• SHEBA® Hope Advocate Program: The Next Phase in the World's Largest Global Reef Restoration Initiative

      Seven global advocates, including Malaysian marine biologist Alif Kazman representing Southeast Asia, complete the 10-day coral reef restoration program at the SHEBA® Hope Reef in Indonesia's Spermonde Archipelago.

      SHEBA®, a Mars, Incorporated pet food brand, has completed the SHEBA® Hope Advocate Program, bringing together two Indonesian hosts and five global advocates from the SHEBA® Hope Grows Collective, UK, Germany, USA, and Southeast Asia to work on the world's largest global reef restoration program. The Southeast Asia representative was Alif Kazman, a marine biologist from Malaysia.

      Alif and six other advocates concluded their 10-day adventure at the SHEBA® Hope Reef in Bontosua, an island in the Spermonde Archipelago off the Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia coast. They have had the opportunity to work with the local community, receive practical restoration training, and restore an area of coral reef using Reef Stars, the 'hero' of the Mars Assisted Reef Restoration System.

      "As a young scientist, it was an honor for me to be selected as a SHEBA® Hope Advocate to represent Southeast Asia and to have the opportunity to learn more about the unique research program that supports reef restoration. It was eye-opening to see the scale of the SHEBA® Hope Reef and its impact on the local community, researchers, and field officers who work together. The experience was once-in-a-lifetime for me, and I am eager to impart knowledge about the importance of marine conservation to my peers and the younger generation," said Alif.

      The SHEBA® Hope Advocate Program is part of a global reef restoration movement entitled SHEBA® Hope Grows. The program began with creating a 46x14m structure spelling the letters H-O-P-E in Bontosua in 2019, using restored coral. What was once a barren and lifeless underwater landscape is now a thriving coral reef ecosystem with coral growth increasing from 2% to 70%, fish populations increasing by 260%, and a 64% rise in fish species. By 2029, SHEBA® aims to restore more than 185,000 square meters of coral reefs — roughly the size of 148 Olympic swimming pools — at critical sites worldwide.

      "We are thrilled to offer this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the seven advocates to participate in the world's largest coral reef restoration program first-hand. The SHEBA® brand is a proud part of the Mars family – driven by our purpose to create a better world for pets. It's more than simply a cat food company; its global movement, Hope Grows, is inspiring change. It is now more important than ever to take further action to protect the environment, our climate, and local communities. Our program demonstrates how Hope can flourish even in the most trying situations by sharing knowledge and working together to protect and restore critically threatened ecosystems," stated Dr. Susan Wan, General Manager of Mars Petcare Indonesia.

      "The SHEBA® Hope Advocate Program has received immeasurably positive responses from around the globe. With over 250 applications from the US, UK, Germany, and Southeast Asia, including over 50 applications from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, we are thrilled with the final seven advocates selected based on their passion for ocean conservation. The impact of the Advocates' work is critical in preserving and restoring the beauty of our ocean and ensuring our future has fish. The program is a collective of long-lasting and meaningful partnerships expanding impact far beyond the coral reefs SHEBA® are directly restoring – including on the local communities, tourism, and education in Indonesia," said Philippa Mansell, Indonesia Marine Program Lead, Mars Sustainable Solutions.

      In conjunction with the SHEBA® Hope Advocate program, the SHEBA® brand is also collaborating with selected retailers in the Philippines to collect donations, which will be used to create Reef Stars to be planted in the iconic SHEBA® Hope Reef in Bontosua Island, Makassar, Sulawesi Indonesia. For every purchase of any SHEBA® product in Lazada Philippines (Pedigree and Whiskas Flagship Store), 5% of the purchase value will be donated to the coral reef restoration in the SHEBA® Hope Reef. For more information and terms and conditions, please visit https://www.sheba.com.ph/sustainability.

      SHEBA®'s sustainability efforts are supported by its parent company, Mars, Incorporated, and its efforts to protect our planet. Mars' Sustainable in a Generation Plan illustrates the Mars mission to build the world we want tomorrow, today.

      To learn more about this global coral restoration movement, follow the Hope Grows movement online via the SHEBA® Hope Grows website and SHEBA® Hope Grows Instagram.
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