Legal Regime towards Protecting Coral Reefs: An International Perspective and Indian Scenario

Rajesh Sehgal
Centre for Environmental Law,


Corals Reefs are an important link in the marine biodiversity and millions of people depend on coral reefs for their sustenance and livelihood, yet these vital resources are in great danger today. Today, 27% of the world's coral reefs have been lost and 14% are predicted to be destroyed in the next 10 to 20 years due to the threats caused by human activities like over fishing, pollution, sedimentation and climate change. On the other hand, the current legal regimes towards protection of coral reefs are often inadequate. Though, most countries have legislation for reef conservation and additional national laws and multilateral environmental agreements have been adopted by the countries with assistance of the international and inter-governmental organization. There exists a wide array of local, state, national, and international initiatives that attempt, in varying degrees, to protect and preserve these ecosystems, still the implementation of these laws is difficult and completely lacking. This article primarily focuses on the principal national (India) and international legal instruments that may provide for coral reef protection and provides recommendations for their better conservation. The article also highlight the condition of coral reefs and the difficulty in understanding their perilous situation.


Coral reefs, coral, legal, policy, marine protected areas, multilateral environmental agreements, indian laws, marine policy.             LEAD Journal - ISSN 1746-5893