World's largest coral restoration program unveiled

Published June 14, 2021, 3:09 PM

by Jaleen Ramos

One of the world’s largest coral reef restoration program has been unveiled off the coast of Sulawesi, Indonesia.

MANILA BULLETIN

Sitting on Salisi’ Besar reef platform near the island of Bontosua, Hope Reef is a 45x15m reef installation in the shape of the letters H-O-P-E that symbolizes “positive change can happen within our lifetime and that hope can grow.”

Hope Reef was created to kick-start an even larger restoration effort and create a movement to restore reefs at a large, ecologically relevant scale in response to the loss of reefs worldwide.

SHEBA, in partnership with Mars Incorporated, launched the reef restoration project two years ago in the hope of restoring more than 185,000 square meters of coral reef around the world – roughly the size of 148 Olympic swimming pools by the end of 2029.

“Through our investment in restoration initiatives like Hope Reef, we hope to inspire others and demonstrate that habitat and biodiversity loss can be reversed. As the oceans’ most diverse ecosystem, coral reefs are at the heart of our efforts. We are delighted to report that since the Hope Reef project started, coral cover around the island of Bontosua has increased from 5 percent to 55 percent. Fish abundance has increased by 300 percent. Other species, such as sharks and turtles, are also returning,” said Johnny Racoma, Country Director of Mars Pet Nutrition Philippines.

He added that Hope Reef is a “symbol of hope for the future of our oceans and the start of a movement to restore these vital ecosystems.”

Racoma encouraged all pet parents to watch and share “The Film That Grows Coral” on Youtube where every view helps to raise money for reef restoration through its campaign partner, The Nature Conservancy.

“We know that our consumers expect great quality food for their pets but they also want a brand that makes a positive difference,” he said.

Coral reef systems are the tropical rain forests of the ocean and home to a quarter of marine life but are critically threatened by over exploitation, destructive fishing practices, pollution, and climate change.

Ninety percent of the world’s tropical reefs will be gone by 2043 if the world does nothing, impacting nearly 500 million people who depend on them for food, income, and coastal protection, scientists said.

 
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