Like trees, corals are the cornerstone of their ecosystem...







Protection and habitat for thousands of fishes, crustaceans, planktons, algae.

Habitat for hundreds of animals (birds, batracians, reptiles, etc.), plants and fungi

Hosts crustaceans filtering the water from contaminants

Decontaminates soils and water runoff, filtering the excess of fertilizers, chemicals, heavy metals

Coastal protection against storms, tides, tsunamis


Farms protection against extreme climatic events (hail, storms, winds, landslides, floods)

Resources : food (fishes, crustaceans), pharmaceutical, decorative, building material


Resources : human or animal feed, medicinal use, decorative, building material

Coral aquaculture for sustainable aquariums supply chains, eco-tourism

Revenue diversification

Timber, fruits, art crafts sales

At the core of traditions and spiritual traditions in some South East Asia and Polynesia regions
Spiritual / traditional

At the core of many religions and native spirituality in various world regions


... and like tropical forest, coral reefs host outstanding biodiversity.



  • 0.2% of world surface 
  • 25% - 50% of marine species
  • 2 to 4 million species hosted in coral reefs
  • 32 of the 34 recognised animal Phyla (big families) are found on coral reefs (compared to 9 Phyla in tropical rainforests)
  • Home to the most diverse fish assemblages found on earth with over 6,000 species



  • 6% of world surface
  • 50% of terrestrial species
  • Around 2 million species found in tropical forests


Like for trees, the loss of corals would lead to the collapse of their ecosystems. 



Coral reefs suffer even greater loss rates than forests.

  • 27% of coral reefs have been lost irreversibly in the last 30 years (around 130 000 km2, i.e. the size of England).
  • 85% of coral reefs there are under direct threat of human activities.
  • 50% of the Great Barrier Reef has disappeared in the last 30 years.
  • Up to 90% of the corals have been lost in the Indian Ocean.
  • 80% of the corals in the Caribbean have been lost.
  • 60% of remaining coral reefs is threatened to disappear in the next 30 years. The average loss rate is of – 3%/year (vs. -0.3% for deforestation worldwide, -0.6% for tropical forests).
  • Scientists believe that coral may become extinct by 2100.


There are multiple threat to coral reefs, including:

  • Unsustainable fishing practices: dynamite, cyanide, fishing nets over corals, overfishing
  • Water chemical pollution (eutrophication, eco-toxicity of industrial, pharmaceutical, cosmetics products washed off in the water ecosystems)
  • Water sediment charge / turbidity due to increased soil erosion
  • Uncontrolled marine tourism and coastal development
  • Invasive species: e.g. crown-of-thorns starfish, lionfish in Caribbean
  • Climate change: elevated sea surface temperature, sea level rise, pH changes from ocean acidification
  • When damaged or broken, corals cannot regenerate by themselves if not attached to a fixed support


Community-based restoration and conservation projects can regenerate damaged coral reefs while improving the practices of the communities, and the livelihoods and the economy of the entire region.

Coral reefs restoration: « planting » corals on artificial structures

  • Creation of coral nurseries to rehabilitate collected broken corals and create new individual colonies
  • Construction of artificial structures to provide a growth platform for corals and other reef organisms
  • “Plantation” of baby corals on the structures
  • Advanced reef restoration technologies (mineral accretion by electrolysis) improving growth and survival rates and increasing the resilience to climate change and other pressures
  • Development of coral culture tables for coral aquaculture


Conservation activities to increase effectiveness of restoration

  • Marine protected areas: ban destructive fishing methods, establish no-take zones
  • Control and surveillance: marine patrol, community control of fishing practices
  • Sustainable economic activities, alternative to destructive fishing: sustainable coral aquaculture for aquarium industry, development of micro-farms / fisheries, eco-tourism (snorkelling, diving, etc.)


Community approach to empower communities in managing their reef

  • Participative / collaborative approach: local communities are at the core of the conservation project (villagers, fishermen, national park, associations and the general public)
  • Activities management and implementation by local organizations: artificial structures construction, damaged coral collection, growth in coral nurseries, coral aquaculture, control and patrolljng, eco-tourism and scuba-diving
  • Empowerment of communities on the knowledge and sustainable management of their natural resources

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This project was launched thanks to the support and commitment of Eau Thermale Avène's team.