X

Decade of the Ocean

The United Nations (UN) declared the period from 2021 to 2030 as the Decade of the Ocean.

The project aims to connect people and the ocean, build a scientific base and encourage the preservation of the marine ecosystem and the management of natural resources in coastal areas.

The Decade of the Ocean seeks to achieve seven results involving different audiences such as:

Scientists

Intergovernmental Organization

Non-governmental Organization

Nations and people

Research institutes

Professionals and the private sector

Traditional peoples

Educators and students

Sportsmen

Artists

And many more

Grupo Boticário Foundation could not be left out of this movement.

After all, the conservation of the marine ecosystem has been one of the institution’s priorities throughout its history.

Over the past 30 years, around 25% of the donations to projects have been earmarked for initiatives aimed at the conservation of marine environments – an expressive volume in the face of the worldwide support for studies in the seas, which, according to UNESCO, is on average 0,04% to 4% of the total invested.

In addition, the Institution has the Ocean Connection program, which aims to strengthen the communication process in favor of the conservation of marine and coastal environments.

A connection platform with journalists, communicators, influencers, researchers and representatives of public and private entities released in 2019, with the event Connection Ocean, in Rio de Janeiro, in partnership with UNESCO in Brazil, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) UNESCO and Museu do Amanhã.

The most recent delivery of Ocean Connection is the publication Ocean without Mysteries: Unraveling Mangroves, which portrays the importance of this ecosystem for coastal resilience, marine biodiversity and social and economic development, in addition to bringing shareable content and practical communication guidelines.

And that’s not all: to date, the Foundation has worked in the marine ecosystem with 139 institutions and supported more than 250 projects across the Brazilian coast. Check some of them out:

CORAL TRANSPLANTATION

Researchers at the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE) have developed an unprecedented technology that can help save coral species at risk of extinction. Scientists have created a device that innovates the technique of coral transplantation from the recovery of fragments with tissue loss. The device works as a kind of cradle, where the fragments are kept until they recover and grow. With this, they can be reinserted in their habitats, playing a key role in the reef balance.

With the device, the species Millepora alcicornis, a native Brazilian coral known as fire-coral, was grown, achieving 40% growth in just three months. Using the same technology, it was also possible to cultivate the coral Mussismilia harttii, which appears on the red list of endangered species.

TEST TUBE CORALS

A pioneering project in the south of Bahia is developing an unprecedented technology in Brazil to create a bank of frozen coral gametes and, thus, to preserve species from extinction. Developed by the Research Network of Instituto Coral Vivo, the initiative uses cryogenics and assisted reproduction techniques to ensure that, in the event of something very extreme that leads to the extinction of corals, they can return to nature through the hands of science.

The research is divided into two parts:
1. The freezing of gametes – which are the sex cells of corals (sperm and eggs)
;
2. Artificial fertilization in the laboratory.

The objective is to know details of these cells and develop specific freezing, thawing and reproduction protocols for each species of coral. Initially, studies are being done with Mussismilia harttii, a threatened coral species that exists only in Brazil.

UNKNOWN DEPTHS OF FERNANDO DE NORONHA

A sea expedition carried out by Brazilian and American scientists in the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha (PE) resulted in the discovery of at least four new species of fish, exclusive to the Brazilian coast.
Led by the Voz da Natureza Environmental Association, the work took place in two stages:
In the first stage
, the team embarked for 17 days carrying out the exploration in deep waters.
Afterwards, they spent more than 12 months dedicating themselves to the taxonomy of the species, comparing morphological characteristics with hundreds of other fish to prove that they are animals unheard of for science.
In addition to the four discoveries, another 15 species were recorded for the first time in the region. A new species of gobid fish (Psilotris sp.), stone fish (Scorpaena sp.), lizard fish (Synodus sp.) and aphrodite fish (Tosanoides sp.) have been discovered.

ARTIFICIAL NESTS

Located 1,300 kilometers from Espírito Santo, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the islands of the Vitória-Trindade Chain are home to around 130 species of animals and plants.

Some of them are found only in that archipelago and in no other region on the planet. An example are the trinity frigates, seabirds with less than 30 individuals worldwide, considered critically endangered.

The main reason for the low population number is the scarcity of trees on the islands to serve as a breeding ground.

To guarantee the survival of these animals, researchers from Brazilian universities and the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) developed artificial nests, with replicas of the bird and the sounds that birds make during mating, to boost reproduction.

WANT TO KNOW MOREABOUT THE DECADE OF THE OCEAN IN BRAZIL? CLICK HERE.