KAUST Reefscape Restoration Initiative is the world's largest coral reef restoration initiative. The initiative will begin with a 100-hectare reef restoration project at Shushah Island in the Red Sea. This will be a global demonstration of coral restoration that integrates innovative, in-Saudi Arabia, and internationally developed technologies, pioneering propagation, planting, and monitoring approaches, and international expertise to accelerate solutions for reef ecosystems at a time of unprecedented environmental change.
The effort will be a mix of coral conservation protection, enhancement, and restoration. Corals needed for outplanting at the site of restoration will be propagated primarily in an ex-situ coral nursery, which will be the world's largest once completed. A further, in-situ coral nursery adjacent to the restoration site will be operational prior to the commissioning of the ex-situ nursery to support the restoration of priority sites within the 100-hectare area identified mutually between KAUST and NEOM. Both of these efforts will be augmented by a robust habitat enhancement program and by harnessing corals' natural sexual reproduction processes to support the restoration of a thriving reefscape.
Dr. Maram Abadi has had the opportunity to work with the world's largest coral reef restoration initiative as a Strategy and Operations Advisor. Dr. Abadi is the VP of the Young Arab Researchers Council at the Arab Youth Center. She formerly worked with The Red Sea Global as a Senior Special Projects Manager, leading many large green initiatives. She earned a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering from KAUST and published her work in Nature Communication, among other reputable journals. She won L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Middle East Fellowship 2017, Forbes Ignite Fellow 2021, and represented the Arab youth at the World Government Summit 2018 and 2022.