Coral reefs worldwide are facing impacts from climate change, overfishing, habitat destruction, and pollution. The cumulative effect of these impacts on global capacity of coral reefs to provide ecosystem services is unknown. Here, we evaluate global changes in extent of coral reef habitat, coral reef fishery catches and effort, Indigenous consumption of coral reef fishes, and coral-reef-associated biodiversity. Global coverage of living coral has declined by half since the 1950s.
This article contributes to a special issue examining SDG 14 and other international policy instruments for effective implementation of the Goal. This article focuses on island ocean states (IOS), or ‘small island developing states’ (SIDS), which are characterized by limited land and oceanic remoteness, creating local and international dependencies for food, livelihoods, trade and transport. While IOS contribute less than 1% to global green-house gases, they are directly impacted by extreme weather and climate change, in particular sea level rise.