Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Inspire a Generation – Create the EnvirOlympics?


A week or so on and I am still missing the Olympics. I loved every minute of them. I loved the amazing feats of skill, commitment and passion from those taking part, I loved switching on the TV and seeing great news about another wonderful sporting achievement, I loved the spectacle of the opening ceremony. I was lucky enough to visit the Olympic Park during the Games and I loved the positive atmosphere, the enthusiasm of the Games Makers, the architecture of the buildings, the gardens around the stadium. I loved it all. I thought it was a fantastic achievement.

I reflected a lot on what made the event so special and I guess there were several key ingredients including: Government commitment, Olympic organisations' planning, big business money and investment, amazing performances from the athletes, the time and involvement of hundreds of volunteers, and the atmosphere generated by all those who engaged in the events over the Olympic period. All that to create a two week festival of world sport.

Now I love my sport and I know the value that sport can have in society so I am not going to knock the desire to inspire a generation to get involved in sport in the future. It is a laudable aim. But I also love the sea, I love the world I live in, I care passionately about having a healthy environment so future generations can participate in sport. So I guess I feel frustrated that we can be so brilliant at creating a two week festival of sport that but it seems we cannot show the same passion, creativity and enthusiasm for action that will affect our future, that will affect the earth's future, that will affect the seas' future, that will affect our children’s future……

Imagine if we did…

A two week Envir-Olympics world event where:
  • Governments worked together in a committed way to address some of the key environmental problems the earth is facing and came up with real solutions.
  • The MacDonalds and Coca-Colas of this world saw huge commercial value in being seen to be committed to the earth and seas and provided sponsorship and investment for conservation projects.
  •  People all over the earth volunteered to take actions that improved the health of the land and sea.
  • TV stations and media worked to raise awareness and engagement with environmental issues and to help people understand some of the issues that need to be addressed. Focus was also given to some of the amazing work that is taking place worldwide to improve the environment and the progress that is being made.
  • All those surrounding the event felt proud of the impact that it was having, the difference it was making to our futures…….and future generations felt inspired to show real stewardship to our world and its fabulous resources…..
The London Olympics showed me that when there is a will to put on an amazing event that can have a lasting legacy, it can be done. It also reminded me that we need to quickly wake up and refocus on the issues that really matter to our world and invest the same resources, energy and commitment into inspiring a generation to save the earth and save the seas. Not necessarily any gold medals to be won in that, but to me the prize seems far greater.

If you would like to take some action to make a difference to the seas visit our website.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Divers are increasingly concerned about the sea

Sea-Changers Divers Survey Results now out
In July 2012 Sea-Changers commissioned an online survey aimed at the scuba diving public. We wanted to find out if those who enjoy diving as a leisure pursuit are concerned about the marine environment and conservation issues. The results have been fascinating and provide useful insights and pointers as to the views and first hand experiences of those closest to what is happening in our oceans – the only people who are seeing it with their own eyes– scuba divers.

For details of our methodology and the full results of the survey click on this link. If you would like to talk to us about the survey in more details please get in touch at: info@sea- changers.org.uk
To whet your appetite here are some key headlines that came out of the survey:
  • Three quarters of divers describe themselves as ‘very concerned’ about marine conservation issues.
  • There is evidence of growing concern about the marine environment over the last 5 years, and high proportions of divers say that they are seeing less fish and more marine pollution and litter when they dive.
  • When divers are asked to identify what they consider to be the main environmental impacts of their sport, 3 in 5 (62%) identify ‘damage to delicate marine environment through poor buoyancy control’.
  • Divers say that they are keen to minimise their own environmental impact and 93% say they would actively choose businesses that are working to protect the marine environment.
  • Over three quarters (78%) of divers that took part in the survey agreed that they “would be prepared to pay a small donation (e.g. £1, $1, €1) each time they dive, to protect the marine environment.” This is a particularly encouraging finding for Sea-Changers since this kind of fundraising model is the charity’s primary approach to raising funds for marine conservation projects.
Sea-Changers will be using the survey findings to inform recruitment of diving businesses as Sea-Changers partners, as well as effectively targeting future fundraising campaigns with the scuba diving community.