In cooperation with the MSC Foundation, Baa Foundation signs an agreement to promote coral reef conservation
The partnership will initially focus on specific sites in the Caribbean and the Red Sea where restoration efforts are particularly needed
2021, July 28
During the inaugural MSC Bellissima Cruise Ceremony in Jeddah – Saudi Arabia, Baa Foundation in collaboration with the MSC Foundation announced their collaboration to promote coral conservation and help protect marine ecosystems. The two institutions that share the goal of protecting and preserving the oceans, come together to advance the practice and science of coral reef restoration and, most importantly, disseminate the knowledge gained to a global audience. The goal of the collaboration is to advance scientific understanding of best practices for functional reef restoration and to increase the area of actively restored coral reef habitat.
In the first phase of this consortium, a series of virtual science meetings will be initiated with the aim of sharing knowledge and experience to identify specific areas of cooperation where it makes sense to do so through ecoregions. The long-term goal will be to share knowledge and results with the wider scientific community and decision-makers around the world, as well as visitors to these destinations, which will contribute significantly to global awareness of the need for everyone to play a role and act for the protection of the oceans.
Coral reefs are among the most diverse ecosystems in the world and are home to more than 25% of marine species. They serve as food and an economic resource for some 500 million people and protect coastal communities from storms and erosion. According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, scientists predict that between 70% and 90% of coral reefs are at risk of disappearing in the next two decades (2030-2050).
Perfrancesco Vago, CEO of MSC Cruises, commented: “Our family business has a long tradition of sailing, and ocean protection is a core value to us. This is also at the heart of the work that MSC has done, and our efforts began here with Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. Thanks to the partnership with the Baa Foundation, where a commitment to the ocean is our common denominator, we can now be even more global in our efforts. The Red Sea is home to some of the world’s indigenous coral reefs and thorough knowledge and research from experts and KAUST alumni, as well as the Ocean Cay Research Program”
Bader Al-Rabiah, Executive Director of Baa Foundation, emphasized the Foundation’s keenness to promote initiatives aimed at preserving the environment and culture through national and international partnerships to maximize the role of sustainability and development, in addition to enabling initiatives in these vital sectors. He pointed out that the Red Sea contains the most unique coral reefs and ecosystems in the world.
Al-Rabiah added that Baa Foundation aspires to achieve its vision and mission by sharing initiatives and strategies in projects as well as contributing to the general development of the non-profit sector through long-term sustainability with maximum efficiency.
The Baa Foundation’s Red Sea Conservation Program focuses on ensuring a sustainable future for marine life in the region, and one of its major initiatives is restoring damaged coral reefs. This 5-year initiative will be implemented in 3 phases: The first will consist of immediate intervention in the reefs of Jeddah. From there the initiative will expand with the vision of becoming the largest coral reef restoration program in the world. The aim of the initiatives is to mitigate the direct human impacts and risks of climate change on coral reefs, using international best practices based on science while strengthening management through the participation and training of local stakeholders.