There can be no doubt that our ocean is at the core of the superyacht industry, and plays the most significant role in the entire supply chain. Unfortunately, ocean conservation is still overlooked by many industries and governments, and if change doesn’t take place then the ocean will become inhabitable, and its rich diversity of marine life will become extinct – as well as the industries who profit from it. These are harsh words, but World Ocean Day reminds us of this pressing fact and serves as a catalyst for the sustainable initiatives taking place at your business, or the need to play a more active role in ocean conservation.
“At this stage, we focus on educating people about why ocean conservation is important, and why it is so connected to our industry and, therefore, logical to engage in,” said Robert van Tol, Executive Director at Water Revolution Foundation, during a conversation with SuperyachtNews about World Ocean Day.
“At this stage, we focus on educating people about why ocean conservation is important, and why it is so connected to our industry and, therefore, logical to engage in" - Robert van Tol, Executive Director - Water Revolution Foundation
“We understand that the industry does not have the knowledge of effective projects, or how to judge which is the best one to support and in what way. It will be [Water Revolution Foundation’s] role to introduce the most effective projects to the superyacht industry and show the logical connection and positive effects on both the oceans and our industry,” van Tol continued.
Sobering realities from the Water Revolution Foundation, which works closely with the scientific community, include the fact that 31% of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere are absorbed by the ocean, and the resulting ocean acidification may render most regions of the ocean inhospitable to coral reefs, affecting tourism, food security, shoreline protection, and biodiversity. Alongside this, overfishing, pollution and negligence is putting immense pressure on the marine ecosystem, so urgent help is needed. By the year 2100, without significant changes, more than half of the world’s marine species may stand on the brink of extinction.
To continue enjoying the oceans, we need to work together to safeguard them. “Our industry has an innate and natural connection to the sea like no other, and we rely on the state of the ocean,” said Vienna Eleuteri, Initiator and Vice-President of the Water Revolution Foundation. A new paradigm is required, and Water Revolution Foundation is facilitating and accelerating the adoption of it.
“Ocean literacy is an important programme in the approach by UNESCO, to share essential principles of ocean science, and to encourage all of us to have a more responsible and more informed behaviour towards the ocean and its resources..." - Vienna Eleuteri, Initiator and Vice-President - Water Revolution Foundation
‘Ocean literacy’ means understanding the ocean’s influence on each of us and our influence on the ocean, and is a key part of the education required by this industry. “Ocean literacy is an important programme in the approach by UNESCO, to share essential principles of ocean science, and to encourage all of us to have a more responsible and more informed behaviour towards the ocean and its resources,” continued Eleuteri.
Every sector of this industry is in a strategic position to help and create positive change. “We want to empower the superyacht industry to support sustainable ocean management and marine conservation in the framework of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, collaborating with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and the highest level of the science community in order to be effective,” explained Eleuteri.
“We want to empower the superyacht industry to support sustainable ocean management and marine conservation..." - Vienna Eleuteri, Initiator and Vice-President - Water Revolution Foundation
Only the best science will enable the human population to protect and restore the ocean, so this must be a collective journey. Water Revolution Foundation provides the open and collaborative platform needed to expand capacity for ocean stewardship, directing support to the most relevant and effective projects. The foundation’s inaugural collection of conservation projects, all given the scientific seal of approval, will be launched later this year.
“The greatest danger to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it,” famous words spoken by polar-explorer-turned-environmentalist Robert Swan, OBE. If superyacht owners wish to continue with their own exploration of not only polar but also tropical regions, and our industry wants to continue enjoying the fruits of their investments, then these words by Swan, and the work of the Water Revolution Foundation are something to remember along the way.
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