S.O.S. Corales : launch of the first participatory marine conservation project of the Mediterranean sea
The NGO Coral Guardian, a major international actor in the conservation of coral reefs, is now investing in the Mediterranean Sea by launching the first participatory marine conservation project in this region of the world. This project, named S.O.S. Corales and carried out in collaboration with the Spanish NGO Equilibrio Marino, is located in the
Punta de la Mona region in southern Spain. It responds to a problem of increasing degradation of the marine environment linked to pressures due to human activity, in particular the pollution of debris from fishing equipment in the Mediterranean Sea, drastically affecting marine species, including corals.
Description: coral with abandoned fishing net. Credit: Equilibrio Marino.
Home to an exceptional biodiversity, the Punta de la Mona area was declared a natural park in the 1980s. The ecological value of the area is invaluable and contributes to the splendor of the Mediterranean Sea. However, in spite of government protective measures, coral reefs in this region are today highly degraded and threatened.
The mission of the two NGOs, which already began at the end of 2020, involves cleaning the seabed, restoring coral ecosystems and raising awareness among local stakeholders (fishermen, divers, …) and tourists in order to ensure a return of biodiversity to the damaged areas. The S.O.S. Corales project therefore has an ecological and social dimension by enhancing marine ecosystems and providing coastal communities with solutions to the degradation of marine resources.
Description: coral ecosystem at Punta de la Mona in Spain. Credits: Equilibrio Marino.
Coral Guardian: a model of participatory marine conservation that works and gives hope for the preservation of coral ecosystems
Working actively since 2012 for the protection of coral reefs, it is in 2015 that Coral Guardian launches its pilot project of participatory marine conservation in Indonesia, around the island of Hatamin, near the famous Komodo National Park. Since then, a governmental marine protected area has now been created, more than 40 000 corals have been transplanted and a return of about 30 times more fish has been observed. This real success, both environmentally and socially, has been possible thanks to the involvement of local communities in the restoration of their coral ecosystem on which they depend for their livelihood, and the the international community’s participation through the “Adopt a Coral” program, allowing everyone in the world to take action and contribute to the preservation of the ocean.
Coral Guardian now wishes to pass on its knowledge and thus accompany other project leaders and organizations in the development of a project to protect and restore coral ecosystems around the world.
Based on its experience in Indonesia and in response to the climate emergency, Coral Guardian launched a training program in 2019, called the Blue Center, which enables any project leader or organization to benefit from theoretical, practical or financial support to launch a participatory marine conservation project.
Several candidates have expressed their wish to be supported by Coral Guardian in the implementation of their project. The S.O.S. Corales project was thus selected and is now part of the Blue Center program.
Coral Guardian is currently looking for financial partners committed to this new project. The NGO remains open to any other project leader interested in joining the Blue Center.
For further information : https://www.coralguardian.org/en/spain/
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