The MSC Foundation and Ba’a Foundation have announced that they will join forces to advance coral conservation to help safeguard marine ecosystems.
“Our family company has a long tradition of seafaring, and protecting the ocean is a core value for us. This is also at the heart of the work done by the MSC Foundation, and our efforts here started with Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. Through the partnership with the Ba’a Foundation, where commitment to the ocean is our common denominator, we are now able to become more global in our efforts,” said MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago.
According to the cruise line’s press release, the announcement was made at the maiden call event of the MSC Bellissima in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. MSC said that its foundation is coming together with Ba’a Foundation to “advance the practice and science of coral reef restoration and disseminate the knowledge they acquire to a global audience.”
The partnership aims to “further the scientific understanding of the best practices for functional restoration of coral reefs and increase the area of reef habitat actively restored.” It will initially focus on specific locations in the Caribbean and Red Sea where restoration efforts are especially needed, according to MSC.
“The Red Sea is home to some of the most pristine coral reefs in the world, and through the knowledge and research from the experts and graduates at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology as well as the research program at Ocean Cay, we can really make a difference globally to coral restoration around the world, which is pivotal for ensuring the health of our oceans,” Vago noted.
In the first phase of this partnership, a series of scientific virtual meetings will commence with the goal of sharing knowledge and expertise to define targeted areas for collaboration where it makes sense to do so across ecoregions. A longer-term goal, MSC said, will be to share knowledge and results with the wider scientific community and decision-makers around the world as well as the guests that will visit these destinations – thereby adding to global awareness of the need for everyone to play a role and take action in protecting the oceans.
Coral reefs are among the most diverse ecosystems in the world and home to more than 25 percent of marine species, according to the press release. They serve as a food and economic resource for half a billion people and protect coastal communities from storms and erosion. According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, scientists predict that 70 to 90 percent of coral reefs are in danger of dying out within the next two decades (2030-2050), MSC said.
The Executive Director of Ba’a Foundation, Bader Alrabiah, emphasized his foundation’s desire to promote initiatives aimed at preserving the environment and culture through holding domestic and international partnerships to maximize the role of sustainability and development besides enabling initiatives in these vital sectors.
“Ba’a foundation aspires to realize its vision and mission by engaging initiatives and strategies in non-profit projects and contributing to the overall development of the non-profit sector through long-term sustainability with the highest efficiency,” Alrabiah noted.