A crusade to save the oceans in the face of climate change
In this project, students of the South East African Climate Consortium Student Forum will travel to coastal towns of South Africa to encourage everyone to join the SEA Pledge crusade, with a focus on festivities on December 3rd 2011. All around South Africa (and hopefully elsewhere in the world too) at 11h00 on that day, yachts will leave harbours to exchange pledges at sea, divers will exchange pledges underwater and try to break world records, surfers will exchange pledges in the waves, kite boarders in the air, and pledges will be exchanged by swimmers, sun bathers, anglers, fisheries, shipping lines, schools, desalination plants, marine mining groups and the general public. There will be a media build up and full media coverage on television, radio, newspapers, internet and magazines. The student forum will contribute to the filming, write articles, collect podcasts, hold events and visit coastal towns, organizations and people to expand the reach of SEA Pledge.
SEA Pledge is not simply a fun event. It has important goals. The first is to promote public awareness of the need to take better care of coasts and oceans as everyone, everywhere depends upon the oceans. The second is to challenge each person, organization and institution to develop an ethic of sustainability and raise standards through their pledges. SEA Pledge encourages everyone to choose to take active, measurable steps to improve their interactions with the environment at home, while travelling, diving, sailing, surfing, on ships, angling and indeed in every walk of life. The third is to help others, particularly impoverished coastal people who eke out unsustainable, subsistence livelihoods from rapidly diminishing resources. Such support will be through development of Sustainable Education and Skills Centres (SEAS Centres). These are being designed as totally green, carbon neutral, welcoming facilities to enable disadvantaged people to build expertise to find employment, reduce pressure on critically depleted marine resources and adapt to climate change.
The fourth goal is to influence global decisions. The 3rd December 2011 is the day on which oceans will feature in the UNFCCC COP 17 meeting in Durban, South Africa. In a positive wholesome manner the SEA Pledges and the associated “fun activities”, through their numbers (similar to a petition), good ideas, novel suggestions and resolutions, aim to send important messages to delegates at COP 17 in order to encourage greater, wiser international investment in coasts and oceans and to encourage the United Nations Assembly to declare 2012 the International Year of Coasts and Oceans.
SEA Pledge will draw attention of global leaders to the role of oceans in climate change and the need for action. At the grass roots level, all funds accumulated by SEA Pledge will be used for SEAS Centres in impoverished coastal areas to provide education for employment and skills training to reduce poverty, promote environmental conservation and prepare people to adapt to climate change. Everyone should make a SEA Pledge.