Corales de Paz and collaborators are leading the way with a commitment to build a transboundary network of coral reef restoration projects.
Meaningful diving for coral reef conservation ONG Corales de Paz is in Praslin island, Republic of Seychelles, to run a 10-day hands-on training workshop in coral reef restoration for local leaders from the Western Indian Ocean.
Founder and former Technical and Scientific Officer for Nature Seychelles´ Reef Rescuers Project Dr Phanor Montoya-Maya had a vision to create a transboundary network of science-based coral reef rehabilitation projects, allowing trained conservation leaders and keen divers to develop effective and long-term coral gardening projects in their home countries.
The concept grew in small steps starting with a professional development program run in 2015 at the Reef Rescuers headquarters in Praslin island. Six international trainees spent six weeks in this majestic island learning and experiencing from Nature Seychelles Reef Rescuers´ staff all about effective large-scale coral reef restoration.
Since its 2016 inception, Corales de Paz has run two training workshops in the Maldives where 32 people have been trained in large-scale coral reef restoration, and established Colombia´s largest coral reef restoration project with the participation of 28 local fishermen and many dive volunteers. From the trainings, two participants have initiated or enhanced successful projects in several islands resorts in Fiji, Indonesia, Maldives and Seychelles and three have initiated professional careers in coral reef restoration. What´s more, three, including two women, have founded their own coral reef conservation organizations.
While the training programs are currently centered in Maldives thanks to its collaboration with the University of Milano-Bicocca and its Marine Research and Higher Education Center, Corales de Paz has also teamed up with Noble Caledonia Charitable Trust, a British based organization, and Nature Seychelles to run the very first Leaders in Coral Reef Restoration Training Workshop in Praslin island.
This June 1st in Praslin Island, Phanor, assisted by Reef Rescuers Technical coordinators Paul Anstey and Chloe Shute, will start training six community leaders and reef practitioners from the Western Indian Ocean region (Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rodrigues Island, and Tanzania). They are working or plan to work on coral reef restoration in their home countries but don’t have the resources to pay for such training and are committed to coral reef conservation. At the end of the training program participants will be able to plan a coral reef restoration project and carry out key activities of the coral gardening method. They will receive seed funding, advice and support to set up and maintain a project in their local community.
“We expect to continue running the Maldivian workshop at the end of 2019. We are also planning to run a similar training workshop in the Caribbean in July 2019. The latter would be Corales de Paz fourth training workshop and the first one in the Caribbean.” Phanor says. “The objective is to build capacity for people committed to active coral reef conservation and to improve coral reef conservation efforts at a local and global scale. Only then we have a chance to overcome the coral reef crisis”.