With 40,000 km2 of reefs and lagoons and more than 15,000 species, New Caledonia harbors the second largest coral reef in the world. At a time when coral reefs are among the most threatened ecosystems on the planet; faced with human activities, global warming and ocean acidification; it is now imperative to preserve this exceptional environmental and cultural heritage site, wich has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Bringing together researchers from various disciplines (natural sciences, humanities and social sciences) and conservation stakeholders, New Caledonia: World of Corals features the most advanced knowledge on New Caledonian reefs and lagoons. It provides an understanding of the extraordinary diversity of these environments in connection with the history of the marine environment, as well as the complexity of the relationships between the various organisms that make them up. It also emphasizes how these ecosystems provide people whith essential resources that serve as some of the foundations of the Kanak culture. Lastly, the resilience of these highly vulnerable environments to global environmental change is questioned and the measures implemented to protect them are presented.
Abundantly illustrated and written in a style accessible to all, this book is intended for any reader interested in the place's exceptional heritage. Beyond that, it will raise awareness among the general public about the challenges involved in conserving biodiversity, the environment and cultures.