Many Pacific coral reefs are being damaged by habitat disturbance, pollution, fishing and climate change. Climate change is believed to be the greatest human-induced threat to corals in the Pacific region. The region needs an action plan to make cohesive decisions that will benefit coral reefs. This will enable leaders of Pacific Island countries, coral-reef managers and community members to coordinate their efforts to protect these valuable ecosystems. Regional cooperation can optimise synergies between programmes and actions to achieve better outcomes, by sharing knowledge and using economies of scale. A regional plan can also provide the basis for securing the funds needed to protect and manage coral reefs. The Pacific coral reef action plan 2021–2030 intends to focus the region’s coral-reef conservation and management on four priorities over the next ten years:
- conservation of habitats and biodiversity
- sustainable fisheries and food security
- resilience and adaptation to climate change
- sustainable tourism.
To address these priorities, the Plan recommends eight action areas, which each have outcome-based indicators to evaluate progress in the short and long term. The human-induced threats to coral reefs are increasing, so efforts to conserve coral reefs will need to continue well beyond 2030. Efforts will need to adapt to emerging ecosystem priorities and may need to be further strengthened. The Pacific coral reef action plan 2021–2030 intends to focus the region’s coral-reef conservation and management over the next ten years. This plan should be updated, if necessary, and, before it ends, a new plan for 2030 and beyond should be initiated.