The Living Oceans Foundation joins CORDAP Advisory Board

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Following a unanimous decision made by the representatives of the G20 nations of the Initiative Governance Committee (IGC) of the Global Coral Reef Research and Development Accelerator Platform (CORDAP), the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (KSLOF) has been appointed as a new member of …

It’s Official: Coral Reefs are Facing a Mass Global Bleaching Event

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Today, a worldwide network of coral reef scientists announced that the world is currently experiencing its fourth global coral bleaching event, the second to hit reefs in the last 10 years. The announcement, made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), comes at a time when coral reefs are facing a number of threats to their survival.  

Bleaching-level heat stress, caused by prolonged increases in anomalous ocean temperatures, has – and continues to be – extensive across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.

Working with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to save corals in the South Pacific

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Earlier this year the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (KSLOF) and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF) entered into a formal partnership to help save corals in the South Pacific region. Founded in 1999, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation …

CORDAP Coral Conservation and Restoration Capacity Development Workshop – Mombasa, Kenya

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Earlier this month, our partners at the Coral Research & Development Accelerator Platform (CORDAP) hosted a four-day workshop in Mombasa, Kenya, to identify challenges surrounding coral reef conservation and restoration in the Global South. The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation was invited to participate in this workshop to advise on actionable strategies to address the importance of co-design and capacity building for coral conservation programming. The workshop brought together representatives from academia, conservation philanthropies, the private sector, restoration, and government from 19 Global South countries. The Global South…

From Space to Seabed: Researchers use satellites to analyze global reef biodiversity

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Researchers used Earth-orbiting satellites to map coral reef biodiversity at a global scale to show that areas of high habitat diversity also have high species diversity. This new satellite mapping technique, developed by researchers at the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (KSLOF) and the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science, can help guide future efforts to identify and protect highly biodiverse reefs…

The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation at COP28

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The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (KSLOF) will be participating in COP28 this December 2023. The 28th annual United Nations climate meeting is being hosted by the UAE and will be held at Expo City in Dubai. The United Nations COP or “Conference of Parties” is the highest decision-making process on climate issues as it convenes over 70,000 delegates, heads of state, and world leaders. KSLOF is honored to be participating in several events at COP28 this year to discuss the role of philanthropy in ocean conservation, upcoming projects that focus on monitoring and restoration of coral reefs, and the importance of preserving global biodiversity through coral reef protection…

Community Outreach in the Beqa-Yanuca Seascape

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A key component of the United Nations Endorsed Project Science Without Borders®: Conserving the Tropics is outreach and community engagement. During the joint outreach and fieldwork campaign with the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (KSLOF) and Pacific Blue Foundation (PBF), four villages were visited in the Beqa-Yanuca Seascape. Community engagement and outreach are both important cultural practices for the Chief’s blessing and permission to work on the reef surrounding the villages, but they are also important for visiting scientists to gain valuable local knowledge about the nearshore ecosystem. The final component of the outreach program was to teach several local community members the survey methods for collecting coral reef transect data.

The lagoon is surrounded by several villages, each with its own unique character and traditions. The KSLOF and PBF team worked with four of these communities: Naisomo, Raviravi, Rukua, and Yunuca. The most important first step for community engagement in the Fijian islands is meeting with the head Chief and other community elders to receive permission to work in the waters near to their village. The meeting is called a sevu sevu. The sevu sevu must be done before any work in the water or on shore is started. It is considered extremely disrespectful if this cultural practice is not followed by outside visitors.

During the meeting with the Chief and his advisors, it is customary to partake in a ceremonial drink called kava. It is traditionally prepared by pounding sun-dried kava root into a fine powder, straining it, and mixing it with cold water in a large bowl called a tanoa. Tanoas are carved out of a native hardwood and often have designs to reflect the history of the village. The kava mixture is then poured and drunk out of a bilo, which are small cups carved from coconuts. As the kava is shared amongst the villagers and visitors, the Chief asks what the purpose of the visit is and how it will benefit the community.

Community-Based Coral Reef Monitoring in Rukua Village

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The reefs surrounding the Beqa Lagoon in Fiji have endured many events that threaten their ability to survive, including bleaching events, crown-of-thorns outbreaks, and cyclone damage. These reefs are incredibly important to the people of the region, and to save them, the surrounding villages and communities want to have a pulse on the health of their marine resources. To help manage these threats and monitor locally managed marine areas, or tabu,the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation is working with Mila Matairakula, a master’s student and Pacific Blue Foundation’s Environmental Officer. Her project, Small Scale Assessment of Changes in Coral Genus Using the Machine Learning Tool, CoralNet: A Case Study in Rukua Village, Beqa, will focus on streamlining in-water survey protocols to develop a more accurate and cost-effective method for coral reef monitoring.

One of the first test sites in Beqa Lagoon is Rukua Village, which has several traditional protection areas (tabu) and designated fishing grounds (qoliqoli). These areas have historically been managed locally by community members to help keep fishing pressure and coral reef damage to a minimum. However, there have not been sufficient monitoring protocols to evaluate how these managed areas are faring. If the coral reef ecosystem is stressed and overfished, it greatly affects the lives and food security of the village…

Joining Forces for Marine Conservation

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The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation have reached a momentous agreement to work together to safeguard our oceans. Recognizing their mutual interest in protecting ocean health for current and future generations, the two foundations formalized their partnership by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the Third Foundations Dialogue meeting in Monaco. The signing ceremony was graced by the presence of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco and Her Royal Highness Princess Hala bint Khaled bin Sultan.

Organized by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, the Foundations Dialogue Group provides a platform for the philanthropic community to collaborate and work together to move the needle towards ocean conservation. The Third Foundations Dialogue Meeting is being hosted by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort from June 14-16. It provides a unique opportunity for foundations to collaborate and see how they could align their efforts to achieve the bold ambitions of the United Nations Ocean Decade for Sustainable Development, known as the “Ocean Decade.”

Safeguarding the unique biodiversity of the Beqa Lagoon for future generations

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Bula! My name is Ulamila Matairakula and I am the Environmental Officer for the Pacific Blue Foundation (PBF). My work largely revolves around the Beqa Lagoon Seascape with interacting with local communities and villages about their marine resources. Being a Fijian …