Commonwealth countries hold nearly half of the world’s remaining tropical coral reefs, with 47 out of the 54 member countries having a coastline. Nearly half of them are islands or groups of islands, which face particular threats from the climate crisis, and for whom coral reefs are often vital protections against storms as well as fish nurseries and tourist attractions.
“Whatever we do as a Commonwealth family will make a massive contribution to safeguarding the coral reefs that we are dependent on globally,” said Baroness Patricia Scotland, secretary general of the Commonwealth. “We feel this real responsibility around the world. The Commonwealth can change the trajectory of this crisis, if our members are willing to work together, and we will.”
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Words by Fiona Harvey