PADI and Swiss luxury watchmaker, Blancpain, have announced a partnership to assist with the expansion of marine protected areas (MPAs) around the globe, in line with an international commitment to protect 30 per cent of the world’s oceans by 2030.
The organisations unveiled their collaborative partnership at the 9th Annual World Ocean Summit, the flagship event of the Economist Impact’s World Ocean Initiative, attended by the world’s top thought leaders from business, science, governmental and non-profit sectors – to tackle the greatest issues facing the planet.
‘Blancpain and PADI have rich histories rooted in exploration and ocean conservation, inspiring both organisations to become powerful catalysts of planetary change,’ said Drew Richardson, President and Chief Executive Officer of PADI Worldwide. ‘Protecting our oceans is not only core to our ethos, but critical for our very survival. The world must pull together to stem the urgent crisis in our ocean and we have an immense opportunity to bring about change. We’re proud to work alongside such a prominent partner who shares our optimistic outlook on the future and a deep commitment to further empowering our global community to seek adventure and save the ocean.’
The PADI and Blancpain partnership will ‘work with local communities around the world to help expedite the establishment of MPAs’. At the heart of the initiative is a citizen science program called Adopt the Blue, in which registered PADI dive centres and resorts will collaborate with MPA expansion projects, thus allowing their divers to proactively engage in marine conservation.
The new partners have also announced the formation of the Blancpain/PADI Community Grant, which will funds critical conservation efforts in local communities, providing assistance for both ocean preservation and indigenous community support.
‘With our almost 70-year legacy of the Fifty Fathoms diving watch, Blancpain has developed not only a passion – but a deep commitment to our oceans,’ said Marc A. Hayek, President & CEO of Blancpain. ‘We’re extremely proud of the role we’ve played in advancing global marine protection efforts and we are thrilled to be collaborating with PADI – and its community of divers – to bring about even more positive change.’
The successful implementation of marine protected areas is critical to the health of the world’s largest and most important ecosystem and has been proven to restore biodiversity, build resilience to climate change, and re-establish the populations of vulnerable species.
‘It will take a unified, dedicated effort to improve the state of the oceans,’ said Richardson. ‘Together, we are directing the power of our organisations towards one of the most important – and urgent missions on the planet.’