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Avaaz.org Needs Your Signature To Try And Save The Great Barrier Reef From Extinction

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Avaaz.org is a 25-million-person strong global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decision-making (“Avaaz” means “voice” or “song” in many languages). Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; their team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operates in 17 languages.

They are currently in the process of campaigning against the Australian Mining Industry’s plans to build the world’s largest coal mining complex and to create a shipping lane straight through the Great Barrier Reef – a campaign you can help them with by signing a petition that might persuade the Australian PM to step in.

Here is their message and how you can sign their petition:

Dear Avaazers,

It would be hard to make this stuff up. Australia’s legendarily irresponsible mining industry has a new plan: while the planet faces catastrophic climate change, build the world’s largest coal mining complex, and then build a shipping lane to that port straight through the greatest ecological treasure we have – the Great Barrier Reef!

This is a terrible idea with devastating consequences, and the investor group Aurizon that’s backing it know it. They’re getting cold feet, and we might be able to push them over the edge, and kill the project. One of the main potential funders has even donated to climate activism!

If one million of us express our head-shaking disbelief at this crazy project in the next few days, we can help get Aurizon to pull funding and maybe even persuade the Australian PM to step in. This is what Avaaz is for, let’s raise a voice for common sense:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/australian_coal_disaster_global/?bnmxmfb&v=27892

The Great Barrier Reef — the largest living organism on Earth and home to a quarter of all the species that live in the world’s oceans — has slowly been dying for years. It’s lost half its coral in the past three decades and that rate is only accelerating. Climate change is one cause, but so is Australia’s booming mining industry. The German magazine Der Spiegel reported that “if current trends continue, the unthinkable could happen: the Great Barrier Reef could die.”

And yet, the mining industry plans to build massive new ports at a complex called Abbot Point in Northeast Australia (right by the reef) to make it easier to get the coal it’s mining out to the world. Not only would that mean doubling the number of ships that pass by the reef each year and ripping up to 3 million cubic meters of material from the fragile seabed, but if all the coal from the proposed mines this would enable is burned, it would be three times Australia’s current climate pollution — hurtling us faster towards the point of no return.

The investors are meeting now to decide what to do and the Australian Environment Minister will choose whether to approve the project in the next two weeks. Our voices can signal to all of them to block this disaster, especially to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd if he hopes to maintain his global reputation in the lead-up to his re-election bid.

They’re all deciding what to do now. Sign this urgent petition and share it with everyone you know to stop the Great Barrier train wreck:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/australian_coal_disaster_global/?bnmxmfb&v=27892

With hope and determination,

David, Alex, Emily, Lisa, Oli, Marie, Ricken, Alice and the whole Avaaz team

PS – Many Avaaz campaigns are started by members of our community. It’s easy to get started – click to start yours now and win on any issue – local, national or global: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/start_a_petition/?bgMYedb&v=23917

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Euro-Divers opens to guests at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives

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In celebration of Euro-Divers’ 50 Years of Diving with Friends in the Maldives, the team have opened a new PADI 5 Star Dive Center at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives.

Alila Kothaifaru Maldives retreat lies at the northern edge of the Maldives in the tranquil Raa Atoll, reached via a panoramic 45-minute seaplane voyage from Male. The island has 80 all-pool-villas, 36 of which are over water with a private pool for your enjoyment and 44 beachfront villas designed seamlessly to immerse guests in the natural surroundings. In support of sustainable tourism, Alila hotels adopt Earth Check operating standards, integrating their environments’ natural, physical, and cultural elements.

Raa Atoll is well-known for the excellent scuba diving it offers. The underwater landscape of Raa Atoll is characterized by a high number of thilas scattered inside the lagoons. These underwater coral mountains are magnets for marine life including huge schools of tropical reef fish, a generous splash of colour, iconic bucket-list-must-see marine creatures including sharks, mantas (appearing during the entire year), turtles, and uncrowded dive sites—a perfect diver’s heaven for beginners and experienced divers. We offer a full range of PADI courses for different levels. From November till March, the Manta cleaning station is located 15 minutes away by boat.

The team from Alila Kothaifaru Maldives look forward to welcoming you soon.

Find out more at: www.euro-divers.com/alila-kothaifaru-maldives

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Marine Life & Conservation

Blue Marine Foundation launches new partnership with Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance

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Ocean charity makes initial grant of $90,000 to marine parks on six Dutch Caribbean islands. Award will fund projects including coral protection, and training youth marine rangers.

Ocean conservation charity Blue Marine Foundation has announced it is awarding $90,000 in funding to support marine conservation in the Dutch Caribbean. A range of projects run by protected area management organisations on six islands will each receive a grant of $15,000. The funding is the first step in a longer-term partnership to support the islands and help secure sustainable financing through the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) Trust fund.

To improve ocean governance, Blue Marine uses a combination of top-down intervention and bottom-up project delivery to help local communities at the front line of conservation. It will work together with the DCNA to help marine-park organisations protect the unique and threatened biodiversity of the Dutch Caribbean.

The new partnership is an important development in the successful management of marine conservation parks in the Dutch Caribbean. The UK-based charity has established a small-grants fund to provide rapid access to support for critical conservation projects run by marine parks.

The individual projects and their local partners are:

Unique ecosystems on the islands are vulnerable to threats such as feral livestock causing sedimentation on reefs, and invasive species, including lionfish and coral diseases. They are also at risk from overfishing, climate change, coastal development, erosion and the build-up of harmful algae caused by waste water.

The islands of the Dutch Caribbean are also home to important “blue carbon” habitats – ocean ecosystems such as seagrasses, mangroves and other marine plants that suck up and lock away carbon from the earth’s atmosphere. Seagrass is so efficient at this it can capture and store carbon dioxide up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests.  The management and protection of these blue carbon habitats is vital in the fight against climate change.

Current marine conservation measures in the islands include a 25,390 square km mammal and shark sanctuary- Yarari sanctuary- across the Exclusive Economic Zone of Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius. All six islands have inshore Marine Protected Areas ranging in size from 10 to 60 sq km.

Blue Marine’s Senior Project Manager Jude Brown commented: “Having recently visited two of the islands, I witnessed first-hand how special this region is. Diving the waters off Saba I saw huge Tarpon swimming amongst shoals of blue tang, and hawksbill turtles feeding on the seagrass beds. I also witnessed the challenges these islands are facing from coral disease to issues with coastal development. It is an exciting opportunity to work in the Dutch Caribbean, bringing expertise and funding from Blue Marine to join with the wealth of knowledge already on the islands, to work together to protect the important marine life arounds these islands.”

Tadzio Bervoets, Director of the DNCA commented: “The Dutch Caribbean consists of the Windward Islands of St. Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius and the Leeward Islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. The nature of the Dutch Caribbean contains the richest biodiversity in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The diverse ecosystems are a magnet for tourism and at the same time the most important source of income for residents of the Dutch Caribbean. Nature on the islands is unique and important but it is also fragile. The coming week we will be in The Netherlands to present a Climate Action Plan for the Dutch Caribbean to emphasize the urgent need for a climate smart future for our islands.”


Photo: Coral reefs in the Dutch Caribbean- Photo credit: Naturepics: Y.+T. Kühnast- all rights reserved

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A luxurious dive resort in the heart of Lembeh Strait. Enjoy refined services while exploring the rich waters of Indonesia.

The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

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