Meet Jean-Pascal and his association Reef Check France!
I am a marine biologist, specialist in "Men & Reefs" health issues, and I have worked for many years to make science accessible to citizens by offering them appropriate and useful scientific activities. I live in La Réunion and am part of the Reef Check France team.
The Reef Check association comes to take the pulse of the reef and seeks to understand how the corals and their inhabitants, invertebrates and fish, behave, while analyzing their state of health. For this, data collection work is carried out by volunteers trained by the association according to a protocol specific to Reef Check. The EcoDiver training program has a dual purpose: to educate and raise awareness about the ecology of marine ecosystems, their value, what threatens their health and the solutions to these issues; and that of training non-scientists to collect valid, quality and certified data, which can then be used by scientists assessing the state of reef ecosystems.
Qwetch welcomes this initiative and integrates the association among its historical partners (Un Océan de Vie, Mountain Riders, Clean My Calanques, For My Planet) by launching a new shared product: the Corail bottle. For each bottle purchased, 2€ are donated to Reef Check France to finance their awareness-raising actions carried out in the three oceans of the planet: the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
OUR HEALTH DEPENDS ON THAT OF THE REEFS.
We know it only too little but our health depends on that of the marine reefs. Coral reefs play a major role from an ecological but also an economic point of view. They are home to more than 25% of the planet's biodiversity while only occupying 0.1% of the surface of the oceans. A rich and diversified food chain therefore depends on it: every day, several million people feed on the reefs.
But for the past twenty years, their main builder, coral, has been in danger. Even though many initiatives around the world have been working since the 1990s to try to stop their degradation, they slowly continue to die. In question, certain uncontrollable factors such as natural events (like "El Niño" or cyclones) and other factors linked to human pressures such as pollution, fishing or global warming.
What is Reef Check?
Reef Check is an international participatory and citizen science initiative for coral reefs, developed in around 80 countries and launched since 1998. As in other countries, the Reef Check association has been working since 2010 in the overseas territories (La Réunion, Guadeloupe , Martinique, Mayotte, New Caledonia, Polynesia, etc. to lead local initiatives aimed at preserving the health of coral reefs and raising public awareness of the fragility of this biodiversity.
What are your main actions?
In each overseas territory, our action is multiple:
• We regularly record the health status of sentinel reefs with our team of volunteers;
• We encourage citizens – businesses, schools, administrations, tourists – to move from the status of spectators to that of agents of change, notably via our free training program to become EcoDiver and thus collect scientific data on coral reefs;
• We carry out awareness-raising actions against litter by cleaning lagoons and beaches where litter is sorted and then analysed, and we also seek to educate the general public on the use of sunscreens, some of which are harmful to the health of coral reefs but also for the health of humans.
I am an individual and I would like to volunteer with Reef Check, how can I do this?
Several solutions exist depending on your geographical location: you can participate in local ecological survey activities and awareness initiatives if you are near a Reef Check antenna, you can join the animation team and you can even support the association by a donation (tax deductible!)
What is the meaning of the partnership with Qwetch?
Reef Check France favors partnerships with eco-responsible companies concerned with the future of our coral reefs and that of the planet. Thus, Qwetch, by offering sustainable solutions to fight against disposables, represents for us an example to follow and promote. We are delighted with this partnership.
A last message to convey?
There are hundreds of ways to take individual action to reduce our impact, with everyone doing their best. Environmental education and action are – and will remain – essential in the medium term to achieve the objectives of preserving our planet that we have set ourselves. At Reef Check France , we consider that everyone (from 7 to 77 years old 🙂) can become an actor by participating in our program. So don't hesitate any longer, take the plunge!