The Coral Reef Rescue Initiative (CRRI) has established a network of partnerships that can support conservation on a global scale. They reinforce each other’s efforts with complementary expertise, insights and access, revolving around four key elements:

Science and innovation

Thanks to the knowledge of partners such as the University of Queensland, Arizona State University and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), our Knowledge and Innovation Hub is a dynamic, open-access platform for knowledge management, critical analysis, training, and networking.

Poverty alleviation and development

We work closely with our development partner CARE International to ensure our efforts bring about tangible benefits for local communities.

Biodiversity and ecosystem resilience

With the combined expertise of WWF, WCS, Rare, Blue Ventures, the University of Queensland and Arizona State University, CRRI can access a deep well of knowledge and resources, connecting a global network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). This elite team of conservation specialists brings years of experience to the table.

Advocacy and public engagement

All the knowledge in the world means little without the weight of public opinion and the power of funding behind it. Through our advocacy partners, CRRI is working to keep our planet’s coral reef crisis in the spotlight, positioning the problem at the forefront of public consciousness and pushing to have conservation funding prioritised in government budgets.

Core Partners

Our Initiative is led by WWF, in collaboration with leading conservation, science and development partners such as the University of Queensland, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Rare, CARE International, Blue Ventures and Arizona State University Centre for Global Discovery and Conservation Science.

blue ventures

Working in partnership with coastal communities, Blue Ventures develop science-led approaches to marine conservation. Their conservation models demonstrate that locally led management of marine resources improves food security and makes economic sense. Working in Madagascar, Blue Ventures created the largest locally managed marine area (LMMA) in the Indian Ocean, along with its biggest community-based monitoring programme for artisanal sea turtle and shark fisheries.


CARE is a global humanitarian organization that provides disaster relief to areas in crisis, while providing long-term solutions to poverty around the world. They reach out to over 50 million people in 90 countries worldwide, through approximately 950 poverty-fighting development and humanitarian aid programmes that cover everything from health and education to food security, poverty and women’s empowerment. 90% of their income and fundraising goes directly into these projects.


Rare inspires change so people and nature thrive. Working at the intersection of conservation, sustainable development and social change, Rare is the global leader in using principles of behaviour change to design people-centred approaches and achieve lasting results. Rare has partnered with local leaders in over 60 countries to protect nature and the people, communities and livelihoods it sustains.

the university of queensland

Ranked in the world's top 50, the University of Queensland is a leading research and teaching institution, with over 6,000 research groups and cutting-edge facilities such as the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science (CBCS). The centre works in partnership with scientists, governments, NGOs and industry to solve the most important conservation problems around the world. The University of Queensland is the key science partner for CRRI.


Headquartered in New York City, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) was founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society (NYZS). WCS runs around 500 field conservation projects in 65 countries worldwide, covering more than two million square miles of wild places. WCS uses scientific knowledge to engage and inspire decision-makers, communities and their millions of supporters to take action to protect the world’s wildlife.


WWF is an independent conservation organization with over 30 million followers and a global network active in nearly 100 countries. Their mission is to stop the degradation of the planet's natural environment and build a future in which people live in harmony with nature. WWF works to achieve this ambition through multiple projects, aimed at conserving biological diversity; promoting the use of sustainable, renewable natural resources; and advocating the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. Read more at


Funding Partner

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is the largest multilateral trust fund focused on enabling developing countries to invest in nature and supports the implementation of major international environmental conventions. Since its establishment, 30 years ago, it has provided more than $21.5 billion in grants and mobilized $117 billion in co-financing for more than 5,000 projects and programs. It brings together 184 member governments in addition to civil society, international organization, and private sector partners.

Arizona State University (ASU)

Arizona State University's Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science leads spatially-explicit scientific & technological research with a focus on mitigating & adapting to global environmental change. The Center leads the Allen Coral Atlas, a program utilizing high-resolution satellite imagery and advanced analytics to map and monitor the world’s coral reefs in unprecedented detail. The Atlas and its data products support coral reef science, management, conservation, and policy across the planet.



core team
Carol Phua

Carol Phua is the Coral Reef Rescue Initiative Manager at WWF, where she has worked for over 16 years. At every stage of her career, she has been drawn to challenging projects that require a unique approach, in the belief that working closely with communities is key in the conservation of coastal resources. Carol founded Ocean Witness and was the leader of WWF-Malaysia's Marine Programme and Global Sharks & Rays Initiative. She is also the author and editor of the Living Blue Planet Report.

