We have lost more than 40% of the global coral-reef system worldwide due to overfishing, coastal development, sedimentation, marine-based pollution, and climate change. This has resulted in the loss of valuable ecosystem services to the livelihoods of millions of people. Although marine protected areas (MPA) do work, this passive conservation strategy works at a slow pace. In addition, it alone cannot curb reef degradation by natural disturbances. Consequently, there is a demand for active reef restoration measures that can complement traditional conservation efforts. This coupling of conservation strategies is vital if we are to ensure the preservation of the ecosystem services that coral reefs provide to humans.

The Coral Reef Restoration Training Workshop is the opportunity to learn current best practices and gain hands-on experience on coral reef restoration methods. This workshop is part of Corales de Paz´s mission to build capacity in large-scale coral reef restoration. Visit our Get Involved page to find out when and where is our next coral reef restoration training workshop.

About Corales de Paz´s Coral Reef Restoration Training Workshop

This is a two-week intensive full-time 120 hours’ hands-on, in-water practical program. In addition to providing an experience on what is involved in coral reef restoration using the coral reef gardening concept. The workshop also touches on basic principles of restoration ecology, current best practices for coral reef restoration, appropriate design and logistics.

The workshop is divided into a series of classroom lessons and field activities. It is coordinated by Dr Phanor H Montoya-Maya. Phanor is the director of the Corales de Paz and has worked for the past six years on large-scale coral reef restoration via coral gardening in Colombia, Seychelles, and the Maldives. He is also a part of the Leadership Team of the Coral Restoration Consortium, a member of the Society for Ecological Restoration and the Colombia Network of Ecological Restoration. The technical and scientific coordinators of the projects where the workshops I held assist in training and logistics as well.

 

Online component of the workshop

Before attending the workshop, participants are required to complete an online course in coral reef restoration presented by The Nature Conservancy’s Reef Resilience Network. Through this course, participants learn critical background information on reef restoration best practices and discuss concepts with peers and course mentors. The online course includes the following lessons:

  1. Introduction to Restoration & Project Planning
  2. Restoring Coral Populations with Coral Gardening
  3. Restoring Coral Populations with Larval Propagation
  4. Restoring Reef Structure for Coastal Resilience
  5. Emergency and Rapid Response Restoration
  6. Monitoring for Restoration Success

We combine the online course with the hands-on workshop to deliver a very effective means of training. Participants will spend time on background knowledge prior to the in-person workshop where the hands-on practice is the major focus.

After the e-learning and field training period the participants will be able to:

  • Understand key considerations for planning a restoration project.
  • Describe common restoration techniques including coral gardening and monitoring.
  • Make informed decisions on the need and suitability of a coral reef restoration project.
  • Identify the logistics and funding needs of a coral restoration project.
  • Build mid-water coral rope nurseries.
  • Populate coral nurseries.
  • Outplant corals onto a degraded reef site.

Participants will also experience the process of selecting and evaluating donor, nursery, and transplantation sites; maintaining nurseries; and monitoring of nursery and transplantation components.

Previous Coral Reef Restoration Training Workshops

2019 Third Maldivian Coral Reef Restoration Workshop. 80-hour hands-on training in large-scale coral reef restoration. Organized by Corales de Paz and MaRHE. Center (Marine Research and High Education Center), University of Milano-Bicocca. Magoodhoo Island, Faafu Atoll, Maldives. 28 Nov – 6 Dec 2019.

2019 Guam Coral Reef Restoration Workshop. University of Guam Marine Lab. Organized by Corales de Paz and the University of Guam. Guam, Micronesia. 24 – 27 Jun 2019.

2019 WIO Leaders in Coral Reef Restoration International Training Workshop. 120-hour hands-on training in large-scale coral reef restoration. Organized by Corales de Paz, Nature Seychelles, Noble Caledonia Charitable Trust y Reef Resilience Network. Isla de Praslin Island, Republic of Seychelles. 1 – 10 Jun 2019.

2018 Coral Reef Restoration Training Workshop for Artisanal Fishermen. Large-scale coral reef restoration Program in Seaflower Biosphere Reserve – Reef for All. 120-hour hands-on training in large-scale coral reef restoration. Oct 2017- Dec 2018

2018 Second Maldivian Coral Reef Restoration Workshop. 80-hour hands-on training in large-scale coral reef restoration. Organized by Corales de Paz and MaRHE. Center (Marine Research and High Education Center), University of Milano-Bicocca. Magoodhoo Island, Faafu Atoll, Maldives. 24 Nov – 3 Dec 2018.

2017 First Maldivian Coral Reef Restoration Workshop. 80-hour hands-on training in large-scale coral reef restoration. Organized by Corales de Paz and MaRHE. Center (Marine Research and High Education Center), University of Milano-Bicocca. Magoodhoo Island, Faafu Atoll, Maldives. 24 Nov – 3 Dec 2018.

Participants selection and invitations

This is a very competitive workshop. It targets early-career scientists and reef practitioners who are working or plan to work on coral reef restoration in their home countries. The objective is to build capacity for people and to improve coral reef conservation efforts at a local and national scale.

Corales de Paz organizes the call for applications, identifies potential candidates, organizes the selection committee (comprising the workshop instructors, representatives from partner organizations, and Corales de Paz), and sends invitations to selected participants. For application, applicants must mention how they will apply the knowledge and skills gained in their home reefs. A product of the training program is a draft proposal of a project the applicant would like to undertake back home.

Selection criteria

Corales de Paz and the selection committee will take the following criteria into account when assessing applications:

  • Proven and relevant competence and experience as leaders in his/her community, in the conservation of marine ecosystems and/or at least in coral reefs.
  • Proven and relevant experience and interest in setting up coral reef conservation (i.e. protection and restoration) projects at the country and/or international level
  • Proven and relevant competence and experience in diving using SCUBA equipment (at least 25 logged sea dives).
  • Good knowledge of the Spanish/English languages, allowing active participation in the discussions.

Diving requirements

Participants must have a SCUBA diving license with a minimum of 25 logged dive and/or at least 5 dives performed in the last 6 months before the Workshop. All divers will have a Diving Insurance (DAN or similar) in order to perform diving activities. Every diver has to fill in upon his/her arrival a medical declaration. In case of a positive answer to a question, an additional medical certificate will be required to attest to the suitability to diving activities.


Dates and location

The Coral Reef Restoration Training Workshop is organized on demand and as a result of partnerships with other organizations. Visit our Get Involved page to find out when and where is our next coral reef restoration training workshop. If you would like to organize a workshop in your area please contact us.

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