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Home » Neom » NEOM and KAUST Launch The World’s Largest Coral Reef Restoration Project
NEOM and KAUST Launch The World’s Largest Coral Reef Restoration Project
NEOM and KAUST Launch The Worlds Largest Coral Reef Restoration Project

The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and NEOM have launched the KAUST Coral Restoration Initiative, the world’s largest coral restoration project. 

The initiative aims to restore reefs globally, with the first coral nursery operational and a second under development on the beautiful Red Sea

The project is supported by Saudi Vision 2030 and emphasizes NEOM’s dedication to marine conservation and sustainability. 

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The World’s Largest Coral Restoration Project

Image Credit Twitter KAUST News

The KAUST Coral Restoration Initiative (KCRI) was set in motion with the establishment of the first coral nursery on the NEOM coast in northwest Saudi Arabia on Shushah Island.

This nursery, which is already operational, is poised to revolutionize coral restoration practices with its impressive production capacity of 40,000 corals annually.

The KAUST Coral Restoration Project in Numbers

Image Credit Twitter KAUST News

The project is set within a 100-hectare site, where two million coral fragments will be deployed. This major undertaking marks a significant step in global coral restoration efforts, combining world-leading expertise and innovative technologies from Saudi Arabia and worldwide.

Image Credit Twitter KAUST News

The second facility, currently under construction, will be ten times larger than its predecessor. It is designed to nurture an impressive 400,000 corals each year, thus significantly expanding the coral restoration capacity of the project.

With construction progressing rapidly, the project is anticipated to reach completion by December 2025. This timeline reflects the urgent need to address the global coral reef crisis and the commitment of KAUST and NEOM to take charge of this crucial endeavor.

A Vision for Marine Conservation

Image Credit Twitter KAUST News

The KAUST Coral Restoration Project aligns seamlessly with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, emphasizing enhancing marine conservation efforts. As part of the Saudi Green Initiative, the goal is to protect 30% of terrestrial and marine areas by 2030.

The project reaffirms the commitment of both KAUST and NEOM to sustainability and the development of innovative solutions to environmental challenges. It also highlights the role of coral reefs as one of the most critical marine ecological systems and the value of their preservation for future generations.

The Importance of Coral Reefs

Image Credit NEOM

Coral reefs, often called the ‘rainforests of the sea,’ serve as the biological balance of the ocean and are home to a staggering 25% of marine species despite covering less than 1% of the ocean floor. 

They are crucial for the health of our planet and play a vital role in countries’ economies globally. Estimates suggest that coral reefs contribute economic goods and services valued at approximately $375 billion annually.

Image Credit NEOM

Furthermore, coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems on Earth, underscoring their significance in ecological history. However, with experts projecting that up to 90% of global reefs will experience severe heat stress annually by 2050, the urgency for action is palpable. 

The KAUST Coral Restoration Project is a beacon of hope in this fight to preserve these invaluable ecosystems.

A Strategic Vision for Coral Restoration

Image Credit NEOM

The KAUST Coral Restoration Project aligns perfectly with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, a strategic framework that fosters sustainable development through scientific research. 

This initiative underscores NEOM’s unwavering dedication to environmental sustainability and innovative solutions for global ecological challenges. With this project, NEOM and KAUST are making significant strides toward restoring one of the planet’s most diverse and imperiled ecosystems – coral reefs.

A Pioneering Pathway to Coral Restoration

Image Credit Twitter KAUST News

KAUST’s ambition is to pioneer a pathway to upscale from the current labor-intensive restoration efforts to industrial-scale processes required to reverse the current rate of coral reef degradation. 

The university is contributing the world-leading expertise of its faculty, who are developing technologies to bring this vision to fruition.

The Role of NEOM in Coral Restoration

Image Credit Twitter KAUST News

NEOM, as a partner in this significant initiative, reflects its commitment to sustainability and innovative solutions for the world’s environmental challenges. As pioneers of sustainable development, reviving the vital sites of coral reefs is a natural step in their partnership with KAUST.

Safeguarding  Planet’s Ecosystems

Image Credit King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

The KAUST Coral Restoration Project, supported by NEOM and aligned with Saudi Vision 2030, is a significant step towards restoring reefs globally. 

With the largest coral nursery in the world and a clear strategic vision for future growth, this initiative is set to make substantial strides in global reef rehabilitation, marine conservation, and sustainability. 

The project serves as a shining example of how scientific research, innovative technology, and strategic partnerships can come together to safeguard our planet’s most precious ecosystems.

More Saudi’s Sustainable Ventures  

Red Sea Global’s Fully Electric Beach Cleaning Robot

Image Credit Red Sea Global

Red Sea Global, the innovative developer responsible for the stunning Amaala and Red Sea Destinations, has recently revealed their advanced beach cleaning robots

These robots are fully electric and can be controlled remotely, allowing them to clean an impressive 3,000 square meters in just one hour. They are also equipped with the ability to detect plastic waste as small as 1 square meter. 

This aligns with Red Sea Global’s commitment to sustainability. The Red Sea encompasses a breathtaking area of 28,000 square kilometers, boasting 90 uninhabited islands and the world’s 4th largest coral reef.

Keep Reading: Red Sea Global Unveils Its Fully Electric Beach Cleaning Robot

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