Cat-food brand SHEBA has opened its search for a 2023 Hope Reef Advocate, an opportunity for one lucky U.K. candidate to travel to Indonesia to take part in the world’s largest coral reef restoration project on Sulawesi Island.
As part of SHEBA’s global coral reef restoration movement to help restore the beauty in the oceans, five lucky candidates from around the world will be offered the opportunity to experience the journey of coral restoration first-hand.
The chosen SHEBA Hope Reef Advocate will split their time between Indonesia and the U.K. this August, with a week of virtual training with the Mars Petcare and coral restoration team, before flying out to Makassar for 10 days to participate in reef restoration with the local community on Bontosuan Island.
On the iconic Hope Reef itself, the advocate will join the local community to learn about the coral restoration process, preparing and planting reef stars and sharing their experience, through blog posts and capturing content.
Applicants must have a passion for the environment and inspiring action in others, as well as a strong swimming ability to be considered for the role.
The search for a Hope Advocate is a continuation of SHEBA’s Hope Grows project, the world’s largest coral restoration program. In 2021, SHEBA unveiled its first project that advocates will see first-hand, located off the southwestern part of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, with satellite images revealing a beacon of hope visible from space – the 14m/46ft by 46m/151ft spelling of the letters H-O-P-E using regrown coral – at Hope Reef.
Since it was restored, coral growth has increased from 2% to 70%, fish populations have increased by 260% and the number of fish species has risen 64%.
Professor David Smith, Chief Marine Scientist at SHEBA parent company Mars Incorporated, said:
“Scientists have estimated that if we do nothing, 90% of the world’s tropical reefs will be gone by 2043 — a devastating prospect not just for the reefs’ ecosystems, but for the billion people who depend on the reefs for food, income, and coastal protection. We know that coral reefs are the beating heart of our oceans and the continued results we’re seeing on Hope Reef shows that there really is hope for the future. Our efforts around the world to restore and regenerate these precious ecosystems are showing exciting results and having a positive impact on local communities. We hope that our 2023 U.K. Advocate will help showcase the amazing efforts taking place, and the direct impact that restoring our world’s coral reefs can have on ocean health.”
Rebecca Daniel, the company’s 2022 Hope Grows Advocate, said:
“I was left feeling incredibly inspired after spending a week in the Maldives contributing to the SHEBA Hope Grows restoration project, in partnership with the Maldives Coral Institute as the first U.K. Hope Advocate. A big highlight for me was the people I met: from the passionate team and volunteers, to the friendly islanders who welcomed us into their homes and shared their stories of the reef with us. I came back to the U.K. feeling incredibly empowered to continue my journey within marine conservation, and I’m super grateful to be involved in the next stages of this ambitious and successful program as it expands across the globe.”
Applications are open until June 2nd, 2023. For more information including applicant requirements and terms and conditions, go to shebahopegrows.com or check out the video below.