Tokyo Cement initiates Coral Conservation project | Daily News


Tokyo Cement initiates Coral Conservation project

Coral reefs are among the most diverse natural ecosystems on earth, as the home to a quarter of all marine species. Not just that, coral reefs provide many important services in the form of coastal protection, food security, recreation and livelihoods, supporting extensive fisheries and tourism industries across many tropical coastal nations. However, they are increasingly threatened by human activities and many reefs have already been lost or are being degraded at an alarming rate.

Tokyo Cement Group is deeply involved in coral reef conservation for nearly a decade, making it one of their keystone environmental sustainability initiatives.

The Cement Giant formed a consortium of partners to share expertise to restore the severely threatened Coral Reef barrier along the Sri Lankan shoreline. These like-minded environmentalist organizations each bring in a complementing set of knowledge and experience to provide a holistic and sustainable solution to curb the depletion of corals.

Highlighting the sense of urgency in taking immediate and progressive action, Salinda Kandapola, Corporate Manager - Sustainability at Tokyo Cement Company (Lanka) PLC said, “Corals are diminishing very fast. If we don’t act immediately, the damage is irreversible.”

Setting off the programme along the North-Eastern coastline from Pasikudah, Kayankerni, Dutch Bay, all the way up to Jaffna, the Company started deploying Reef balls; hollow concrete structures that act as substrate for new corals and marine life to grow on and form habitats around. These Reef ball structures are made in-house, using recycled concrete waste from their Ready-Mix Concrete plants.

Before the corals begin to grow, the Reef balls attract young fish who seek shelter from larger prey, which ultimately leads to the formation of fish communities.

Since inception, the Programme has deployed over 1,000 Reef balls along the Sri Lankan coastline in places where the coral barrier is severely damaged, effectively creating a natural extension of the marine ecosystems.

This initiative reaching its ultimate goal, has helped breathe new life into over 60 species of coral in Pasikudah.

One of the foundations of the initiative is to include scientific research to understand the causes of reef degradation and resilient, identify priority areas for conservation and develop appropriate management measures. As part of this plan, the Company also funds research, education and awareness building related to coral reef conservation. Research supported by Tokyo Cement is supporting improved management of coral reefs around the country.

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