It was an amazing sight: a nation’s leader on his hands and knees, planting mangrove trees alongside his people … all to help the world understand that we need the oceans.
But then, President Anote Tong isn’t your average leader, and Kiribati isn’t your average country. Under President Tong’s leadership, Kiribati, a small Pacific Island nation, recently led the formation of the Pacific Oceanscape — an action plan for marine conservation that impacts almost 40 million square kilometers (more than 15 million square miles), a territory larger than Canada, the United States and Mexico combined.
The progress we’ve made is amazing. But as CI’s chief scientist for oceans, I can tell you that more must be done. That’s the sort of thing I learned on a dive almost 20 years ago in Japan, when I went down 18,000 feet (5,487 meters) to the sea floor — and saw an area covered in plastic debris and trash.
And as the global population surpasses 7 billion people, Earth’s oceans are under more stress than ever before. Without conservation action, many of the most commercially important fish species could go extinct — putting food sources and jobs at risk.
That’s why Conservation International has an ambitious plan to help save our oceans. We’re:
- Promoting ocean stewardship by communities, governments and businesses — including work on the formation of the Pacific Oceanscape;
- Reforming our fisheries to be more sustainable and less destructive; and
- Establishing internationally accepted benchmarks of ocean health.
The challenges we face are formidable. But so is our team. With President Tong and other world leaders at the table … with the science and field expertise of CI and our partners … and with the dedication and support of people like you — well, I wouldn’t bet against us.
Can you join me, President Tong and CI’s amazing supporters in safeguarding our seas? With a donation of just $75, you can save a mile of ocean today.
Together, we can do amazing things.
Greg Stone is CI’s chief scientist for oceans.