Declared a marine protected area in 1994, Pujada Bay in the Philippines is a biodiversity hotspot of diverse marine ecosystems. Its relatively sheltered waters provide a suitable environment for coral growth, allowing for thriving, interconnected coastal ecosystems.
The Philippines contain almost 10% of the world’s coral reefs with exceptional biodiversity, but to date, 98% of the country‘s reefs are classified as threatened, with 70% at high or very high risk. It is estimated that less than 2% are still in excellent health status.
Recognizing the critical threat facing coral reefs and marine environments, local authorities in the region, including the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), are taking proactive steps to increase marine environmental protection.
Starting in February 2024, we will restore damaged coral reefs in the bay, using our modular system made from 3D-printed clay bricks. The system provides a foundation for corals to grow and fish to thrive and enables the regrowth of a healthy reef ecosystem without further maintenance.
For the implementation and monitoring of our reefs, we work closely together with the Davao Oriental State University (DOrSU) in Mati, the Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation (CCEF), and the Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR).
Coral reefs are not only vital ecosystems for marine biodiversity but serve as primary sources of livelihood for many coastal communities. This is why our work is not just a scientific endeavor; it is a mission that requires active involvement of local communities. Engaging these communities in the future production, implementation and protection of the reefs ensures that local knowledge and insights are integrated into the restoration process, fostering a sense of ownership.
For our first project in Pujada Bay, we are joining forces with Team Malizia, the Mama Earth Foundation, and Zurich Gruppe Deutschland to regenerate degraded coral reefs and mangroves together. (Read more about this collaboration on our blog post.)
We will start with rebuilding an area of 50 m2 of coral reefs. Simultaneously, about 3000 mangroves will be planted in front of the restored reef, and another 3000 mangroves in front of a degraded reef that will not be restored.
This experimental approach provides an opportunity to understand the potential benefits of simultaneous restoration of mangroves and coral reefs. We aim to show whether increased biodiversity of the reefs may help young mangroves store more carbon, and in turn whether the mangroves may help the regenerated reef by decreasing ambient water temperature and sediment in the water.
We are very happy to collaborate with pioneering companies who strive for making a positive impact for coral reefs. They are trusting us and our solution to elevate their impact journey to the next level by rebuilding degraded coral reefs in the Philippines.
Learn more about our latest “2 % for the oceans” partnership with the startup Wild Foods and our shared commitment to the health and vitality of our oceans.