Thailand restoring coral reefs through innovation
To save its underwater coral reefs, Thailand is growing coral on land and then transplanting it to the ocean bed, according to the World Economic Forum, which said the Kingdom is finding impressive success in the endeavor.
In 2018, Global Coralition, a non-profit organization, collaborated with Thai conservation group Eco Koh Tao, to create a sculptures housing 5,000 coral transplants. The sculpture of the sea goddess Mazu and 36 small pyramid structures were then laid at the bottom of the sea.
Angeline Chen, Executive Director of Global Coralition, told the World Economic Forum that the benefits of growing coral on land are huge. They can grow up to 50 times faster, and combined with other scientific methods, they are more resilient and reproductive.
Chen said that Global Coralition will return to work with local conservation groups and scientists from Thailand’s marine resources department to build the island’s first land-based coral farm.
“With these farms, we could be growing a diverse array of resilient coral on a huge scale,” she says.
Saving coral reefs is a high priority for Thailand. A few weeks ago, the minister of Natural Resources and the Environment postponed the reopening of Maya Bay, the world-famous Thai beach, because its coral reefs had not recovered as quickly as had been hoped.
Maya Bay’s environment and coral reefs have endured considerable damage because of an overflow of tourists in recent years. The minister said that the Bay would eventually reopen.
“Coral is vital to the planet,” the World Economic Forum wrote on its website. “Coral reefs are among the most diverse ecosystems on Earth, and they support nearly 1 million species of fish, invertebrates and algae.
“They’re crucial to humans, too. They protect our coasts from storms and floods and provide work, medicine and food to more than 1 billion people.
“In fact, coral reef ecosystems give society resources and services worth $375 billion per year, according to the United Nations,” the Forum wrote on its website.
Photo courtesy of https://www.globalcoralition.org/projects/koh-tao