Mars Petcare Sheba brand has partnered with The Nature Conservancy to deliver what they claim to be the world’s largest coral restoration program, covering more than 185,000 square meters.
Partner organizations today (5 May) unveiled the first images and videos of “Sheba Hope Reef”, the starting point of the global initiative. Restoration work on the reef off the coast of Sulawesi, Indonesia, began two years ago, and during this period the coral cover has increased from 5% to 55%.
It is hoped that the success of this project can be replicated at a series of other sites, covering some 185,000 square meters by the end of 2029. The Nature Conservancy uses a technology called “Reef Star” at Sheba Hope Reef. These are star-shaped steel structures that come together underwater, creating a “web” that encourages the regrowth of coral fragments. This approach will be used in other locations, which must be announced.
In addition to funding coming directly from March, consumers will be encouraged to contribute by watching a documentary-style video about the work at Sheba Hope Reef on YouTube. Entitled “The Film That Grows Coral”, the video was monetized by YouTube and all funds raised will be invested in The Nature Conservancy.
Mars Inc chief marine scientist David Smith said the reef is a symbol that “there is real hope for our oceans.”
Smith said, “Our efforts around the world to restore and regenerate these precious ecosystems are showing exciting results and having a positive impact on local communities, which we are excited to see. We hope our efforts inspire others to join us so that we can all play our part in helping to prevent the extinction of our coral reefs. ”
The bigger picture
To date, Mars has spent approximately $ 10 million on research, restoration and community engagement around coral reefs, as part of its $ 1 billion “Sustainable in a Generation” plan. The main objective of the Nature Plan is to keep the total area associated with the value chain flat, avoiding processes such as deforestation.
While Mars is perhaps best known for chocolate and confectionery, its Petcare branch covers some of the most recognizable brands in the world. Besides Sheba, the company owns companies like Whiskas, Cesar and Iams. Buying ocean products for these brands is where the connection to marine habitats comes in.
The landmark 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report found that if the world abides by track 2C of the Paris Agreement, more than 99% of coral reefs are likely to decline. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef would enter a state of “complete decline”. The worst effects could be avoided, research says, if the world aligns with the deal’s tighter 1.5C track.
edie explains: biodiversity and business
Edie readers interested in nature conservation and restoration are encouraged to recap our recent series of content on this vitally important topic, hosted in association with the Woodland Trust.
We’re hosting a special edition of the Sustainable Business Covered Podcast, featuring exclusive interviews from Trust, Earth Securities and Patagoina, on our Soundcloud, Apple and Spotify. You can also access this episode here.
Additionally, readers can access a free “edie Explains” guide to developing and implementing a biodiversity strategy. by clicking here.
This exclusive content accompanies a recent edie webinar on biodiversity, featuring expert speakers from Unilever, The Woodland Trust and Kering. You can cjoin this session, initially broadcast in April, on demand. Please note that this is a premium webinar, so on-demand tickets cost £ 10 + VAT per person.