OCEAN RESOLUTIONS 2020
Can 2020 and this new decade bring us HOPE while our oceans and entire nature collapse?
We review the actions carried out in 2019 and the challenges we face in this new and decisive decade for our blue planet.
In 2019, 11,000 scientists announced that climate change has us on track for ‘untold suffering’, while the UN says the collapse of our ecosystems could wipe out a Million species, including humans.
269,000 Tons of plastics are filling the oceans, 37 billion tons of carbon emissions the air, fossil fuel lobbies are still a strong influence in governments. We have to transition away from burning fossil fuels urgently.
Australia today became ground zero for the Climate catastrophe. The Great Barrier Reef is dying, and the bush fires burn across the continent on a scale never before seen.
According to the University of Sydney, 1 Billion animals have been killed. So far, 26 people have died with more deaths predicted. Over 1,300 homes have been destroyed just in NSW area. Roughly 10,7 million hectares have perished. Australia is at a risk of becoming unhabitable.
Australian fires | People and animals finding shelter at the ocean and beaches while the bush turns into an inferno. Photo credits: @dale_appleton Australian Maritime Safety Authority-Reuters, Unknown, Anthony Hersey (inphography).
Spain will be the European country that will suffer the most from the effects of climate change. Its coast has undergone major modifications of the hand of man. Currently the magnitude of the natural disasters that are happening will lead the government to declare the Climate Emergency in the next council of ministers.
We sadly have too many examples to see the climate crisis as a global and close threat. This is happening right now. Urgent action needs to be taken against the climate and ecological emergency to prevent further catastrophes. We are nature, and we must struggle for life itself.
In this new decade, despite the very real challenges that our blue planet is facing, our committed crew, partners, collaborators, and people like you bring us hope with their support to accomplish very challenging goals for our blue planet.
#WeAreWhatWeProtect and we want you by our side.
OUR CHALLENGES AND ONGOING MISSION
Surf & Nature Alliance works to help citizens and decision-makers alike understand their blue heritage. We advocate for cultural-based and science-based solutions to protect natural places we love.
We protect the Marine Environment with a special focus in unique breaks, through the creation of Surf Reserves and long-term conservation strategies. In 2019, we worked in partnership with local coastal communities of different Spanish regions, Puerto Rico, France, Chile, Portugal, or Taiwan.
Our technical coastal/territorial planning, legal, geographical, and cultural knowledge, as well as our efficient triple valuation methodology, are keys for the conservation of large coastal areas with epic or unknown breaks. All of them places with a high natural value, a well as cultural, sport, social, and economic resource for the community.
- SNA was chosen by the General Directorate of Coasts of the Ministry of Ecological Transition of Spain, to participate in the working group for the Spanish Maritime Space Management Plan as a Group of Interest, to guarantee an adequate management and conservation of the surfing spaces (unique breaks), getting its recognition as a resource and strategic natural heritage, and also the management of sport and tourism-recreational surfing activity.
- We expanded our Surf Reserve program in Cantabria (north of Spain) to set the first Surf Reserves Regional Network in Europe. We gathered coastal/surf community representatives and main Cantabrian authorities.
- We formalized our partnership with Oceano Surf Club in Ferrolterra, to impulse our legal protection plans in Galicia, Spain.
- Empowerment of Puerto Rico’s Punta Borinquen Local Stewardship Council with our scientific-technical experience in the management and conservation to set the first Surf Reserve of the Caribean.
- After creating the first Surf Reserve in Chile (Punta de Lobos, El Infiernillo and La Puntilla in Pichilemu) back in June 2017, and progressing with our work in the remote islands of Rapa Nui and its Marine Protected Area, Surf & Nature Alliance’ Manifesto became the foundations for the proposal of a new law (Ley de Rompientes) to protect unique surf breaks all along the coastline.
What’s next (2020-2030)?
Our main goal this year, and every year, is to accomplish major conservation wins for our ocean, waves, wildlife, and local coastal communities.To achieve our goal this year, we pledge to:
- Keep progressing in our work as a Group of Interest in the preparation of the Spanish Maritime Space Management Plan, as our fundamental step for the patrimonialization of surf breaks in Spain and Europe.
- Keep inspiring and supporting the creation of a new Ley de Rompientes in Chile.
- Advocate for culture-based and science-based ocean that supports hydrodiversity, the wildlife and communities around the world that depend on unique waves and healthy marine habitats.
- Partner with policymakers, scientists, businesses and communities to develop sustainable ocean policies that protect our ocean resources and habitats for generations to come.
- Research the challenges facing our ocean, including climate change, overfishing, ocean acidification, plastic pollution and more, and use that information to develop tangible and effective conservation initiatives.
- Take our Surf Reserves Program to new levels, to protect larger areas of our marine environment.
We empower coastal communities through our Sustainable Development Program to include the surf factor/value in decision making, and the environmental, socioeconomic, and cultural management of the coastal communities.
