PADI President and CEO Drew Richardson took part in the Blue Vision Summit in Washington, DC, USA, last month, speaking about the enhanced role that coastal communities can play in ocean conservation and stewardship. The summit, which brings together ocean conservation leaders, was focused on strengthening a sustainable “blue economy” and addressing challenges of a changing ocean and climate.
“Unquestionably, there are serious and formidable issues threating the world oceans. That said, I’m a firm believer in engagement, problem identification and mitigation,” Richardson said to the group of 500 scientists, explorers and leaders in attendance. “My life philosophy is to remain optimistic and focused on a ‘future hope.’ In my mind, there is no other option.”
The PADI organization became involved in the Blue Vision Summit to work collaboratively with individuals and organizations toward improving ocean conservation efforts through various approaches, including education and marine recreation. The summit also provides a platform to influence policy and implement ocean health solutions by connecting with change makers and elected officials.
“It was an honor to attend the Blue Vision Summit and engage with so many passionate and committed professionals,” said Richardson. “At PADI, we are recruiting and engaging millions of new divers, training them well to be confident and comfortable, encouraging and enabling them to seek diving adventures and explore the planet’s underwater realm. Divers receive a clear message to pay it forward as good ocean stewards who protect marine life. We look forward to collaborating with like-minded individuals and organizations to achieve these ends.”
In the wake of PADI’s 50th anniversary, there’s a deepened organizational commitment to ocean health and conservation through PADI’s Four Pillars of Change program. As the largest diver training organization in the world, PADI has the reach and influence to mobilize divers to be citizen activists.
“We train nearly one million new divers each year across the globe who can engage in strategic alliances, have a powerful voice and get involved in real solutions to drive change,” Richardson said. “Millions of PADI Divers across the planet are becoming active as a force for good and driving toward a healthier ocean on local, national and international levels. The PADI organization is committed to being a global, passionate force that creates a preferred future with healthier oceans.”
For more information, visit www.padi.com.