Pala Dalik is a New Caledonian environmental association, and a marine diving club certified by the French Federation for Studies and Underwater Sports (FFESSM in French). Since 2011, the association has worked to preserve coral reefs by acquiring environmental data on coral health. This is done by participating in Coral Reef Observation Network campaigns, known as RORC in French (the equivalent of Reef Check’s monitoring campaigns) and through environmental education, predominantly for secondary and high school students and in local events.
In 2018, Pala Dalik combined its two main activities to create the RORC monitoring for children: RORC Kids! This project is currently in its test phase at the Poindimié secondary school, in the northern province of New Caledonia. Orion Panizzi, a biology teacher at the school, is the main driver of this project, along with the trek and diving club Aqualagoon, also based in Poindimié.
The main stages of the project are:
- Locate a shallow reef teeming with life that is already protected.
- Create a permanent monitoring station under the water (steel and concrete structure on the ocean floor).
- Students put the RORC monitoring techniques to practice.
- Survey the reef.
- Archive, analyse and interpret the data.
- Share the results, and every year start again!
Right now, stages 1 to 4 have been completed, and Pala Dalik will continue to support the Poindimié secondary school through the remaining stages of the project.