Did you know that a quarter of all marine species depend on coral reefs for nutrition and shelter? In fact, they are one of the most valuable and biologically complex ecosystems on the planet. Healthy coral reefs provide habitat, food, and spawning grounds for more than one million species.
For humanity, their importance is also financial: It is estimated that 500 million people in the world depend on coral reefs to obtain food and income through activities like tourism and fishing.
In addition, coral reefs provide a great value to our planet by protecting coastal infrastructure from natural phenomena like storms, hurricanes, and tsunamis.
Coastal Health Research and Dissemination
Iberostar opened its first coral nursery in the footprint of a palapa on the beach at Iberostar Selection Bávaro. In order to design the lab, Iberostar received advice and assistance from scientists and biologists with experience in establishing coral reef labs.
The goals of the lab are to study the behavior and adaptation of these living beings to climate change, establish a genetic bank of coral species and develop outreach for guests who want to learn more about the lab. To achieve these goals, Iberostar has prepared an infrastructure of aquariums and a scientific ward to conduct research and dissemination on the restoration of coral reefs through the following methods:
One of the purposes is to study the benefits of the nurseries that house multiple individual colonies of coral, and their capacity to survive the warming of the ocean. In addition, the aquarium facility houses tanks that can control variations of 32.18°F, allowing researchers to simulate with precision the effects of rising temperatures.
Genetic bank of coral species
Damage by hurricane is one of the major threats to any coastal restoration project. With facilities 262 feet from the coast, efforts have shown that coral aquariums on land benefit vastly from surveillance and protection during natural disasters.
The goal is to utilize this land facility to protect a copy of each unique genotype of coral that grows in the water as part of a genetic bank on land.
Reach the local and global community
Iberostar wants to share scientific progress with a large audience through its facilities and customers as well as supporting future international collaborators, local NGO initiatives, and communicating the importance of coral reefs to the hotel guests.
This initiative also includes the Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus hotel, where the underwater coral nursery has been installed and with its seabed being of enormous value is the perfect place to continue the study of coral in the sea.
1.Elimination of plastics in the hotels
Iberostar is the first hotel chain in Spain with rooms free of single-use plastic. It has also substituted all plastics in bars and restaurants for environmentally friendly alternatives. By 2020, the company promises to eliminate all single-use plastics in more than 120 hotels around the world.
Responsible consumption of seafood
Iberostar is the first hotel chain in the south of Europe, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico to obtain MSC and ASC certification for certifiable, sustainable seafood. Iberostar continues working for species conservation offering its clients an increasingly more responsible selection of fish as well as complying with the minimum fish sizes, fishing closures, not offering endangered species and supporting local fisheries.
Improving Coastal Health
More than 80% of Iberostar’s hotels are located along the coastline and it is important to leave a positive net footprint in order to ensure the protection of the oceans..