27 Jun Strengthening Resilience of Bunaken’s Reefs Through Coral Rehabilitation Program
In an effort to help strengthen the resilience of coral reefs in Bunaken National Park against various threats such as ocean plastic pollution and climate change, Grand Luley Manado and its partner the Coral Triangle Center (CTC), launched its expanded coral rehabilitation program.During the launching ceremony, Ir. Wiratno, M.Sc the Director General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation (KSDAE), guests and officials in Manado tagged baby corals that were then transplanted around the Mermaid Dive Site, together with new statues.
The Adopt A Coral Program aims to revive and strengthen coral reef ecosystems in Bunaken by transplanting baby corals or coral fragments to form a new coral reef. The baby corals, which come from a mother colony that thrives in the area, will be taken care of by Grand Luley’s dedicated personnel to ensure that they grow strong and form a healthy reef. Once fully grown, the reefs will serve as home and spawning grounds for thousands of reef fish.
Grand Luley and CTC began their Adopt a Coral Program in 2016 by transplanting 200 coral fragments. These fragments had a high success rate and have grown into a young reef. Now it will be expanded to add more baby corals, which will then help restore reefs around Bunaken National Park. The park, which was established in 1991 as one of the first national marine parks in Indonesia, provides habitat for 390 species of coral as well as many fish, mollusks, reptiles and charismatic marine species such as dolphins, whales and dugongs.
As part of the program, Grand Luley and CTC also launched a mini ceramic coral sculpture to raise awareness about coral reef conservation. Guests who adopt a baby coral can write a personal message and simulate the actual tagging of baby coral using the ceramic sculpture.
“The ceramic coral sculpture shows the fragility and beauty of coral reefs due to threats such as climate change,” said CTC Executive Director Rili Djohani. “By working with Grand Luley and our partners in the tourism industry to promote marine conservation and sustainable marine tourism, we hope to inspire more people to care for our coral reefs and appreciate their importance to our daily lives and why we need to protect them.”
Suzy Hutomo, the owner of Grand Luley Manado said “Grand Luley as a private party commits to support coral rehabilitation in Bunaken National Park through the Adopt a Coral program in collaboration with some parties, such as Balai Taman Nasional Bunaken, local government and the Coral Triangle Center, by using mini ceramic coral sculptures or Dry Tagging Wall”.
During the event, CTC also engaged participants to learn more about marine conservation through fun activities such as the board game Aquatico, and the game Tragedy of the Common, which educate people to support sustainable ecosystems. CTC also facilitated a coral clay workshop where participants could expand their creativity in making ceramic coral as well as learning about different coral species.