Coral Guardians

CORAL GUARDIANS  is a musical initiative highlighting

successful Coral Reef stewardship around the world.

REVENS BESKYDDARE–events/general-news/2016-09-08-a-symphony-for-the-coral-reefs.html




Stockholm 2011

The first CORAL GUARDIANS activity was a benefit concert on

October 14, 2011 in Stockholm to support the Danjugan Learning Center in the Philippines

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Philippines 2012

”Saving Our Seas” was a combined concert and seminar continuation of the

Danjugan Benefit Concert and took place in Bacolod city in the Philippines.

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Zanzibar 2013

Great energy at the first meeting for CORAL GUARDIANS ZANZIBAR at Dhow Countries Music Academy.

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Hawaii 2014

In November, CORAL GUARDIANS visited Hawai´i and met with scientists, musicians, NGO’s, students and many more

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Promoting education in coral reef conservation through music and cultural activities.

Coral Guardians on Philippine News

Music & cultural exchange supporting education on biodiversity conservation & sustainable development

One of my life’s most meaningful experiences was as a volunteer diver with Coral Cay Conservation on expeditions to the Philippines. The experience inspired me to compose music for the Danjugan Marine Sanctuary. Playing this music in concerts with wonderful Philippine musicians enhanced the following expeditions. The song Danjugan Sanctuary has since then been performed on many occasions including the Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf’s 60th birthday celebration, broadcast to 20 million viewers:

Education of young people in sustainable development and biodiversity conservation is an important investment in our future: The Danjugan Learning Center

Danjugan is a small 43 hectares Island, 1.5 kilometers long and 500 meters wide. The island lies in the Sulu Sea adjacent to Negros Occidental in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines. The Danjugan Learning Center is dedicated to the education of young people in biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.


CORAL GUARDIANS  is a project initiated by musician Anders Paulsson and producer Mathias Walin. The intention is to combine cultural activities and scientific exchange to support organizations and educational centers that are committed to the conservation of the world’s coral reefs. Related science seminars are organized in collaboration with scientists Per Olsson and Fredrik Moberg from Stockholm Resilience Centre and Albaeco respectively. The motivation behind the Coral Guardians project is that science and music is a powerful combination. Intuitive and intellectual activities can stimulate each other and music can increase receptiveness for new information. Music can also strengthen friendships across the world. That somebody cares on the other side of the planet can inspire mutual commitments to better stewardship of our natural resources.

Coral Reefs: Why should we care?

Recent analysis indicates that more than 60% (about 150 000 km2 of reef) of coral reefs of the world are under threat from various sources of local pressures, such as overfishing, coastal development, pollution, or any kinds of physical damage. When global warming is added to the equation, it is estimated that 75% of the world’s coral reefs will be under immediate threat. These threats are predicted to be more severe in specific areas of the world, especially Southeast Asia where almost 95% of reefs are threatened.

In Southeast Asia, small islands with densely populated coastlines induce pressure on the regions coral reefs through mostly anthropogenic factors.

Reefs have both physical and social significance. The ecosystem services provided by the reefs include shoreline protection, sheltering commercial fish species, and providing a refuge of biodiversity. On the social aspect, coral reefs support millions of people around the world, securing their livelihoods, providing local people with food or employment, but also contributing to the local economy through tourist revenues or export. Coral reef loss will therefore not only be detrimental to marine biology, but also to the communities who have grown dependent on these reefs.

Despite the rising levels of threats reefs can still be protected and people can live sustainably alongside these highly vulnerable areas. The establishment of Marine Protected Areas, fisheries quota, and sustainable extraction are few of the tolls used in coral reef conservation. Conservation measures along with local community support are the most important aspect of any marine management method.


Scorpionfish, Danjugan Island, Phillippines

Guest Participants:

Peter Raines, founder and CEO of Coral Cay Conservation (CCC).

Gerardo Ledesma, founder of the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc. (PRRCFI).

Per Olsson

Magnus Nyström

Fredrik Moberg



This seminar focuses on solutions for reversing current global trends of degradation of coral reef ecosystems and the services they provide for human well-being. Such solutions see humans as part of ecosystems, embrace the complexity of coral reef ecosystems, enhance partnerships that span multiple institutional levels and sectors, and recognize the capacity of local people to be stewards of seascapes. Invited speakers will present and discuss opportunities and challenges for transforming trajectories and help societies embark on more sustainable ones.


Although just covering little more than one percent of the world’s continent shelves, coral reefs are home to an estimated 1-3 million species including more than a quarter of all marine fish species. Some 30 million people in coastal and island communities are totally reliant on reef-based resources as their primary means of food production, income and livelihood. Estimates of the value of human welfare benefits provided by coral reefs range from US$30 billion to US$172 billion annually. Today, however, coral reefs are in danger for a variety of reasons (including overfishing, pollution, climate change and ocean acidification) resulting in long-term trajectories of environmental degradation and decline. Already today we have effectively lost nearly 20% of the world’s coral reef area, and assuming a ‘business as usual’ scenario another 45% will be lost within the next 40 years. Responses to deal with this decline have been small, fragmented, incremental and inadequate, which in turn have reinforced unsustainable trajectories. Major transformational changes are urgently needed, but shifting from conventional approaches to new integrated, flexible management and governance approaches has proven to be difficult.

A major challenge is to secure, restore, and develop the capacity of coral reef ecosystems to deal with change and continue to generate ecosystem services. Such capacity is the very foundation for social and economic development. Therefore, incorporating an understanding of ecosystem dynamics into governance systems is crucial. However, the reefs’ capacity to deal with natural as well as human-induced disturbance is also dependent on its surrounding systems such as mangrove forests, sea grass beds and the open ocean. It is therefore important that the complex and dynamic coral reefs are managed as part of the larger coastal landscape (or seascape), affected not only by actions in its immediate area but even by releases of greenhouse gases on the other side of the planet. A positive development would be to see larger numbers of people realizing that coral reefs are more dynamic than earlier thought and that they can shift between several different stable states, and may even exhibit irreversible transitions between alternative states. With this insight and a combined local, regional and global perspective the environmental problems concerning coral reefs can be tackled in a more effective fashion, finding sustainable solutions for both coral reefs and people.

In this seminar we bring together experts working in different aspects of coral reef management and governance to explore the possibilities and challenges associated with transformations towards approaches that embrace complex, large-scale marine social-ecological systems. It focuses on innovative governance and management initiatives that can help steer clear of critical thresholds and embark on more sustainable trajectories. What is innovative about these initiatives in regards to ecosystem stewardship? Where do good ideas come from and what is the role of experimentation? How can innovations be scaled-up when opportunity opens? What is the role of agency in such processes? How do we best harness the power of social networks and build trust to overcome barriers between science, policy and practice?

Listen to the people!

“Listen to the people!”