USC Biology participates in international coral restoration project

Members of USC’s Department of Biology participated in a hybrid meeting with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) Regional Coral Restoration Network Project on July 30, 2021.

The aim of the project is to upscale reef restoration in multiple regions in the Philippines through the introduction of coral larvae to degraded reefs, otherwise known as the larval enhancement method. 

Local and virtual participants, including representatives from the Department of Biology met last July 30, 2021 at the Crimson Resort and Spa in Mactan, Cebu.

Due to its rich marine life resources, Cebu is one of the planned demonstration sites. For this project, ACIAR has set the following objectives: increase the scale and efficiency of coral larval restoration; produce more resilient, heat-tolerant, coral communities and fish habitats; use innovative techniques in restoring degraded reef areas (e.g., use of an underwater robot); and monitor and evaluate the larger-scale coral and fish habitat reef restoration outcomes and community impacts.

This project is spearheaded by the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI) and Marine Environment and Resources Foundation (MERF), Inc., together with leading universities in Australia namely: Southern Cross University, the University of Melbourne, Queensland University of Technology, and University of Technology Sydney.

Furthermore, the USC Department of Biology is looking forward to partnering and collaborating with the local project implementer, UP-MSI, through a memorandum of agreement for the next five years.

Reported by Annie Diola, M.S., Department of Biology

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