Status of coral reefs in South Asia: Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka
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The most extensive coral reefs in South Asia are found in the atolls of Lakshadweep, Maldives, Chagos and the high islands of Andaman and Nicobar. There are many fringing and offshore patch reefs in India and Sri Lanka. In Bangladesh corals occur only around St. Martin's Island. Pakistan has poorly developed scattered reef communities. Natural disturbances and the lack of management of human activities continue to cause widespread damage to coral reefs in the region. In general, legal and governance aspects of coral reef management and conservation in South Asia can be characterized by the absence of capacity and in many cases political will to implement and enforce legislation. Marine protected areas are not well managed across South Asia and there has been little improvement in the last five years. Management is further affected due to the absence of funding, infrastructure and trained and motivated staff. Capacity to monitor the biophysical status of reefs has been improved and socio-economic monitoring capability is currently being developed. This status report provides information on the current status of reefs and their management.
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