the reefs of hope strategy
For the next 3 months, P4O founders will be in Fiji to implement coral restoration actions with local communities and the local non-for-profit Corals for Conservation (C4C). Coral Reefs all over the world are experiencing great loss due to increasing ocean temperatures and other human induced stresses such as overfishing and pollution. To assist coral reefs in their evolutionary race against climate change, P4O and C4C will implement the Reefs of Hope strategy - an emergency response to mass coral bleaching in the region. The strategy works to secure bleaching resistant corals where they are facing eminent demise, and to restore heat-adapted corals to heavily impacted reefs where severe bleaching has killed many or most of the corals. After mass bleaching, the few surviving corals represent hope for the future, being the strongest of the strong - resistant to bleaching and often heat-related disease - and thus vital for the future adaptation of coral reefs.
The work focuses on establishing gene bank nurseries to increase the biomass of heat-resistant corals, as well as field interventions to keep the resistant “super” corals alive after mass die-off events. We then work at restoring sexual reproduction and the associated formation of coral larvae, as well as stimulating the settlement of coral larvae onto denuded reefs in proximity to resistant corals. This last process ensures the sharing of heat-resistant symbiotic algae among the newly settled coral recruits, further disseminating climate adapted assets onto the reef. Observations and achievements made as part of this long-term strategy will be reported to the wider scientific community and passed-on to reef stakeholders of the world. With coral reefs retrieving worldwide at an accelerating rate, the Reefs of Hope Strategy is needed now more than ever. It can be supported through this link: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/emergency-response-to-massive-coral- bleaching/
Coral restoration workshops
People4Ocean sponsored and actively participated to the first community-based coral restoration workshop in Fiji - organised by Dr Austin Bowden-Kerby with Corals for Conservation and hosted by Plantation Island Resort from May 13th to May 17th. "Our first "coral gardening for climate change adaptation" workshop was just completed here in Fiji, with 30 participants, now all focused on a 'super coral' strategy of bleaching resistance, creating a Noah's Ark of corals in preparation for the next mass bleaching tragedy" says Dr Kerby.
A big Vinaka Vakulevu to Dr Austin Bowden-Kerby, Coral for Conservation and to our partners - Mamanuca Environmental Society, Malolo Communities, Plantation Island Resort, Musket Cove Island Resort, Liku Liku Lagoon Resort, Castaway Island Fiji, Malolo Island Resort, Tavarua Island Resort, Sub Surface Fiji, Captain Cook Cruises, Conservation International, Sea Stewardship, and Ministry of Fisheries thank you for all your participation.