WILDOCEANS, a South African non-profit organisation, is working with environmental advocate and actress, Shailene Woodley, to promote the protection of South Africa’s oceans with the goal of having 30% protected by 2030.
“I’m fighting for our oceans because if we don’t, no one will, and that’s the end of the story. Every single living creature on earth would not survive without a healthy, functioning ocean,” said Woodley.
Until October 2018 only 0.4% of South Africa’s oceans were protected. Today that has changed to 5% of ocean space being designated Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). But WILDOCEANS (a programme of the WILDTRUST) and many others are advocating for even more.
“Working with Shailene was an honour and privilege, and her advocacy and passion for the ocean was unmistakeable,” said WILDOCEANS’ Ocean Impact Campaign Lead, Lauren van Nijkerk. “Supporting the commitments of our government, we are striving for 10% marine protection by 2020 and 30% by 2030. These steps are required in order for the ocean to keep giving us what we continue to take out.”
Woodley features in this promotional video along with Ocean Impact Youth Spokesperson, Ruth Mthembu, who said working with the actress “not only made our entire year but it showed the passion that many young people share around the world – a love for our oceans and a desire to protect it, which transcends borders, cultures and languages”.
2020 is an important year for ocean conservation as it marks the maturity of the UN’s agreed target of protecting 10% of the ocean. “Countries also will gather in China in October to agree on marine protection targets for 2030. A global alliance of countries is showing great leadership by supporting the 30 percent marine conservation goal and it is absolutely time for South Africa to climb aboard and set sail for greater ocean protection action,” said CEO of Ocean Unite, Karen Sack.