Monthly Archives: June 2012

Oceans Inc. on Alternative Summit at Rio Plus 20

Ocean campaigners have been disappointed by the lack of progress for the High Seas at Rio Plus 20. But although it is difficult to make changes made at the higher political level, there is hope found in grassroots levels upwards to policy makers. Says Charlotte Smith of Oceans Inc., “One of the biggest messages to come out of the summit is that public education and awareness is crucial to forcing policymakers to up their game in the future.”…
Posted in Dr. Sylvia Earle, Earth Summit, Rio Plus 20 |

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Manned Chinese Submersible Reports Record-Setting Dive

James Cameron’s solo dive to the deepest point in the ocean has garnered the headlines, but a manned Chinese submersible called Jiaolong is increasingly making its mark on the ocean’s floor. The Jiaolong successfully completed a dive to 22,851 feet (6,965 meters) below sea level into the Mariana Trench on Tuesday. China’s State Oceanic Administration reported that the submersible took three hours just to descend and the dive lasted 11 hours in total. The submersible returned to the surface with samples of deep-sea water, sediment deposits, specimens, as well as video and photographs. The dive marked the piloted submersible’s third dive in the Mariana Trench. The submersible was being piloted by Ye Cong, Fu Wentao and Tang Jialing and had a support team of nearly 100 scientists on standby to ensure the functionality of the submersible, conduct research and analyze seabed samples, according to the Institute of Acoustics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.…
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Campaign is Launched to Protect the Arctic

By Mera McGrew Heads of state and environment ministers are meeting behind closed doors over the next few days at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) to create a document that will renew political commitment to sustainable development and identify emerging global challenges. While leaders decide on the final wording of the agreement text, the public has begun to take action and demand the future they want for the world’s ocean. At a press conference at the Rio Earth Summit hosted by Sir Richard Branson, actress Lucy Lawless and Kumi Naidoo, the International Executive Director of Greenpeace announced a campaign to save the Arctic. The initial focus of the campaign will be to push for a UN resolution, within the official text, that would establish a global sanctuary around the Arctic that would ban oil drilling and unsustainable fishing in Arctic waters.…
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President Anote Tong and Google Recognized as Leaders of Ocean Conservation

President Anote Tong of Kirabati, who was instrumental in the creation of one of the largest marine protected area, was the winner of this year’s Peter Benchley Ocean Award for National Stewardship of the Ocean. President Tong is globally recognized for his work on climate response, ocean protection and multinational collaboration. Within the ocean community he is best known for his instrumental work in creating one of the world’s largest and most biologically rich marine protected areas, the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, which was recently declared a UN World Heritage Site. President Tong is also a key player in the Pacific Islands Forum of 16 independent states that are taking control of their marine resources and planning a network of linked marine protected areas dubbed the “Pacific Seascape.” The Blue Frontier Campaign presented this year’s awards at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco in front of a crowd of ocean leaders, scientists, artists, conservationists and activists.…
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Protecting International Marine Diversity Gains Votes in Rio+20 Oceans Dialogue

Philippe Cousteau, grandson of famed ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, opened the Rio+20 Oceans Dialogue yesterday as moderator of a panel of 10 international ocean experts sitting on stage alongside 10 recommendations critical to advance global ocean management. “Oceans are considered too big to fail, but in fact they are failing,” said panelist Richard Delaney said of the Global Ocean Forum at the start of the public discussion organized by the Brazilian government. Each panelist acknowledged the myriad of problems facing the world’s ocean – from ocean acidification, unsustainable and illegal fishing to land and marine-based pollution – with an eye toward sending a strong message to the United Nations delegates charged with producing a final political document on June 22 at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.…
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Exploring the Life Aquatic in Google Earth at Rio+20

By Annie Reisewitz Valuable on-the-ground discussions about community outreach are happening alongside the deep political negotiations at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This past weekend, Mission Blue and the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) presented, “Oceans in Google Earth as an Educational Tool: A Dominican Republic Perspective,” a real-world example of how to connect the world to the global ocean through technology. GFDD environmental manager Emy Rodriguez took everyone in attendance on an interactive Google Earth tour of the state’s diverse marine environment, rich with stingrays and fish cruising along colorful coral reef in the Dominican Republic. In 2009 Google launched Oceans in Google Earth and the “Explore the Ocean” layer, which is curated by the Sylvia Earle Alliance.…
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World Premiere: Planet Ocean

“Planet Ocean” is an international documentary that takes viewers on a unique journey into the heart of the least known region of our planet — the ocean. The film is set to premiere today at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The film seeks to promote a deeper understanding of the importance of oceans in the ecosystem thorough narration that links man and the ocean, the future of humankind on Earth, the issues of governance of the high seas, and the issues that the world’s ocean will face in the future. “It’s not a policymaker restricted film nor an expert documentary,” said the director of the film Michael Pitiot. “I feel it’s much more an emotional film to talk about humankind and nature.” The documentary uses aerial cinematography, underwater photography and the voices of oceanographers and marine biologists to make complex issues more accessible.…
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Ocean in Google Earth Makes a Splash in Rio

In an interview with Charlotte Smith of Oceans Inc., Dr. Sylvia Earle and Maria Montoreano of Mission Blue describe the exciting new features soon to be unveiled in the Ocean in Google Earth. In the next year, plans are in place to roll out Spanish, French and Portugese versions of the free download from Google Earth to bring this exciting tool to a greater worldwide audience. Said Dr. Earle, “Fifty years in the future it will be too late to take action that we now can take to stabilize the planet in a way that is favorable for us.”  The Ocean in Google Earth can make a difference in how the world perceives the ocean, giving those who otherwise would not be able to explore the depths of the ocean first hand a chance to appreciate it’s beauty, fragility, and it’s crucial role in maintaining the health of our planet.…
Posted in Dr. Sylvia Earle, Google Ocean, Rio Plus 20 |

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Oceans Panel with Dr. Earle LIVE Tuesday A.M.

Be sure not to miss the Oceans Panel, broadcast live from Rio Tuesday morning on the UN Live Webcast channel. The Oceans Panel will be moderated by Philippe Cousteau of CNN with Sylvia Earle, Jean Michel Cousteau, Asha De Vos and other ocean luminaries.  Live broadcast from 10AM-12:30PM EST, 7AM-9:30AM PST. The program will be also recorded for later viewing.  We send our thanks to all of our friends who are working hard in Rio to move towards a positive result for the blue heart of our planet. Click below for a direct link.UN Live Streaming Webcast plus recorded sessions…
Posted in Cousteau, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Google Earth, Google Ocean, Oceans Panel, Rio Plus 20 |

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James Cameron: What’s Next

By Mera McGrew No sooner had filmmaker and explorer James Cameron returned from visiting the bottom of the ocean on March 26, did people start asking what his next expedition would be. Cameron noted that one dive does not mark the end of deep-sea exploration. “The best metaphor here would be that you have just air-dropped into Nebraska at night with a flashlight and walked about a mile shining it around through the fields and then you say that you have explored America,” Cameron told fellow explorers and invitees on Friday at the National Geographic Explorers Symposium. The celebrated director of iconic movies such as Terminator 2, Titanic and Avatar took the stage to discuss his trip to the Mariana Trench in the submersible Deepsea Challenger and to offer a sneak peak at the 3D feature film highlighting the dive that is currently in production.…
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