Joining Forces With the IUCN to Protect Coral Reefs
“75% of all
coral reefs worldwide
are at risk”
Coral reefs are the most diverse marine ecosystems on our planet and are home to vast numbers of life forms. They are complex and deeply impressive –and have for centuries withstood the forces of nature, managing to continually renew themselves. However, the increases in tourist developments together with the rise of sea surface temperature due to climate change, which leads to mass coral bleaching, now pose a clear threat to these ecosystems. Thus Kuoni has resolved to make its own contribution to protecting these coral reefs, to preserve them for future generations and to safeguard the livelihood and tourism potential they offer to the regions concerned.
Coordinated action is essential if we are to succeed. This is why Kuoni joined forces with one of the biggest international nature conservation organisations – the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – in 2008 to support the protection of the fragile coral reefs in Egypt and the Maldives, both popular tourist attractions. Kuoni’s collaboration with the IUCN, local tour operators and the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA) includes financing scientific research, identifying the reefs most at risk due to climatic change and protecting these in colaboration with the local authorities.
As part of the project, a BleachWatch Monitoring Program has been established to evaluate the risk of bleaching and the mortality of coral reefs in Egypt. And, as part of an awareness building campaign, workshops to train and educate dive professionals were organised and training material was developed.
Kuoni Switzerland even offers a Volunteering Travel package to Egypt to support HEPCA’s scientific research, so that our customers can help ensure that the coral reefs flourish for generations to come.