CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PNA) – Undeterred by her young age, a 12-year-old girl has started to raise funds for the restoration of corals in the province of Camiguin.
Sofia Pardo started her environmental advocacy when she was just 10 years old, as a graduate student of the International Baccalaureate Primary Program, where students had to choose a project they were passionate about.
Pardo said there was no doubt about his love for Mother Nature.
âOnce the project was completed, we had to present our results at the PP exhibition and base the project on one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. I have always loved the sea and the beach, so I chose the Sustainable Development Goal 14, life underwater, âthe 12-year-old recently said in a press release sent to the press agency. Filipino by the Sangkalikasan Producers Cooperative (SPC).
Pardo and SPC, through its project manager Jose Rodriguez, worked to finance the micro-fragmentation and merging of slow-growing massive coral colonies in order to preserve the biodiversity of the reefs.
Among those who responded to Sofia’s fundraising call were the Discovery Leisure Company, as well as several individuals.
âThanks to their donations, I was able to plant a coral bed under the name Domuschola International School to raise awareness about coral reefs and bleaching,â she said.
SPC commended Pardo for the funds she raised to strengthen the organization’s coral restoration initiatives.
Two years ago, the couple Bunne Gamboa-Santos and Michael Santos, both directors of SPC, traveled to Florida, USA, to learn and train at the MOTE Institute, which was the pioneer of the coral restoration program.
When the couple returned, they wasted no time in passing on everything they learned to the members of the SPC.
Meanwhile, Alexandra Hill, resident biologist with SPC who heads coral rehabilitation in Camiguin, said the restoration project in the island-province began as early as 2013, in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Ministry of Science. and technology (DOST).
Under the leadership of Virna Salac, DOST Project Director, SPC has trained and transferred the technology of asexual reproduction of coral to several local communities in different regions of the country.
âMassive corals are more resistant to anthropogenic stress conditions and climate change. Experience has proven that massive corals can be grown under conditions that can accelerate the rate of growth and increase the rate of survival, âHill said.
Hill said the experiment was initially scheduled to last a year, but the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic shortened it to just four months. However, recent dives have been successful despite the lack of data, she noted.
“This is extremely promising because we are the first group in the country to have carried out this type of experiment and it shows that micro-fragmentation and colony mergers are possible in the Philippines despite the lack of funding and resources,” said she declared.
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