Submitted by Reef Check Reunion Coordinator Harold Cambert
With the support of the Quiksilver Foundation, Reef Check France was able to develop an ambitious program in the southwest Indian Ocean called The Green Campaign, which took place over three years from 2010 to 2012. Through this campaign, Quiksilver Foundation demonstrated its commitment to training new regional teams and supporting programs tracking reef health and restoration actions, as well as raising awareness.
Four Southwest Indian Ocean coral hot spots (Reunion, Madagascar, Mayotte and Mauritius) were studied at 30 Reef Check survey stations including 19 newly established monitoring sites. In all, 12,000 m2 of reefs were under surveillance, with more than 50 volunteers participating.
The results show that motivated teams with a project supported by all is a realistic solution for conservation, sustainable use of biodiversity, and is vital for the future of local natural resources. The final stage of the program will be the use and implementation of these results by managers and decision makers in future environmental management plans.
With its regional recognition in the Southwestern Indian Ocean, Reef Check France plans to sustain these cooperation initiatives in the coming years in several ways:
– Strategically, by relaying information from national observation networks to Reef Check France;
– Geographically, by spreading the formula to other ocean regions (e.g. Caribbean, Pacific);
– Specifically, by supporting projects that help transform the local economy and enhance non-interference with marine environments, as well as projects focusing on reef restoration.
Most importantly, the popularity and development of Reef Check in the Southwest Indian Ocean promises to introduce even more volunteers to our beautiful coral reefs.