"The ocean is the blue heart of the planet - we should take care of our heart. It's what makes life possible for us.
We still have a really good chance to make things better than they are, but they won't get better unless we take action and inspire others to do the same thing.
No one is without power. Everybody has the capacity to do something."
- Sylvia Earle (Oceanographer)
Our story in India so far...
In March 2017, we selected a team of 6 inspiring Global Ambassadors to join us in India and develop a long-term strategy to address the disastrous effects that waste, pollution, plastics and poorly regulated fishing were having on the ocean and the local community that relied on a healthy ocean for survival. The trip lasted 10 days and engaged local stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds, all of whom's insights were vital to the projects' success.
In November, 2017 our Ambassadors findings culminated in the released our 5-Year Marine Conservation Masterplan, focusing on three key areas (waste management, fisheries and eco-tourism; all of which were under-pinned by education, training and employment). The Masterplan addresses 16 of 17 United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) and lays out a clear and replicable model of how to overcome some of the most pressing issues facing the ocean in the region.
With the support of incredible people like YOU, as well as the support of Lush Cosmetics we crowdfunded >AU$25,000 to get the project in India up and running in 2018!
With your assistance driving our work, May 2018, saw the arrival of our Global Program Coordinators - our full-time team who assisted our Australian team rennovate an old building in Eve's Beach, which has now become our Marine Conservation Centre. The Centre provides a meeting place, office and hub for our work in the region.
Our Coordinators have now been working hard to develop our programs for almost 11 months now and to date, the team has:
- Run educational programs in schools, with local fisherfolk, with various faith-based communities and with other NGO's and government partners, developing deeply-rooted behavioural change to address waste, pollution and over-exploitation of marine resources;
- Run ongoing surveys in key pollution and marine debris hotspots, contributing to PCFML's global database and informing key trends on pollution and solutions in the region;
- Initiated the first soft plastic recycling system, utilising the items that our survey teams collect in the building of stronger roads throughout the city of Trivandrum;
- Researched and put together a strategy to develop a multi-stream waste management service, providing a price for various recyclable materials based on weight, thus encouraging locals to recycle and dispose of their waste correctly;
- Expanded our Don't Be A Sucker campaign to India, developing an ecologically and socially viable alternative to single-use plastic items for street vendors and restaurants throughout Kovalam and Vizhinjam;
- Put together a comprehensive report on the state of the Gangaya Estuary (the main waterway that flows through Vizhinjam and out into the ocean at Vizhinjam Harbour) in order to begin the remediation process, improve water quality and reduce waste.
- Developed a partnership with WWF India to engage the local community in ghost-net retrieval and repurposing, creating upcycled items for an international market.
We have high hopes for the region and believe that if we can turn the tide on ocean pollution and exploitation in India, we can do it anywhere!
Why are projects like these vital to the future of our planet?
Globally, coastal communities are at the forefront of tackling plastic marine debris and pollution and are the first ones to feel the impact of a degraded marine ecosystem. In the developing world, these communities often live below the poverty line with a lack of access to education, employment and subsequently very little income to provide for their families.
For many, fishing and tourism are the only industries that have kept their communities from completely collapsing. Yet, with a lack of government regulation and services many beaches are drowning in waste and fisheries are being exploited, with species disappearing at an alarming rate.
As resources and environmental quality continue to decline and be exploited, the impacts of growing populations in these regions is also having an incredible impact on marine ecosystems. A lack of sewage and waste infrastructure means that waste finds its way directly into the ocean through direct dumping into the sea, through waterways and from winds and weather events that transport trash from land.
Here’s what we’re doing about it...
Our team is working in India to develop solutions to real-world issues affecting the ocean.
Our 2019 Global Ambassador Adventure will build upon the last 10 months of work that PCFML has undertaken in Kerala. Bringing together highly-skilled experts in the fields of waste management and water remediation, they will be leading 7 passionate changemakers from around the world to develop intensive programs over a 10-day period focused on waterway remediation, waste management and conservation education.
As was the case during our first Ambassador Adventure in 2017, we're aiming to fast-track these projects through building upon our existing successes through the development of three key action projects - engaging our 7 on-ground partners and the local community to become champions for change!
Will you support our work and help us to re-empower coastal communities to protect our ocean before it's too late?
Please check-out our inspiring team members below and support their efforts to create long-term, positive change in one of the world's 10 Marine Biodiversity Hotpsots!
What impact does your support have?
You can assist us by donating to our crowdfunding campaigns or starting your own!
Want to take your donation one step further?? Why not start your own page as a fundraiser that will contribute towards our projects. You can do so via the 'Sign-up as a Fundraiser' tab!
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT. OUR OCEAN THANKS YOU FOR IT!