Amidst the pressing decline of coral reefs worldwide, caused by climate change, pollution, and overfishing, the need for urgent conservation efforts has reached a critical level. Recognising the vital role coral reefs play in preserving biodiversity and the overall health of our oceans, the Rolex Perpetual Planet Initiative has joined forces with Coral Gardeners, an ocean advocacy group led by Titouan Bernicot. With the shared goal of inspiring a global community of reef defenders, this collaboration strives to protect and restore coral ecosystems worldwide. The crystal-clear waters of Mo'orea island in French Polynesia serve as a testament to their dedication, where a team of passionate divers is working to rebuild damaged coral reefs.
Koktail recognises the tangible progress made in rehabilitating coral reefs and the profound impact of their work. Together, they are setting an example of corporate and environmental partnership, proving that collective action has the power to bring about change and safeguard our planet's most precious natural treasures.
Titouan, raised in a family of pearl farmers on Mo'orea Island, embodies the spirit of exploration, conservation, and diving. One of his biggest aspirations is to protect the reef, often referred to as the world's second-largest lung. Seeking guidance from experts and scientists, Titouan and his Coral Gardens team carefully removed sections of coral to cultivate in a specialised facility for about 12-18 months. Afterward, they reattached the coral pieces to the nearby reefs using marine cement and monitored their progress.
Coral Gardens plants about 10,000 branches of coral in six coral reefs nurseries throughout French Polynesia. The team recognised the success of this operation as the reefs regained their vitality and vibrant appearance. They have achieved their initial goal of planting 30,000 coral branches.
For nearly a century, Rolex has supported pioneering explorers, pushing the boundaries of human capabilities and perseverance. The company's commitment to exploration extends to safeguarding the environment and providing long-term support to individuals and organisations tackling environmental challenges by utilising scientific knowledge. The launch of the Perpetual Planet Initiative in 2019 exemplifies this commitment.
The partnership between the Rolex Perpetual Planet Initiative and Coral Gardeners extends beyond the waters of Mo’orea. Together, they seek to inspire a global community of reef defenders, empowering individuals and organisations worldwide to take action and protect our planet's precious coral reefs. By sharing their knowledge and experience, they hope to foster a sense of stewardship and to encourage others to replicate their efforts in diverse marine environments.
Coral Gardeners created CG Labs to incorporate innovative technology into their efforts, focusing on the future. They share a commitment to constant improvement, which aligns with Rolex's values. They have introduced ReefOS, an artificial intelligence system that utilises various tools like sensors and cameras to gather data. This data includes information on fish population, biodiversity of species, growth and coverage of corals, and water temperature. The team also has the social media accounts tell “the story of the reef” through stunning imagery and informative videos that have reached more than 200 million people in little more than five years.
With the innovative technologies developed at CG Labs and the widespread reach of their storytelling efforts, the Coral Gardeners have become a beacon of hope in the fight to save coral reefs. Their work serves as a reminder that by embracing technological advancements and harnessing the power of collective action, we can protect and restore the delicate balance of our planet's underwater ecosystems. As the future unfolds, the Coral Gardeners and their partners will continue to push the boundaries of science and conservation, determined to secure a vibrant and thriving future for coral reefs around the world.
The collaboration between Rolex Perpetual Planet Initiative and Coral Gardeners to restore coral ecosystems is a remarkable example of the power of collective action in addressing urgent environmental challenges. This collaboration serves as an inspiring model for corporate and environmental partnership, demonstrating that together we can protect and preserve our planet's precious natural treasures for future generations. By supporting initiatives like Coral Gardeners, we can make a difference and protect the rich biodiversity that thrives within our planet's fragile coral ecosystems.