In February 2013 the application for the Pangaea Grant was opened. It was difficult to select the best proposal for an environmental act project amongst all applications. Anthon Rivas (22) from the Philippines won the Pangaea Grant endowed with 1000 Euro!
When the USS Guardian, a minesweeper of the US Navy, damaged more than 2000 square meters of Tubbataha reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site, on January 17th 2013, Anthon decided it was time to act, to protect and restore coral reefs! Anthon Rivas is 22 and studies Management Accounting at the University of San Carlos in Cebu City. “Although I am at the school of business and economics, I am more interested in science and engineering”, Anthon says. Since he was young he felt a special connection to nature and a need to tackle environmental problems. Anthon is worried about rampant illegal logging and garbage lying everywhere: “People seem not to care what is happening around. But I do.”
Therefore he has started a project to restore coral reefs and raise ecological awareness. Besides grounding and anchoring of ships, pollution, destructive fishing practices, such as dynamite or cyanide fishing and global warming are continuous threats for the unique ecosystem of a coral reef. To restore reefs in Hinatuan Bay Anthon and his team will transplant fragments of the coral Acropora loripes onto PVC pipes and hollow blocs, which function as substrate.
Knowing that protecting the rehabilitated site will not be successful without the help of the locals they will launch an awareness campaign. They will organize seminars and workshops in the area, give talks and involve local radio and TV stations.
Pangaea Germany decided that Anthon’s creative and elaborate project, which was presented in a detailed project portfolio, should be supported with our Pangaea Grant! Anthon will keep us updated.