Indonesia is the largest archipelagic nation in the world, with a coastline stretching over 95,000 square kilometers around more than 17,000 islands. An extensive group of coral reefs protect these islands. RRSEA estimates that Indonesia has approximately 51,000 square kilometers of coral reefs; this number does not include reefs in remote areas that have not been mapped or subsurface reefs. If this conservative estimate is accurate, 51 percent of the region’s coral reefs and 18 percent of the world’s coral reefs are found in Indonesian waters.  Most of these reefs are fringing reefs, adjacent to the coastline and easily accessible to coastal communities. Twenty-five percent of the nation’s GDP comprises the coastal and marine industries, oil and gas production, transportation, fisheries, and tourism, which percent of Indonesia’s workforce. Although coastal communities have long extracted marine resources sustainably, population growth has put additional pressure on Indonesia’s coral reefs.
Aside from their sheer magnitude, Indonesia’s coral reefs are also among the most biologically rich in the world, containing an extraordinary array of plant and animal diversity. Today, more than 480 species of hard coral have been recorded in eastern Indonesia, approximately 60 percent of the world’s described hard coral species. The greatest diversity of coral reef fish in the world are found in Indonesia, with more than 1,650 species in eastern Indonesia alone. In fact, Indonesia’s coral reefs help to support one of the largest marine fisheries in the world, generating 3.6 million tons of total marine fish production in 1997. Because many reefs in eastern Indonesia have yet to be surveyed, the actual extent of Indonesia’s biological endowment is still unknown.
However, Indonesia’s rich supplies of corals and reef fish are endangered by destructive fishing practices. Cyanide and blast fishing are widespread throughout the archipelago even in protected areas. Around 65 percent of surveys in the Maluku islands had evidence of bomb damage. Despite the short-term profits, studies have shown that the economic costs of blast and poison fishing are prodigious. RRSEA estimates that the net economic loss in Indonesia from blast fishing over the next 20 years will be at least US$570 million. The economic loss from cyanide fishing is estimated to be US$46 million annually.
Indonesian reefs are also subject to various pressures from inland activities. The average annual deforestation rate in Indonesia between 1985 and 1997 was 1.7 million hectares. forestation and other land-use changes have increased sediment discharge onto reefs, and pollution from industrial effluents, sewage, and fertilizer compounds the problem. Reefs affected by land-based pollution have shown 30-50 percent less diversity at depths of 3 m, and 40-160 percent less diversity at 10 m, in comparison to pristine reefs.
The 1997-98 El Ni