CMA CGM Extends Partnership With ESI For Coral Conservation Until 2025

Global transportation leader CMA CGM Group and non-profit organisation Endangered Species International (ESI) have committed to extending their collaboration until November 2025. Their joint efforts focused on safeguarding and restoring coral ecosystems spanning approximately 6,000 km2 in Malaysia and the Philippines.

The partnership, initiated in July 2021 and renewed until July 2023, targets three protected sites within the Coral Triangle, where over 85% of coral reefs face threats from illegal fishing, pollution, and coastal development. The collaboration aimed to:

  • Conduct ongoing assessments of coral reef health and fish species
  • Patrol to prevent destructive fishing activities at designated sites
  • Engage in coral gardening to foster coral growth
  • Remove invasive species and plastics posing threats to coral health
  • Involve at least 5,000 children and coastal communities annually in reef and mangrove conservation activities

Since 2021, live coral coverage has increased from 37% to 50%, with a goal to reach 65% restoration by the end of 2025. Coral gardening efforts have successfully restored 2.5 hectares of coral reef cover, involving the transplantation of 710 coral fragments and the removal of invasive species and plastics.

CMA CGM Asia Pacific Ltd CEO, Laurent Olmeta expressed excitement about the collaboration’s achievements in the Coral Triangle, emphasising the shared commitment to sustainable coral reef ecosystems.

“CMA CGM’s collaboration with ESI has made exciting achievements in the Coral Triangle. In better ways, we shall advance our shared goals for sustainable coral reef ecosystems, with healthy reef serving as carbon sink and a richer marine life that fuels fisheries for food and income.” Laurent said.

The collaborative conservation work has led to the recovery of 22 coral species, including 15 listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. The protected sites now boast a thriving marine presence, with 155 fish species observed, up from 137 two years ago.

Notable endangered marine species such as green sea turtles, whale sharks, three-spot seahorses, reef manta rays, and dugongs have shown increased sightings at the sites.

Beyond conservation efforts, the partnership has successfully mobilised locals in the Philippines to prevent illegal fishing, with seven destructive attempts thwarted and reported in the last two years. Patrolling activities have served as a deterrent, with no illegal fishing reported since July 2022.

Looking ahead, the renewed partnership plans to expand outreach efforts with coral and mangrove awareness sessions, targeting at least 5,000 children from coastal communities in the Philippines annually. The initiative aims to underscore the importance of coral protection for sustainable livelihoods, including food, income, and protection from storms.

ESI President, Pierre Fidenci highlighted the importance of ongoing partnership efforts in preserving coral reefs for the future well-being of human societies. “Coral reefs provide a large fraction of Earth’s biodiversity, protecting and restoring them are essential for the future of human societies. Our continued partnership will sustain our hard work and conservation success for corals and ocean.”

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