The Coral Triangle
Why: You won't find a more magnificent underwater world than the Coral Triangle, home to over 2,000 species of reef fish, 134 sharks and rays, 30 marine mammals, and 75 percent of all known coral species. Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, and the Solomon Islands all share this precious ecosystem that's being harmed by destructive fishing methods and ocean acidification. Jim Sano, World Wildlife Fund's Vice President for Travel, Tourism and Conservation, says the "rising sea levels and warming sea temperatures are having a dramatic effect on the Coral Triangle." President Obama's new pledge to cut greenhouse emissions by almost a third over the next decade is promising, but if other nations don't quickly take similar steps to reduce C02 output, a WWF study by over 20 experts discovered that by 2050 less than 30 percent of this region's bountiful habitat — which 100 million people depend on to survive — will remain functional.
What to do: Experience the untarnished splendor of the Coral Triangle in the Solomon Islands, where you'll want to shack up in a beachfront bungalow at Uepi Island Resort. Pass the day diving in caves and around WWII shipwrecks, kayaking through the Marovo Lagoon, and gently rocking in a private hammock, a local Solbrew in hand.
More info: worldwildlife.org