*
*Phone #: (240) 533-0770*

*Extension: 45-30770*
*Cell: (787) 377-0080*

*Office for Coastal Management (OCM)*
*National Ocean Service (NOS)*
*National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)*

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