By Kate Lewis
World Oceans Day 2023 is focusing on protecting 30% of our oceans by 2030. To mark the day we spoke with two of our LT&C Example providers, Chumbe Island Coral Park in Zanzibar and the Apo Island Protected Landscape and Seascape in the Philippines to get an update on their work and their thoughts on the key initiative.
What do you think is key to ensure we protect 30% of our blue planet by 2030?
Chumbe: The 30×30 initiative has the potential to be one of the most profound conservation movements in our lifetime. It’s big and bold, and will require all corners of the marine and land conservation and management world to come together to make strategic investments and ensure we protect the ‘right’ 30%.
Apo: As a protected area, the community and political support and harmonization are always the key to the success of our programs and activities. On a global scale, we believe establishing mutual understanding and interests between stakeholders and managers is essential to ensure sustainability.
What are you most proud of achieving in relation to the ocean?
Chumbe: Safeguarding biodiversity because the biggest driver of biodiversity loss is how people use the land and the ocean. I’m incredibly proud that over the past 30 years we have managed Chumbe’s land and ocean activities sustainably by involving local communities hands-on and allowing biodiversity to thrive.
Apo: We’re proud of the level of awareness we have raised about the importance of the ocean and the benefits received if protected. Apo Island is the first successful community-based marine sanctuary established in the Philippines, along with its subsequent marine conservation programs, and has become a model site around the world. Even today, the community still enjoys the benefit of their work.
Have you got any interesting ocean-related projects coming up that you are working on/plan to start?
Chumbe: Results from a recently implemented citizen science project in Chumbe suggest that the long-term protection of Chumbe’s healthy, inshore reef has made it a vital refuge for blacktip reef sharks which are regularly seen foraging in shallow waters. We are planning to continue working on this success story through collaboration with international research institutions in support of comprehensive policy reforms and their implementation at a country-wide level.
Apo: We are reaching out to NGOs to help us with a variety of programs such as technologies or methodologies for sea level watch, turtle population monitoring, and assisting coral recovery.
Are you doing anything to mark World Oceans Day?
Apo: We celebrated Ocean Month last May 2023 where we conducted coastal clean-ups and focus group discussions with the communities. This upcoming World Ocean’s Day, we plan to celebrate the activity through film showings with students and educational tours and campaigns for ocean conservation to awareness of relevant issues.
With thanks to Ulrike Kloiber, CHICOP Conservation & Education Manager, Chumbe Island and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Apo Island Protected Landscape and Seascape.