Life Support: How coral reefs save lives

Episode three of Life Support, a series about why the global nature crisis matters for our lives

After the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami devastated the coasts of his native Sri Lanka, an engineering professor began to ask why some places were spared the full force of the wave.

Thanks to Professor Harindra Joseph Fernando for speaking to us for this episode. Thanks also to IPBES.

Life Support is a series about why the global nature crisis matters for our lives.

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Written and narrated by Emma Howard
Produced by Georgie Johnson
Edited by Charlie Denholm
Filmed by Isabelle Povey
Music and sound design by

Featuring Rima Sonigara as ‘the human’

Additional music: Blue Dot Sessions (‘Roundpine’)

Sources and further reading:
> ‘Coral Poaching Worsens Tsunami Destruction in Sri Lanka’, Harindra Joseph Fernando et al. (2005) 
> ‘Influence of coastal vegetation on the 2004 tsunami wave impact in west Aceh’, Laso Bayas JC et al. (2011)
> ‘Wetlands for disaster risk reduction: Effective choices for resilient communities’, Ramsar (2017) (PDF)
> ‘Mangroves Shielded Communities Against Tsunami’, World Wildlife Fund (2005)
> ‘Dealing with the effects of ocean acidification on coral reefs in the Indian Ocean and Asia’, Vicky W. Y. Lam et al. (2019)
> ‘The global flood protection savings provided by coral reefs’, Michael W Beck et al. (2018)
> ‘Canal May Have Worsened City’s Flooding’, Michael Grunwald, Washington Post (2005)
> ‘The Global Wetland Outlook’, Ramsar (2018)