The CMA CGM Group, a global player in sea, land, air and logistics solutions, is continuing with its worldwide Reef Recovery program with the Endangered Species International (ESI), a non-profit organisation. Together, they are progressing in their partnership to protect and restore corals in Malaysia and the Philippines. Starting in July 2021, the partnership covers three sites: Balabac Island (the Philippines) and Pulau Banggi (Malaysia), Negros in Central Philippines, and Sarangani Bay in Mindanao in Southern Philippines.
Laurent Olmeta, Chief Executive Officer of CMA CGM Asia Pacific Ltd, said, “The CMA CGM Group is committed to protecting marine ecosystems as we fight climate change and biodiversity loss. We serve our purpose through our collaboration with ESI in Malaysia and The Philippines; and have ongoing coral conservation partnerships in Australia, Florida and the Seychelles. Importantly, we embrace the circularity of ESI’s program that employs and involve the local community. This is a win-win solution for both the environment and people in Better Ways.”
Coral growth and recovery observed at all three reef sites
To mitigate threats arising from illegal fishing and overfishing, pollution; climate change; invasion by predatory species, and excessive seaweed growth, ESI recruited and trained 10 local fishermen from the southern part of the Philippines to monitor and patrol the conservation sites. They have since intercepted five illegal fishing activities while on the lookout for illegal and destructive fishing activities this year.
Mitigating coral loss, some 200 kg of plastic debris that poses harm to corals were retrieved from the ocean. Over 4,040 coral-predatory crown-of-thorns starfish; and 160 litres of seaweed were also cleared from the reef sites. At the conservation site of Negros in the Philippines, 430 fragments of corals were transplanted onto its coral bed to seed regrowth. Thanks to restoration and intervention, all three sites are now observed to be in stable conditions with coral growth and recovery in targeted areas.
Maintaining coral environment and involving the community
Besides employing fishermen as custodians of the seas, ESI is empowering the local fishing community through ocean conservation outreach so that they can learn to fish more responsibly without devastating local fish populations. From June 2022, ESI also began engaging local children to promote awareness of coral protection and sustainable fishing practices.
Pierre Fidenci, ESI President, said, “The pace of coral reef decline is faster than current trajectories by at least a decade. The collapse of coral reefs has far-reaching implications for the entire ocean and for people, as reefs are considered sentinel ecosystems that protect coastal communities. We must do much more to save coral reefs; if not, the planet’s remaining coral could all be wiped out in two generations. Our conservation work in partnership with the CMA CGM Group aims to restore and protect corals and the ocean where it is needed the most.”
A coral garden structure will be constructed to restore the damaged coral ecosystem at Negros site. In addition, coral fragments will be outplanted at the site to diversify and enrich coral species to enable a more resilient coral reef in the altered oceans.
Augmenting efforts to protect and regenerate marine life in the Philippines, the CMA CGM Group is also collaborating with World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) in the Philippines and WWF France on a resource mapping and cetacean survey project at the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.
CMA CGM committed to the environment and our oceans
The CMA CGM Grouprecognisess the global importance and urgency of healthy oceans and is committed to continuing with its efforts to ensure that our oceans are used sustainably, as well as ensuring that shipping services are ever more respectful of the environment.
This involvement of the CMA CGM Group is reflected through its Reef Recovery program that was launched in 2020; and now covers seven coral nurseries and sites in Australia, Florida, Malaysia, the Philippines and the Seychelles.
As part of its commitment to supporting sustainable use of the oceans and respect for ecosystems, the Group has launched several initiatives worldwide to help to protect biodiversity and nature. The Group decided to end the transportation of plastic waste on all its vessels worldwide as of June 1, 2022, a pioneering decision in the shipping industry to protect the oceans and biodiversity.
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