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[Slashdot] - Commonwealth Nations To Protect Coral Reefs With Satellite Technology

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Commonwealth countries are to gain free access to satellite technology that will help them monitor and protect their endangered coral reefs from threats such as climate breakdown, overfishing and pollution. The Guardian reports: 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. Nearly all the reefs are at risk of extinction in the coming decades as the climate crisis takes hold, and nearly half of the world's reefs have already been destroyed or badly damaged in the last 30 years owing to changes in the climate, overfishing, pollution and other exploitation. About 250 million people are directly dependent on coral reefs for their livelihoods. The technology will use high-resolution satellite images and data analyses to allow marine scientists, government officials and policymakers to monitor the health of coral reefs and take the action needed to protect them. Software will be provided to countries free through the Commonwealth's partnership with Vulcan Inc, a US-based group founded by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen, and a new interactive coral reef map will be hosted online at the Commonwealth Innovation Hub.

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