The Consulate General of the Philippines in San Francisco, led by Consul General Neil Frank Ferrer, visited the California Academy of Sciences and attended its evening event on September 28 as part of the celebration of Maritime and Archipelagic Nations Awareness Month (MANAMo) 2023 with the theme “Kapuluan, Kabuluhan, Kaunlaran” or “Archipelago, Meaning and Development”.

Given the Academy’s laboratory advances and innovative conservation strategies, including its various techniques to advance coral science, the visit also fits with the sub-theme adopted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is “Set sail towards sustainability : ocean sciences for the archipelagic Philippines.”

During the visit, Consulate officials and staff marveled at the Philippine Coral Reef, the gateway to the California Academy of Sciences’ massive Coral Reefs of the World exhibit. At 7 meters deep, the Philippine Coral Reef tank is one of the largest and deepest specimens of living coral in the world. It reproduces some of the diversity found in the Green Island Passage, recognized as the center of marine biodiversity in the world, which is an area of ​​incredible beauty and importance. Consulate staff also witnessed the live diving show, which educates visitors about marine ecosystems.

A mission from the Philippines presents a documentary in Geneva and advocates for the protection of the marine environment

The date of the visit coincided with the centennial of the Steinhart Aquarium, which houses the Philippine Coral Reef exhibit. Since 1923, Steinhart Aquarium has developed a colorful history of firsts. It was the first public aquarium to display lanternfish and coconut octopuses and has fueled exploration of the ocean’s mysterious “twilight zone,” showcasing innovation and scientific excellence.

Next, Philippine Consulate General staff attended the show “Reef Expedition: Hope for Corals in a Changing World” at the Morrison Planetarium. The 45-minute show allows audiences to travel around the planet, including the Philippines, to explore coral reefs, considered “rainforests of the sea,” and how scientists are developing sustainable solutions to protect and regenerate them from looking to the future.

Narrated by Tony Award-winning Filipino Lea Salonga, the show makes the most of the planetarium’s fulldome screen to immerse audiences in the underwater adventure and make them discover how corals grow, feed, reproduce and sustain more than 25% of all marine life on the planet, while facing unprecedented threats such as climate change, habitat destruction and overfishing.

At 7 meters deep, the Philippine Coral Reef tank is one of the largest and deepest specimens of living coral in the world

Featuring an aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, and natural history museum, the California Academy of Sciences is a powerful platform for research and exploration of biodiversity, environmental education, and sustainability around the world.

For many years, scientists from the Academy and Filipinos have worked together documenting the rich biodiversity of the Philippines.


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