Tokyo Cement teams up with WRCT to promote Coral Restoration
Sep 07, 2016 – Tokyo Cement Group and Wildlife Research and Conservation Trust (WRCT) recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will unite their strengths on Coral Reef Restoration.
The organizations will collaborate on coral reef research, rehabilitation and conservation through this MoU, making it one of the key building blocks of Tokyo Cement’s Coral Reef Rehabilitation initiative along the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka.
Tokyo Cement Group leads in channeling resources and garnering the support of stakeholders to make coral conservation and propagation a national initiative. This MoU is another step in this program, through which the company will mobilize millions of rupees worth of investment over a period of three years on a string of activities that will include replanting corals, conducting scientific research and creating awareness on factors affecting their growth.
As part of the understanding, the WRCT brings in their expertise in marine research, training and education to perform field work related to coral conservation. WRCT will train the SL Navy and the Department of Wildlife Conservation in coral nursery preparation, reef-ball placement, coral planting and after care.
Coral Reefs, the richly diverse marine ecosystems titled the rainforests of the ocean act as the first line of defense against the ravages of the sea, similarly being the first to be affected by climatic change and pollution. Especially in countries such as ours Coral Reefs get critically endangered due to coastal development fueled by the swell of population.
Coral reef deterioration impacts not just marine life but also the coastal communities and economies. Given the speed and causes of destruction, action is required not just to preserve but also to replant and replenish what is remaining of our natural coastal barrier.
The cement giant recycles wastage TOKYO SUPERMIX; ready mix concrete to produce Reef Balls, artificial structures that are used as substrate for new corals to grow on. With the help of a consortium of partners that include the Blue Resources Trust, the SL Navy and DWC, these reef balls are placed on the ocean bed in areas such as Pasikudah, Kayenkerni, Dutch Bay, Pigeon Island, all the way up to Jaffna.
Research Scientist at WRCT, Zoologist Gajaba Ellepola expressing his views at the signing of the Mo
U said, “As a keystone species to the reef ecosystem, providing essential habitat and supporting an amazing diversity of life, restoration of coral communities is necessary for the recovery and resilience of local fisheries and the conservation of marine resources. Considering the current rate of decline of coral reefs around Sri Lanka, just conserving it is not going to be enough. It is time to go one step further and restore the lost reefs. Coral restoration activities conducted by WRCT are a part of a larger effort to restore and conserve local marine resources and enhance local fisheries and food security.
While the Navy, DWC officers and local fishermen are trained and assisted with coral restoration, we improve their knowledge about corals and reef ecosystems. Ultimately, the project contributes to the sustainable use and preservation of marine resources for generations to come.”
Engaging direct and indirect beneficiaries of a flourishing Coral habitat, such as local fishing communities, the tourist industry, and the general public, help create awareness on how everyone can play a part in conservation efforts and contribute to curtail harmful activities.
This holistic approach by Tokyo Cement to make a lasting impact was recognized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in 2014 as the Best Environmental CSR project.
In addition to the Coral Restoration project, Tokyo Cement Group also spearheads the mangroves reforestation program. In collaboration with a few other organizations they replant mangrove saplings along the Eastern coastline of Sri Lanka, in a bid to preserve these complex and endangered habitats.