As part of our commitment to recognizing the important role of local young people in blue carbon conservation, we collaborated with Baruna Scientific Diving Club of Udayana University to plant our baby corals. The club delegated three of their dedicated members to be volunteer divers in our program: Yovita Ariandini, Komang Wahyudi and Aditya Putra. Besides sharing a passion for protecting the ocean, the three of them also share a love for diving, and each of them has decided to pursue a degree in marine science.
Yovita Komang Adit
As marine science students as well as divers, the volunteers believe they have a unique responsibility to “not only understand marine conservation principles, but also prioritize learning how to apply these in diving”, explained Yovita. Their passion for the environment is also fuelled by the numerous dive trips they have each taken so far, in which they have been able to witness first-hand the stark and heartbreaking difference between a healthy, thriving coral reef ecosystem and one that is struggling to survive.
“Coral reefs play an important role in providing a home for the organisms associated with them,” said Adit, “and this is why coral restoration programs like these are important, to maintain balance of our ocean.”
Although it quickly became clear that our volunteers had a comprehensive understanding of the ecological value of coral reefs, they were still largely unaware of their role as carbon sinks. As such, prior to setting out on our diving trip, we conducted a climate education session with the volunteers, which covered the fundamentals of coral reef ecosystems and the core mission of our organization: to decelerate the climate crisis through blue carbon conservation. “Through this program, I was able to gain a deeper understanding of the incredible capacity of coral reefs to sequester carbon and what that means in our battle against the climate crisis,” said Komang.
Our volunteers hope that when this coral-planting program ends, the baby corals can still be monitored on an ongoing basis in order to ensure the sustainability of our activity’s impact on the environment. Through the process of participating in the program, they have each acquired a newfound sense of urgency to spread the message of blue carbon conservation. They strongly believe that we can all play a part in protecting our oceans for future generations to come. Whether it’s through being mindful of our carbon footprint, learning how to be a responsible diver or even something as simple as opting to use a tote bag when shopping, the message they will send from this day forth is clear and simple: every action we take – no matter how small – matters.