Coral reef rehabilitation project in Sri Lanka wins the Nature Based Solutions Challenge

Eight teams from Brazil, Congo, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka the Netherlands and Uganda made it to the finals of the Nature Based Solutions Challenge. On the 20th of September they pitched their projects to the jury members, followed by a panel discussion with stakeholders on the challenges of youth initiatives in nature based solutions.

Congratlations to team School meets the Reef from Sri Lanka, with mentor Cas Dinjens of the company Arcadis! The team will get the chance to showcase their project on 10 November at the COP27 at Youth Day in the Climate Action Hub. The two other teams in the top 3 are team Regenerae-Brazil and team Bees for Hope-Uganda.

Winner: School meets reefs

Team School Meets The Reefs is based in Sri Lanka. They have been working on the rehabilitation of coral reefs in the Kayaker Coral Cove by building in situ coral nurseries. Together with this, the team creates awareness within schools in the area about nature based solutions specific to coastal areas. The jury expressed admiration for the projects of all eight teams. The teams managed to gain engagement of different stakeholders and showed excellent solutions to real problems.

The jury called the project of the winning team School meets the reef ’a massive undertaking with excellent potential.’ Coral and its restoration has been shown to have significant effects on ocean temperatures and through this, overall global warming and related biodiversity. ’A well thought out plan,’ commented the jury, ’one that includes community engagement - which was demonstrated sufficiently. The community engagement and incorporation in the school system is a great behavioral approach!’

What’s next?

WUR Student Challenges made available an additional budget of 10.000 for the teams to continue their projects. Partners and stakeholders are invited to join. Stay tuned, the adventures of the teams don’t stop at the finals!


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