It is believed that over half of the world's corals have already been destroyed and almost all coral reefs in Southeast Asia are endangered. Although the threat of coral reefs dying might seem to be an issue that is out of sight to many people, its impact is imaginable especially for a country like Thailand. The country's coastline stretches over 3,000 kilometers and a third of all cities are bordered by the ocean. As Thailand is our biggest operational hub in the region, we wanted to contribute our part to help restore the environment of our home.
For this year's World Environment Day, Omisians from all 3 entities (Omise Payment, OmiseGO, and GO.Exchange) have teamed up and traveled to participate on coral rehabilitation off the coast of Chonburi, Thailand.
At Omise, we believe that small efforts can lead to change on a larger scale. By preserving and rehabilitating coral reefs, we can gradually help restore the balance of our oceans and marine life.
Coral reefs aka 'The rainforests of the sea' are one of the oldest and most biodiverse ecosystems on earth. While they only cover less than 1% of the sea floor, coral reefs support around 25% of all marine life.
Over half a billion people around the world rely on coral reefs as their main source of food, income, and coastal protection. For developing countries, in particular, coastal communities rely heavily on coral reefs for food and nutrition through fisheries and economically through tourism. The NOAA has named coral reef plants as "the medicine cabinet of the 21st century". Its substances can be extracted to treat many diseases including cancer, arthritis, bacterial infections, and Alzheimer's disease.
In the Gulf of Thailand, coral reefs have been destroyed and disappeared at an alarming rate. Throughout this trip, we encountered mass coral bleaching mainly caused by human activities. Unregulated tourism, overfishing, pollution, and climate change have caused the total area of coral reef damage to increase from 30% to 77% within just a decade. We decided to take action in this cause at the company level because each and every one of us truly believe that small efforts can lead to a big impact. We would like to take this opportunity to encourage responsible action towards our environment at the personal and company level. Omise will continue to reduce single- use plastic and separate our recyclables as our minimum effort. We'll make sure that all our recyclables go to the right facilities without ending up in our oceans.
By the end of the century, coral reefs can become extinct. Just like everything in life, a healthy environment is crucial for growth and even survival. We realize that the ocean cannot be restored overnight, but collectively, we can do our part by spreading awareness and being responsible for our actions towards the environment. Healthy coral reefs lead to healthy oceans which help maintain a healthy planet.