UN Environment’s Young Champions of the Earth prize is intended to recognize and reward young people with big ideas that address urgent environmental issues in bold and creative ways.
Among the finalists from Latin America and the Caribbean this year is Gator Halpern, a young environmental entrepreneur who is building the world’s first commercial land-based coral farm, located in The Bahamas:
Over 30% of global coral reefs are dead, and more than 75% are projected to die by 2050. This is an ecological tragedy and a serious socio-economic problem, as reefs sustain one-third of all marine life, support ~1B people globally, and generate $30B annually through tourism, fisheries production, and coastal protection. Coral Vita is creating a global network of innovative land-based coral farms, using breakthrough methods developed at the Mote Marine Lab and the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology to grow corals up to 50x faster while strengthening their resiliency to climate change. Our land-based farms are scalable, allowing us to potentially grow millions of corals from a single site. Coral Vita’s business model can support restoration at unprecedented scales, and by taking a community-based approach we integrate local actors to promote long-term reef stewardship.
Visit the Young Champions of the Earth website to cast your vote for Gator and his big coral-saving idea, and to learn about the other Young Champions from around the world.Voting closes Monday June 25, 2018.