Coral reef rehabilitation-technical options and necessary political and socio-economic frame :

experiences from Jordan, Egypt and Kenya


Dr. Lothar Schillak

DAR - German Environmental Consultants, Head of the Department Ecology and Environment,

Augustaanlage 59, 68165 Mannheim / phone 0049-621-41894-0 / fax 0049-621-41894-40

Keywords :

coral reef restoration, coral transplantation, coral implantation, marine farming,

integrated coastal zone management



Restoration of degraded coral reef areas can only be conducted by a multi-sectoral approach embedded into the resident infrastructure of the target coastal communities.

Restoration techniques vary from the designation of coral reef areas as "no-go" "no-take" protected marine areas to the transplantation of stony coral species into coral reefs with reduced cover of live coral colonies. Especially the applied transplantation techniques will generate a considerable impact on live coral colonies since this technique demands a considerable number of coral nubbins taken from the wild for the implantation into prefabricated matrices.

Techniques of marine farming with stony coral species recently seems to represent an adequate alternative for transplantation projects within the frame of coral reef restoration activities.

The "ARCON - coral reef rehabilitation at Diani, Kenya, Indian Ocean" project funded by the European Commission represents a pilot project for the rehabilitation of coral reef areas with most of the major stakeholders involved. Similar projects are planned under a mixed donorship in the reef areas of the Northern Red Sea (Egypt) and under the joint PERSGA/ROMPE programmes for the marine areas of the Red Sea (People's Republic of Sudan, Saudi Arabia) the Arabian Peninsula and the Arabian Gulf.

The projects cited above display a similar structure with the integration of governmental representatives, scientists, coastal (fishing-) communities, economic orientated enterprises (tourism) resident in the project area and small local enterprises to be established during or at the end of the project. The common major objective has been defined as : 

To halt and reverse the degradation of coral reef areas


To apply an environmental orientated management for the sustainable use of the renewable natural resources of coral reef areas.

The ensemble of the projects and activities show a strong integration of governmental organisations and is linked to already existing coral reef protection and conservation activities on the international level and aims at a broad dissemination of experiences between the projects and to foster adequate activities in other marine areas facing similar problems.