This collaboration consists of four key partners - Biosphere Expeditions, an international non-profit wildlife conservation organisation, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), providing the scientific training and leadership, the Maldivian Marine Research Centre, the goverment agency tasked with marine research and conservation, and Soneva, a conservation-
The first week of surveys saw the expedition visiting reefs surveyed prior to the catastrophic bleaching event of 1998 that killed most corals down to 30 m around the central Maldives islands. One particular site showed remarkable recovery from only being about 7% alive just after the bleaching event, recovering to over 50% live hard coral cover now.
Dr Solandt of MCS says "this recovery from such a severe event shows the resilience of the Maldivian reefs to this single event. However, we must not be complacent, because if warming continues to occur, and with ocean acidification starting to be a real concern, reefs of the Maldives still face a very uncertain future".
Dr Hammer of Biosphere Expeditions adds "we are delighted to be able to add another piece to the puzzle that is reef conservation and climate change. Our expedition is a model for how multi-stakeholder conservation, research and capacity-building can go hand in hand for the benefit of everyone. Thank you to our international volunteers and our partners Soneva, MCS and MRC for making it all possible and highly relevant."
More information about Biosphere Expeditions and their wildlife volunteering and conservation projects can be found at http://www.biosphere-