‘Her Deepness’ Dr Sylvia Earle to kick-off nationwide road-trip of Hope in Cape Town
Dr Sylvia Earle is a renowned ocean conservationist, marine biologist and deep sea explorer. With over four decades of leading the charge in saving the oceans of our blue panet, Dr Earle launched Mission Blue in 2009 after winning the prestigious TED speaker award. The TED winner is given one wish, and a large donation to make that wish come true: “to use all means at your disposal — films, expeditions, the web, new submarines — to create a campaign to ignite public support for a global network of marine protected areas; Hope Spots large enough to save and restore the blue heart of the planet”
As part of her world-wide campaign to save our oceans, Dr Earle coined the phrase ‘Hope Spots’ ‘Hope Spots are special places that are critical to the health of the ocean — Earth’s blue heart.
In December Dr Earle will be touring from Cape Town to Durban launching six new Hope Spots in South Africa and sharing her passion for our oceans.
‘Some of these Hope Spots are already formally protected, while others still need defined protection. About 12% of the land around the world is now under some form of protection (as national parks, world heritage sites, monuments, etc.), while less than three percent of the ocean is protected in any way.
Mission Blue is committed to changing this. Networks of marine protected areas maintain healthy biodiversity, provide a carbon sink, generate life-giving oxygen, preserve critical habitat and allow low-impact activities like ecotourism to thrive.
They are good for the ocean, which means they are good for us. We are often asked, “How much protection is enough?”
We can only answer with another question: How much of your heart is worth protecting?’
The South African Hope Spot initiative is called Ikhaya lethemba, which means the Home of Hope. It brings the Blue Heart of the planet and Human Heart together; it is about what people can do for their blue planet and their own quality of life. The Ikhaya lethemba programme is so steeped in people that it strives to draw people together to work under the umbrella of the Hope Spot in a truly inclusive manner.
She will be joined by Mission Blue partners in South Africa, the Sustainable Sea Trust under the leadership of local marine biologist Dr Tony Ribbink and the I AM WATER Trust founded by South African freediving champion Hanli Prinsloo.
Dr Ribbink and SST will also launch the coffee table book, South African Coasts - A celebration of our seas and shores, for which the public submitted photographs to celebrate 20 Years of South Africa’s democracy.
‘Dr Sylvia Earle has always been one of my greatest inspirations in leaving competitive freediving and becoming an ocean advocate - she is a legend and a formidable lady! It’s a privilege to join the Sustainable Seas Trust and Mission Blue on this journey of Hope around our beautiful coastline, ‘ says Hanli Prinsloo. The I AM WATER team will be joining Dr Earle on dives in each of the new Hope Spots nationwide as well as introducing local community members and youth to the world beneath the surface through their 'ocean conservation through human experience' ethos.
On the 4th of December Dr Earle will be speaking at the UCT James A Lecture Theatre, Upper Campus. Entry free of charge.
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