In 2019, we’ve also gave free advisory to different industries from the surf and skate industry, tourism sector,… to achieve a more sustainable approach and reduce their impacts in the environment.
- Diagnosis on surfing in Cantabria. “Hydrodiversity, Blue Heritage and sustainable development”. Project commissioned by the regional government of Cantabria.
- “Patrimonialization of Hydrodiversity, Sustainable Development of the surf, and conservation of singular breaks in Ferrolterra litoral”. In collaboration with our friends from Océano Surf Club in Galicia.
BLUE HUMANITIES, CRITYCAL SURF STUDIES, AND OCEAN LITERACY
We evolved our Educational Program and Cultural Studies so that society knows and understands the influence exerted by the ocean on the human being, and the influence exerted by the human being on the ocean.
Scientific knowledge and grass-root action are part of our contribution. But Ocean Literacy and blue humanities address new perspectives catalyzing a cultural transformation to face top environmental problems caused by selfishness, greed, and apathy.
- Brought Ocean Literacy and Ocean Science from academia to decision-makers, law policymakers, coastal communities representatives, surf clubs and schools.
- SNA launched an experimental and pioneer Educational program for High schools students to inspire and empower them through an Oceanic perspective.
- Papers and publications on the field of the Blue humanities and Blue economies. Members of our Scientific and Cultual Committee developed their cultural studies in this topics, and published in prestigious international academic magazines such as Symploke.
- SNA members organized different events, workshops, and conferences like #AulaDelMar or #OctoberSurf to take sustainability to different audiences.
- Expand our pioneer educational program “Education, Marine Space and Ocean Culture for Sustainability” to new High-Scools and colleges. This program includes talks, a thematic exhibition, cultural competition, and other direct experiences for young people and their approach to the marine environment and its value.
- Educate the public about the wild, fauna, flora, and people who call the ocean home, as well as the threats such as climate change we face in a rapidly-changing world.
- 2 new editorial projects of books on marine themes.
- Writing of several academic articles on marine and surf topics in a national and international scope.
Awareness Raising & Direct Action
We spread values, shared knowledge, and sent a powerful message around the world to let people understand why our oceans and surf breaks are so valuable. And why preserving our blue heritage is critical to fight Climate Change and saving our planet.
Pledged to authorities and encouraged people and governments from coastal communities across Europe, America, and Asia,to take immediate action to protect and preserve outsanding surf breaks and the marine environment.
- Over 4 metric Tons of plastic and micro-plastic trash were cleared during our grass-root actions from our local beaches and Surf Reserves. Hundreds of people of all ages participated in our Beach Cleanups.
- Our Manifesto for the Protection of the Waves was translated onto two more languages: Chinese and Galego. Now available in 11 languages.
- Presented the Manifesto and our Conservation Programs to key leaders of coastal communities and governments across Spain, France, Portugal, Chile, and Taiwan.
- SNA Activist campaigned against oil-spills of Grand America Ship in La Rochelle, France, and #fightforthebight to keep Equinor’s oil drilling plans away of a pristine coastline of Southern Australia.
- Raised awareness against plastic pollution and marine devris in dozens of schools, surf contests, festivals, sports gatherings, and events.
- Mobilized coastal community to protect endangered waves and #SaveMaspalomas in the Canary Islands.
- Front lined various Climate strikes in different Spanish cities. SNA activists marched for the climate with their families, friends, and thousands of people of all ages.
- Participated in the 25th Convention on Climate Change (COP25) Chile in Madrid.
- Pledge to Tenerife authorities to re-open El Camino del Lobo public beach access in the Canary Islands. Today everyone can walk free to that amazing part of the coastline.
- Libros del Oceano edited special editions of our Manifesto in Spanish and Galego.
In this critical times for our blue plantet, we want to boost our awareness-raising, educational programs, and direct actions to preserve our planet. It’s more necessary than ever to keep spreading the Word, lead by exaple, and show people how to face the environmental crisis.
- Motivate people around the world to join us by sharing ways they can take action in their own communities, like participating in ocean cleanups and encouraging their elected officials to support smart ocean and climate policies.*In the first 2 weeks of 2020 our activists already organized 3 beach clean-ups in the Surf Reserve of Los Locos and the Natural Park and Dunes in Liencres in Cantabria, and Playa de Los Quebrantos in Asturias.
- Translate the Manifesto for the Protection of the Waves into more coastal local languages.
- Raise special awareness, help, and give assistance to those endangered waves or coastlines highly impacted by climate change.
We have big plans for our ocean in 2020. Big surprises and many more actions are about to come true. They will be anounced through our social media, so stay tuned.
Now we need your help to go further. Together we will have an amazing impact in our ongoing mission to protect what we love. It takes all of us to preserve our ocean, to get rid our seas of plastic, push for impactful legislation, protect vulnerable species, stop climate change and find a more sustainable approach to life.
Sometimes just a small number of people behaving a certain way can help catalyze a much broader cultural shift. Maybe, in the 2020s, that small group is us!
For a decade of conservation wins.