CMA CGM Group Extends Reef Recovery Program to the Coral Triangle

  • CMA CGM Group partners with Endangered Species International to protect and restore coral reefs within waters in Malaysia and the Philippines.
  • A partnership to empower local communities in the Philippines to protect one of the most diverse marine habitats in the world.
  • CMA CGM committed to seek better ways in protecting biodiversity and ensuring the sustainable use of the oceans.

CMA CGM Group, a world leader in shipping and logistics, has partnered Endangered Species International (ESI), a non-profit organisation, to protect and restore about 6,000 km2 of ocean in the Coral Triangle, specifically within the waters in Malaysia and the Philippines. The Coral Triangle stretches across six countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, and has 76% of the world’s coral species - the highest coral diversity in the world.

Stéphane Courquin, Chief Executive Officer CMA CGM Asia Pacific Ltd, said, “The CMA CGM Group is committed to seeking better ways to protect biodiversity and ensure the sustainable use of the oceans. Through our partnership with ESI, we would aid in coral reef regeneration and conservation, and involve local communities as custodians of coral reefs within the Philippines and Malaysian waters. This cause is very important to us and to our 4,000 maritime employees in Asia Pacific.”

The initiative will focus on reducing illegal and destructive fishing activities that threaten corals, and will contribute to restore and protect corals including rare and threatened species at three sites: between Balabac Island (the Philippines) and Pulau Banggi (Malaysia); Negros in Central Philippines and Sarangani Bay in Mindanao in Southern Philippines.

Coral gardening will also be conducted to restore damaged coral ecosystem within some 10 hectares of coral habitats in the latter two sites in the Philippines.

This partnership between CMA CGM and ESI seeks to mitigate the threats to the reef ecosystem in the Coral Triangle, where they are at a much higher threat level as compared to the global average of 60 per cent. Today, more than 85 per cent of coral reefs within the Coral Triangle face multiple threats arising from illegal fishing practices, pollution, and coastal development among others.

Empowering Communities

Multi-stakeholder collaboration and empowerment hold the key to coral protection ahead. Training and awareness programs will be conducted for local communities including fishermen to instil knowledge on marine ecology, responsible fishing and the importance of reef conservation in the Philippines.

The conservation effort will see ESI mobilising locals in the Philippines to monitor and patrol all three conservation sites as they look out for illegal fishing activities that will be reported to concerned agencies. This also translates into employment for the local people as they play the important role of protecting one of the most diverse marine habitats in the world.

Pierre Fidenci, ESI President said,” Coral reefs are magical and unparalleled in beauty; but they are fast declining and a threatened natural ecosystem on earth. Besides climate change, human activities are responsible for the threats, but we can intervene to protect, restore and conserve them. Together, CMA CGM Group and ESI will work to preserve and protect coral reefs in the Coral Triangle.”

This milestone in the Coral Triangle extends CMA CGM Group’s Reef Recovery Program which started with coral regeneration in support of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in 2020, and which will be extended to other regions in the world. It complements other concrete actions taken by the Group worldwide to protect biodiversity.