Coral Vita Project Wins £1m from Prince William's Earthshot Prize
A radical project to grow corals on land before replanting them on depleted reefs was one of the winners of the first of the Duke of Cambridge's Earthshot Prizes announced yesterday.
Coral Vita in the Bahamas was one of five winners and lands a £1 million cheque from the project initiated by Prince Willam to support environmental projects.
The awards ceremony was held in London's Alexander Palace with performances from Ed Sheeran and Coldplay. Prince William told the guests: 'Our five inspirational Winners show that everyone has a role to play in the global effort to repair our planet. We need businesses, leaders, innovators, and communities to take action. And, ultimately, we need all of us to demand that the solutions get the support they need. Because the success of our winners is our collective, global Earthshot.'
Each Winner will receive £1million to scale and support their solutions as well as tailored support from the Prize’s Global Alliance Members. All 15 Finalists who featured in the final Ceremony will receive support from the Alliance.
The Coral Vita project started in Grand Bahama. Unlike most coral farms it grows the corals on land using a technique called microfragmenting which allows the coral to mature up to 50 times faster than if they were raised underwater. This is particularly helpful for slow-growing species such as brain corals which can take years to establish.
This also allows the project to grow corals that are more tolerant of warming oceans and are resilient to diseases.
Coral Vita founder Gator Halpern is a firm Liverpool fan and his award was presented by the club's striker Mo Salah. Via Zoom for the Bahamas he said: "So surreal. I was tearing up as soon as I saw Mo Salah.'
The other winners were a deforestation scheme in Costa Rica, a flood prevention scheme in Milan, a scheme to stop farmers burning crop residues in India and an international green hydrogen production project.
Prince William and The Royal Foundation launched its ‘Global Alliance’ of businesses in September. Sitting on the Global Alliance are professional services firm Arup; Bloomberg; ‘Big Four’ accounting firm Deloitte; international law practice Herbert Smith Freehills; Japanese conglomerate Hitachi; Ikea’s parent company Ingka Group; Microsoft; African entertainment company The Multichoice Group; health and beauty giant Natura &Co; mobile network operators Safaricom and Vodacom; software firm Salesforce; Anglo-Dutch FMCG giant Unilever and grocery retailer Walmart.