Coral Reef Restoration Educative Park – Gili Trawangan
Coral Guardian is above all the embryonic vision of two young graduates, Martin Colognoli, with an Aquaculture and Marine Ecology Master’s Degree, and Guillaume Holzer, with a Master’s Degree in business, who wish to promote their convictions in ecology. The meeting of these two marine environmental enthusiasts sets the stage for an ambitious adventure.
A project born from a dream
Coral Guardian is a non-profit French organisation that is dedicated to the conservation of coral reef ecosystem, raising public awareness about the current reef issues, the development of research, and the promotion of marine ecosystems through tourism and biotechnology.
The birth of a battle
Similar to the tropical rainforests, Coral reefs are a symbol of biodiversity on earth. To protect these reef ecosystems, it’s imperative to participate at the conservation of biodiversity. Coral brittleness and its growth are compromised by the impact of human activities. To protect coral ecosystems is to contribute to biodiversity conservation. This is the goal Coral Guardian has set for itself.
Coral conservation has never been more important than since we have started to understand the complex relationship between the earth’s ecosystem and marine biodiversity. Indeed, the underwater world produces 70% of the oxygen we breathe which is not only essential to the marine ecosystem, but also to the survival of all species on earth.
An ecological heritage going astray
25 years ago, the local population unaware of the consequences of their act on the environment, practiced bomb fishing. It is by far the easiest and most affordable way to harvest fish, but the explosion aimed to kill the fish also totally destroyed the coral floor, making it sterile. During the process, the marine floor gets covered by broken coral pieces and these dead coral pieces become motionless moving structures resting on the sea bottom, preventing coral regrowth. Furthermore, there has been a massive tourism expansion which has generated rapid urbanization with negative outcomes for the coral floor. Some examples include, but are not limited to: non treated waste water, anchor plowing of the sea bottom, and destruction of the ecosystem due to tourists’ ignorance.
A Coral Reef restoration program
2500 m2 damaged reef zone rehabilitation
The structures put in place have been specifically designed for marine life development, yet they are also designed to be playful and aesthetic.
The goal is to demonstrate the real fragility of these ecosystems as well as their local and global importance.
This zone has been established to protect the endangered marine life in Gili Trawangan, a small reef island located between Bali and Lombok.
A sustainable restoration
Two origins for the corals:
– Harvested on dive site’s natural colonies from loosen broken fragment from the damages of divers. Left to themselves, the corals would die. Therefore, we collect them to transplant.
– Corals are farmed onto nursery structures in the sea. The mother colonies can then be preserved on the long term and used as cutting to repopulate a restoration zone.
Coral Guardian Reefs: A coral reef restoration site set as an educative coral conservation park
The “Manta Ray”: metallic module sets which represent the picture of a Manta ray visible from the sky. An “Educational Path”: it covers an area of 1300 square meter which count 32 structures and more than a
Holyver Coral Garden Memorial
The “Submerged Memorial”: a coral garden in the shape of the number 9 in Holiver’s memory, an ocean lover.
The “Coral Arch”: an original set; a stone and coral arch that is the result of a biological architectural work under which the divers can freely move.
Valuing Reef Conservation through Ecotourism
Coral Guardian preserves marine environment while meeting tourism needs and opting for ecotourism.
The success is to protect the zone and raise awareness for all visiting these sites. A scientific assessment relying on biodiversity monitoring is guaranteed in order to demonstrate the positive impact of promoting a marine ecosystem. Our local partnerships are perfectly concerned by the long term follow up.