News Reef Restoration


Ocean Image Bank // Matt Curnock

The word BULA (a Fijian greeting also meaning ‘life’), has been immortalised beneath the Malolo waters off Plantation Island Resort, with Fijian NGO Corals for Conservation (C4C) unveiling BULA Reef – an important new ‘super’ coral nursery initiative developed as part of the UNESCO-endorsed Reefs of Hope program. BULA is displayed as a 16 x 45 metre word, spelled out in elevated metal frame platforms, hosting over a thousand colonies of rescued heat resistant corals, taken from areas of extreme heat stress, and transplanted by a joint team of C4C staff, in-house resort marine biologists, and volunteers.

Fijian marine biologists have worked diligently since September 2023 to create BULA Reef – the world’s biggest word ever written underwater and written in heat-adapted corals. Plantation Island Resort has been working with Reefs of Hope founder, Dr Austin Bowden-Kerby since 2018 to develop coral nurseries and to establish a model implementation sire for the region, as coral reefs all over the Earth face widespread threat from bleaching due to warming seas resulting from climate change. Because of the diversity of life found in these habitats created by corals, coral reefs are often called the “rainforests of the sea” and are important for sustaining community food security, tourism, and coastal protection in Fiji and globally.

Despite their great value, coral reefs are on the leading edge of the impacts of climate change and are predicted to go extinct within the next 30 years.  With BULA nursery and other Reefs of Hope Ocean Decade strategies, we now have solutions to help prevent coral species extinctions and coral reef collapse, buying time for the global economy to transition away from fossil fuels.

BULA Reef is part of Dr Bowden-Kerby’s science-backed Reefs of Hope strategy and was initiated with the assistance of Plantation Island Resort’s own Fijian/Australian General Manager, Alex Wilson.

BULA Reef is now the largest rescue reef of its kind in history. Significantly, as the first Reefs of Hope project to be launched, the BULA Reef also represents the first and only coral-focused adaptation program to be officially endorsed by UNESCO as part of its Ocean Decade of Action, providing the highest level of international recognition for the project.

Learn More About Corals for Conservation

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