BIODIVERSITY / The economic value of coral reefs overseas is € 1,3 billion


Ifrecor (French initiative for the state of coral reefs) published a report in June on the state of coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves overseas.

“In 2020, 62% of the reefs assessed in these territories are in poor health with a trend of stability since 2015. In the long term, the trajectories of these reefs tend, on the whole, in the direction of a degradation with loss of coral cover for the benefit of algae which limit the reinstallation of corals and do not have the same ecosystem value, ”comments Ifrecor, specifying that this degradation also concerns seagrass beds and mangroves.

Yet the total value returned by reefs overseas is estimated at 1,3 billion euros per year: 215 million euros generated by fishing and aquaculture, 315 million euros by tourism. Since mangroves and grasslands sequester CO2, it was calculated on the voluntary market prices of carbon credits that these two plant formations save 175 million euros. The most important gain from an economic point of view concerns coastal protection. These ecosystems absorb a large part of the energy of the swell and thus reduce damage to coastal development; they save some 595 million euros in protective infrastructure.


In Saint-Martin, the total value returned by the reefs is estimated at 25 million euros. Hence the interest in protecting these surfaces. To date 33% of coral reefs are protected.


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