Page last updated at 16:11 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 17:11 UK

Girl names Maldives coral reef

Zsuzsa Maygar
If the reef forms an island it will be called Stingray Island

A 10-year-old London girl has won a competition run by the Hay Festival to name one of the world's first cultivated coral reefs in the Maldives.

Zsuzsa Maygar, of Notting Hill, west London, came up with the name, Stingray Reef. Mohamed Nasheed, President of the Maldives, judged the competition.

If the reef survives, the sandbank it protects will grow to form an island which will be anointed Stingray Island.

Zsuzsa said she would be "amazed" if her idea became the island's name.

Coral plight

She said: "It's amazing, I can't explain it. I'd be so amazed and so happy if it made an island. It seems such a big thing that from this competition there might be a Stingray Island."

President Nasheed added: "I hope this competition has helped to draw people's attention towards the plight of the world's coral reefs, which are under grave danger from climate change."

The reef is especially significant as it will now be subject to one of the world's first coral cultivation programmes.

The process, described as underwater gardening, will see scientists introducing 'nubbins' of nursery-grown coral to aid the survival of the reef.

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