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Port City Colombo Hosts Joint Symposium on Coral Reef Ecology

Port City Colombo recently hosted a Joint Symposium on Coral Reef Ecology bringing together renowned experts in the field to discuss the current state of coral reefs and explore strategies for their protection and restoration. The Symposium coincided with World Environment Day and World Oceans Day, highlighting Port City Colombo’s dedication to sustainability and the protection of natural biodiversity and ecosystems.

A distinguished panel of keynote speakers, including high-level academics, shared valuable insights on various aspects of coral reef conservation and restoration, during the Symposium. The panel included Dr RP Prabath K Jayasinghe – Senior Scientist and Head of the Marine Biological Resources Division at the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency, Professor Hui Huang – Director of the Tropical Marine Biological Research Station in Hainan, CAS, and Member of the Advisory Committee on National Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Association Countries of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), Dr MFM Fairoz – Ex-Officio/Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences at the Ocean University of Sri Lanka, Dr Yuyang Zhang – Associate Professor at the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, CAS, Professor PBTP Kumara of the Department of Oceanography and Marine Geology at the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences & Technology of the University of Ruhuna and Dr Chengyue Liu - Assistant Professor at the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, CAS.

These leading academics and researchers each delivered keynote lectures on “Knowing the Unknown: Way Forward in Coral Taxonomy”, “Status of Coral Reefs in China”, “Global Microbialization and Coral Reefs in Sri Lanka”, “Coral Reef Restoration in China”, “Current and Future Prospects of Coral Reefs of Sri Lanka”, and “The Response to the Temperature Changes of Pocillopora damicornis During the Reproduction Stage from the Perspective of Bioenergetics”, respectively.

Alongside the Symposium, Port City Colombo also hosted Professor Laurence McCook, an internationally renowned expert in coral reef conservation, who has conducted important research and assessments in the surrounding waters. Professor McCook’s extensive experience with marine ecosystems including coral reefs, will help to ensure the conservation and preservation of marine biodiversity in and around Port City Colombo. With his vast knowledge, gained from his work with organizations such as WWF Hong Kong and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Professor McCook is well-known for his commitment to science-based management and conservation strategies.

The Joint Symposium is the first in a series of initiatives by Port City Colombo dedicated towards sustainability and the conservation of the country’s natural resources. Landmark collaborations with sponsors and partners, such as the University of Ruhuna and the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, CAS, further underscore Port City Colombo’s dedication to fostering education, research and conservation efforts in line with its design and operating philosophy, which is based on international standards. 

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