18 May : Climate change could wipe out the reefs of Southeast Asia’s Coral Triangle by the end of the century if nations do not dramatically curb emissions, environmental group WWF said.Rising water temperatures, sea levels and acidity in the vast region threaten to destroy ecosystems in a region half the size of the United States that is believed to be the oceans’ most biodiverse, the WWF report said.
The collapse of the reefs would send food production in the region, which has been compared to the Amazon rainforest, plummeting by 80 per cent and imperil the livelihoods of over 100 million people, forcing many to move from coastal villages to teeming cities, it said.
"If we don’t do anything, then the reefs are going to be gone by the end of this century and the impact on food security and livelihoods will be very significant," WWF Coral Triangle Initiative Network head Lida Pet Soede said.
"Some of the locations in the Coral Triangle are really important areas for all sorts of fish. The migration of tuna and turtles that spawn in the Coral Triangle are not going to have a next generation," she said.
Saving the Coral Triangle will require nations to commit to deep emissions cuts, when they meet for global climate talks in the Danish capital Copenhagen in December to hammer out a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol, the report said.