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Do the right thing

Water Revolution Foundation has announced the launch of a new crowdfunding campaign to support marine ecosystems.

09 June 2021

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Superyacht sustainability non-profit Water Revolution Foundation has launched a new crowdfunding campaign to coincide with its first endorsed ocean conservation project, the Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMA) program, which was launched earlier this week.

The program aims to support ocean restoration by identifying and conserving the most important marine habitats.

“The objective of the IMMA program is to map the world ocean and identify the most important habitats for whales, dolphins and other marine mammals,” said Co-Chair of the IUCN Task Force on Marine Mammal Protected Areas Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara.

“If we don’t know the most important places where whales, dolphins, seals, manatees live in the ocean, we can’t protect them.”

As referenced in the Climate Council’s 2018 report Lethal Consequences: Climate Impacts on the Great Barrier Reef, the decline of marine ecosystems is expected to have a domino effect on the planet’s health as a whole.

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Whales, for example, have been shown to fertilise surface waters within their feeding grounds, creating healthy habitats for phytoplankton that in turn produce oxygen, absorbing as much carbon dioxide.

“The superyacht industry is intrinsically connected to the ocean,” explained Robert van Tol, Executive Director of Water Revolution Foundation.

“It is therefore only logical that we invest in the health of this crucial natural resource. We need to go beyond only reducing our impact. Only then can the superyacht industry succeed in becoming sustainable.

“We are pleased to see an increasing commitment throughout the yachting community to support the protection of the ocean. Yet, this comes with questions. Namely, what are the most effective and impactful projects to support?”

In the coming year, the foundation will also develop a formal ocean conservation program.

“This forthcoming program will deliver a new path to nurturing both ocean and human vitality through transformative marine ecosystem conservation projects at scale,” said Initiator and Vice-Chair of Water Revolution Foundation, Vienna Eleuteri.

“By doing so, we are connecting an entire business sector to the scientific community and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“We considered the transformative capacity of the project on a large scale, its multiplier effect and its large-scale impacts based on scientific indicators. We also looked at the support the project already had from government agencies, international agreements, NGOs, and leading scientists.

“The IMMA program ticked all the boxes.”

Currently, there are 159 IMMAs already established across the Southern Hemisphere with the International Union for Conversation of Nature (IUCN) Task Force on Marine Mammal Protected Areas now focusing on the Northern Hemisphere.

Water Revolution Foundation has begun raising funds for the North Atlantic Ocean to be mapped, which is currently expected to cost €550,000 (AU$864,831).

“This is a popular route for superyachts crossing between the Mediterranean and Caribbean so we, as a community, have a strong connection to this region,” said van Tol.

“It’s time we made the oceans a key stakeholder of our industry. We need to shift from viewing ocean conservation as philanthropy to understanding that it is an investment.”

Water Revolution Foundation board member Peter Lürssen said, “I would like to express our family’s full commitment to the IMMA program and underline the urgency to start the North Atlantic project as soon as possible.”

“Through our private Peter Lürssen Family Foundation, we commit to [matching] every euro raised through this crowdfunding campaign, which means that the project can start when 50 percent of the target of €550,000 is reached,” he added.

Alongside industry companies and professionals, superyacht owners and charterers are also encouraged to contribute to the crowdfunding campaign.

“We welcome the superyacht community supporting the IMMA program. It is only by involving those who love and appreciate the ocean that we can hope to keep the ocean healthy,” said Notarbartolo di Sciara.

“Our actions today will determine not just the kind of ocean we have but the kind of planet.”

 

waterrevolutionfoundation.org

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