In DepthEcology

An unhappy peace dividend

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Science  08 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6282, pp. 129-130
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6282.129

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Summary

Recent dives into Colombia's Cartagena Bay have revealed an unusually resilient coral reef thriving in the polluted waters. But the reef faces a threat: an end to Colombia's decades-long guerrilla war. The government is on the verge of inking a peace deal with its main adversary, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. Experts expect peace to lead to a development boom, threatening ecosystems all over the country with deforestation and runoff. A new shipping lane is planned for Cartagena Bay, and construction will mean dredging right through the reef. Researchers believe studying the reef's resiliency could help struggling corals around the world and are racing to collect samples before it's too late.