19 May 2023
 “I was on board from day one,” remembers Courtney Forde, Volunteer and past Vice President of the Coral Reef Restoration Alliance (CORALL). Courtney is a marine professional and conscientious citizen – who combines his skills, knowledge and passion for the ocean towards the well-being of coral reef ecosystems. He works at the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology. As part of the team developing the Coral Reef Bleaching Outlook for Barbados, he has first-hand experience on the state of Barbados’ coral reefs. For Courtney, joining the CORALL team, a local NGO dedicated to coral reef conservation, was an easy choice.
Natural wonders
A common ecosystem feature and important economic driver for most Small Island Developing States (SIDS), coral reefs are usually associated with stunning natural beauty. They are some of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet, and it is estimated that 25 per cent of all marine species live in and around coral reefs. Healthy, vibrant reefs contribute to the well-being of society, by regulating climatic conditions, protecting the coastline from storms and tsunamis, serving as a habitat and breeding ground for a range of species, providing jobs, food, medicines, and places for reflection and recreation. Millions of coastal and island people rely directly on reef productivity to support livelihoods, food security and the tourism sector. These vital ecosystem services provided by coral reefs mean that their deterioration has critical repercussions for society. For SIDS like Barbados, protecting these natural wonders is key to sustaining the fishing and tourism sectors and the livelihoods of people who depend on them.
Staghorns  Vauxhall Nursery 2022 05 26
One mission: save the reef
Galvanized to action, CORALL was founded with the mission ‘To Foster the Conservation and Restoration of Coral Reef Ecosystems in Barbados for the Well Being of All’. Their vision is to protect coral reefs through active reef restoration, awareness activities and innovative solutions. The CORALL alliance is founded on the principles of community engagement and building capacity for the conservation and restoration of coral reefs in Barbados. In 2017, a partnership between CORALL and the GEF Small Grants Programme implemented by UNDP began.
Fragments of opportunity
The core of this work is coral reef restoration. Using globally recognized techniques and methods, the CORALL team actively builds and populates nursery structures with rescued coral fragments. CORALL established a coral nursery at Vauxhall within the Folkestone Marine Reserve, and two coral restoration sites on the west coast of Barbados at Port St Charles and Driftwood in 2018. The out-planted fragments were symmetrical brain coral (Pseudodiploria strigosa), elkhorn (Acropora palmata), and staghorn (Acropora cervicornis) species.
As we celebrate International Day for Biodiversity 2023, read more about how CORALL is working together with local communities and partners to 'Build Back Biodiversity'.
Read the full photo essay HERE
Monitoring coralls. CORALL
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