Exciting news has come out of the 3rd International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC 3): Her Deepness Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue and IUCN have launched 31 new Mission Blue Hope Spots — Marine Protected Areas — across the globe to massively scale up the level of marine protection that experts consider necessary for a sustainable future.
A Hope Spot is an area of ocean that merits special protection because of its wildlife and significant underwater habitats. Each Hope Spot can give the ocean a breathing space from human activities so that it may recover and flourish. Dr. Earle named these areas Hope Spots because they represent a real hope to restore the health of our imperiled ocean.
The 31 new announcements come in addition to the 19 Hope Spots that Mission Blue has worked to protect over the last four years. Click the thumbnail below to hear more about Hope Spots directly from Dr. Earle.
When Dr. Earle won the TED Prize in 2009, she implored ocean supporters “to use all means at your disposal – films, the web, expeditions, new submarines, a campaign! – to ignite public support for a network of global marine protected areas, Hope Spots large enough to save and restore the ocean, the blue heart of the planet.” Click on the thumbnail below to hear the whole TED Talk.
Today, that dream inches closer to reality as gathered ocean experts at IMPAC 3 are confronted with this boldest vision to protect the Earth’s Blue Heart, the shimmering global ocean that drives planetary chemistry and sustains all life on the planet. As IMPAC 3 will set the Marine Protected Area agenda for the next few years and tackle issues of management, financing, ecological representativity, local integration and high seas stewardship, the increase to 50 Hope Spots could not be more timely.
We are fortunate to live in ‘a sweet spot in time.’ Now we know what is happening to our fragile blue planet and its ocean, and we also know what steps are needed to change the course we are on. With this message of hope, Mission Blue and IUCN are mobilizing a growing international community of stakeholders to take the urgent action needed to reverse the ocean’s current state of peril while we are still able to change course.
Please support Mission Blue and IUCN to help ignite support for a global network of 50 Marine Protected Areas that can form the seeds of tomorrow’s healthy ocean.