Coral reefs cover less than 1% of the world's surface and yet, are among the most diverse, complex and productive ecosystems on Earth.
Coral reefs provide an estimated 25% of the fish catch of developing countries, are a source of employment and leisure, and encourage the development of tourism, as well as performing vital functions in protection against storm damage and erosion.
Increasing pressure on coral reefs has lead to reef degradation; is linked to the loss of economic opportunities; and is presenting growing challenges to the livelihoods of local communities. Reef degradation is associated with increasing poverty in most coral reef areas of the world, highlighting the crucial economic and social roles of coral reefs in the lives of many of the world's poorest coastal and island communities.
Humans need coral reefs. Consequently, effective management that promotes the sustainable use of marine resources is critical. ICRAN recognises that reefs and people are inextricably linked, and has made a commitment to improve the health of coral reefs around the world by creating opportunities for communities to take charge of their environment, helping them to develop the skills and tools needed to ensure the long-term vitality of coral reefs.