Fourteen new oceanic Hope Spots
Fourteen new oceanic Hope Spots were jointly announced last week by Mission Blue and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii.
These Hope Spots – marine areas crucial for the ocean's health and deserve special protection – had been selected, after rigorous scientific review, from a list of nominations put forth by citizens and organisations worldwide. By allowing the public to select the Hope Spots, the two organisations hope to arouse greater interest and support for a global network of marine protected areas extensive enough to safeguard and restore the health of the oceans.
“The ocean is in trouble, but you can do something about it. We want people to own their ocean and for Hope Spots to become a shared vision. This partnership between IUCN and Mission Blue is a solution to the serious problems facing the ocean,” said Dr Sylvia Earle, founder of Mission Blue.
Hope Spots are areas that need to be protected, or existing marine protected areas where more conservation measures are needed. Although about 15 percent of terrestrial areas are under protection, only less than four percent of the world's oceans currently are protected from overfishing, pollution and overexploitation.
“The new Hope Spot nomination process allows anyone from anywhere to nominate a marine site special to them and is unique to the conservation world. This means that for the first time, the global community can have a direct say in the protection of the ocean,” said the Director of Global Marine and Polar Program at IUCN.
Dr Earle had introduced the concept of Hope Spots in 2009. Since then, the idea has inspired millions and is being supported by National Geographic and Rolex. Technology partners are helping to promote the concept to billions worldwide. For example, the Google platform allow users to explore the major habitats of the oceans, enabling them to better understand and appreciate them.
Currently, there are 76 Hope Spots, including the Moreton Bay Marine Park in Australia, the glass sponge reefs of Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound in Canada, and the Jardines de la Reina in Cuba.
More Information: www.iucn.org & www.mission-blue.org