30 by 30: How Divers Can Contribute to This Global Initiative

For many, the “30 by 30” global initiative of 196 countries pledging to protect at least 30% of the ocean by 2030 is an almost impossible task. But what seems too ambitious is now becoming more possible, thanks to the efforts of big plays in  ocean conservation who are doing their best to turn this initiative into reality, a move that will benefit us all.

In September, representatives of these 196 countries will head to Kunming, China for the Convention on Biological Diversity where they will decide to pledge their resources for this initiative. 

The PADI AWARE Foundation, which is a leader in ocean conservation, sees this as an opportunity to convince these countries to commit to this mammoth effort, and it will work with Blancpain to make things possible.

The organization made it clear that although the “30 by 30” initiative may look impossible from a bigger picture, doing small contributions will eventually lead to a huge impact that will bring us closer to protecting at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030 to stop the effects of global warming.

According to Ian Campbell, PADI AWARE associate director of policy and campaigns: “Fiji was able to show that shark diving brought in $42.2. million a year, and that in turn led to the Fijian government creating a shark-and-ray conservation area.” He said that they will be targeting small islands with tourism as a huge part of their GDP.

The organization will also work with diver centers around the world to help them identify coastal areas that need the most protection. Then, they will  supply strategy road maps and tools that will help with government buy-in.

Alexios Kitsopoulos, project manager at Blancpain said that they will be focusing on “smaller MPAs that are closer to our local communities.” This will help people see what they’re doing to protect these areas. He explained: “…if people can go to these places and see them, this is very different because then people can speak about what they see—and that can make millions of people aware. This in turn makes them ambassadors that will go on to support the continuation of our efforts.”

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