It’s easy to focus on the negatives in conservation, as the challenges we face are huge; but it’s also really important to keep being inspired and keep looking for bright spots in the work we do. Meeting and talking to people about how their spiritual beliefs and traditions promote stewardship - but also care for resources and the environment - is incredibly encouraging and for me, certainly inspires hope.

core team
Aya Mizumura

Based at WWF-Australia, Aya is Programme Support Officer at CRRI. She has previously worked with coastal communities in the Solomon Islands, Indonesia, Palau and Micronesia. A lifelong lover of the ocean, her great passions are free diving, bushwalking and helping communities on the frontline of conservation to achieve sustainable development.

What makes CRRI unique is that it sees the connection between the health of coastal communities and the protection of coral reefs. When communities are proud of their natural resources and have sufficient capacity to manage them, positive outcomes become much more likely, for both the community and the resources themselves.

expert adviser
Ove Hoegh-Guldberg

Chief Scientific Advisor for CRRI and one of the most commonly cited authors on climate change, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg is Professor of Marine Studies at the University of Queensland, where he has pioneered research on the impacts of global change in marine ecosystems such as coral reefs. He is also the founder of the Global Change Institute and Coordinating Lead Author for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

One of my fondest memories of coral reefs is also my first: crystal clear intertidal reefs off the coast of Queensland, ablaze with beautiful corals and spectacular fish. It was the beginning of a love affair which to this day has not ended. But, like all relationships, there are challenges and losses. It is for these reasons that I continue to fight against climate change and other human-based activities that threaten to wipe out coral reefs forever. Losing these ecosystems simply must not happen.

core team
Pranati Mohanraj
Dr. Pranati Mohanraj is Deputy Director for Gender, Youth & Livelihoods in CARE USA’s Food and Water Systems team. She provides technical leadership for development and establishment of monitoring and evaluation systems for livelihood programs focusing on women’s empowerment and gender equality. Her research interests focus on women’s studies and gender transformative change. Her work life spans engaging with country level government departments as well as providing technical support and guidance to countries across Africa, Asia, the Pacific and Central America. She has a PhD in Women’s Studies and Masters’ degree in Social Work.
core team
Karl Deering
Karl Deering has a background in social science and has 23 years of experience in development and humanitarian work with a focus on resilience, food security and climate change. He has worked in refugee, post-conflict, and development contexts in Asia and in east, west and southern Africa. His core interests are in equity and justice in food systems, gender equality and in the livelihood-conservation nexus. He is currently Strategic Partnerships Lead in CARE’s Food and Water Systems team.
core team
Erin Lord-Lynch

Based at UQ, Erin Lord-Lynch is the Knowledge Lead for the Coral Reef Rescue Initiative. A qualified educator with a Master of International Development, Erin works in related areas such as education and training, capacity building and knowledge management across a diverse range of development programmes. She believes that climate change and loss of biodiversity are the greatest challenges facing our generation and is committed to nurturing sustainable change through inclusion, collaboration, and adaptive practice.

Larissa Sherman

Larissa Sherman is the Coral Reef Rescue Initiative Communication and Partnership Outreach Lead. For over a decade Larissa has been with the CSIRO (the National Science Agency in Australia) as Manager of Communications in the Biodiversity portfolio. With a degree in Environmental Science and experience as a environment campaigner at a number of Environment Non-Government Organisations including The Wilderness Society, Larissa has a passion for terristrial and ocean based protected area conservation and was recently the Communications Manager for the Protected Areas campaign at Queensland Conservation Council.

Let’s build a
climate-ready future!

To restore the world's coral reefs, we need support from all sectors. From individuals and communities to governments and industries, collaboration is the key.