18th Jun. '12

Saving our Reefs- How NO FEAR wants to help!

A post by Sabrina (No Fear community coordinator)

How can one person save the world?  The short answer is they can’t, but, we at NO FEAR believe that if we work together in this Age of Digital Cowboys and support great projects, we can make a start. It is for this reason we chose to support a young, fearless biologist and his passionate research project for restoring and regrowing coral reefs. Digital Cowboys are not confined to the IT industry. You’ll find them in all industries. NO FEAR is about sharing the message that we can all do something great, share this inspirational stories with our friends and our network by using digital tools.

Sol Viitasaari is a young Finnish-Canadian biologist  with a huge dream. He wants to save our coral reefs (yes, they do need saving).

The current situation is, briefly,as follows:

- General estimates show that approximately 10% of the world’s coral reefs are dead.

- About 60% of the world’s reefs are at risk due to destructive, human-related activities.

- The threat to the health of reefs is particularly strong in Southeast Asia, where 80% of reefs are endangered.

- By the 2030s, 90% of reefs are expected to be at risk from both human activities and climate change; by 2050, all coral reefs will be in danger.

 

It was while working on his Bachelor’s thesis that Sol discovered The Biorock® method , the leading technology for reef restoration, and started researching it. TheBiorock® method is the only method known to produce the natural limestone that corals need to grow on and accelerate coral growth, healing, and resistance to stress. It uses electric or solar energy to directly improve coral health, allowing it to survive conditions that would normally kill it, thus allowing reefs to be restored where they cannot recover naturally.

Dr. Tom Goreau , his supervisor and President of the Global Coral Reef Alliance and Coordinator of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development Partnership in New Technologies for Small Island Developing States, introduced Sol to Biorock® method. Like most cowboys, Sol believed in working things out in the  frontline and quickly took the opportunity to put his research into practice with an internship at the Gilli Eco-Trust on the Gilli Trawangen Islands in Indonesia

With a background in commerical and scientific diving as well as biology , Sol has been able to implement the projects on every level from the theoretical research and lab test to actually building the Biorock structures with his bare hands on the beach and being one of the divers who puts the structures in place and monitors their growth.

Now back in Indonesia to continue his graduate studies with the University of Helsinki  Sol has been working hard, with support from Dr Ari Ruuskanen, on furthering  research on the effectsof Biorock on reef health and ecology. He is also involved in the establishment of ecological practices in  fishing and tourism, as well as the development of sustainable energy sources on a local level. We at NO FEAR believe in supporting this type of noble cause so please share this message with your network.

 

 

Check out this great TEDx video on the Coral Reef Restoration: Cultivating Mutual Symbiosis

Find more information on:
BioRock
Global Coral Reef Alliance
Gilli Eco-Trust

 

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