Since the appearance of human species on the planet, their place of settlement has been the mainland. However, over hundreds of thousands of years, men and women have based the construction and development of their civilisations in the vicinity of some body of water. That is how they approached the shores of the seas, stimulated mainly by the resources of the ocean.
At first, only those organisms with coastal characteristics within their reach were used, but when humans mastered navigation techniques, the use of marine organisms also increased. And so did the use of its resources.
This is how aquatic ecosystems began to provide us with great benefits since the beginning of time, supplying us with drinking water, access to food, navigation, recreation, tourism, among others.
The problem we face now is that we have forgotten the importance of using the planet’s resources – including those of the ocean – in a rational and sustainable way.
UN Ocean Decade
Of all the ecosystem services that the oceans provide us, there is a very important one that stands out today: their ability to regulate the climate, by capturing CO2 like a sponge.
The problem is that our waters are currently very close to saturation. The excess CO2 that dissolves in them is causing their acidification, a mayor problem for marine ecosystems and their species.
Added to this, the oceans are showing more and more signs of climate change, such as rising sea levels through thermal expansion and the melting of continental ice. In fact, the evolution of the increase in temperature on the planet will depend, to a large extent, on the behaviour of the oceans.
For this reason, On 5 December 2017, the United Nations declared that a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development would be held from 2021 to 2030.
“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” – American Indian proverb
We recently asked Alana’s younger sister what she wanted to be when she grew up. Her response astonished us. Alana says ‘I remember when I was little, every time someone asked me this typical question, I would immediately go through the repertoire of world-known professions and choose the one that I found the most fun at that moment, perhaps a pediatrician or a teacher’.
It doesn’t seem to be the case for the children of this new generation. Alana’s sister replied: “when I grow up, I just want to save the planet and the oceans”.
But where to start?
There is a lot of information in all the existing media, constantly bombarding us and pressuring us to make changes in our lifestyle to maintain the balance of our planet.
It can be exhausting and even make you feel hopeless to hear about everything we’ve done wrong. Microplastics that have already reached the human placenta, animals in danger of extinction (others recently extinct), glaciers that are melting, corals that are bleaching, the global temperature is increasing… Can I eat meat or not?
We get it, that’s a lot!
We can’t just ignore the warnings that nature is sending us. Earth requires us to make several changes in the way we act and live if we want to continue calling it ‘home sweet home’. More importantly, if we want our children and grandchildren to continue to call it home.
As divers, we have seen with our own eyes coral bleaching, Posidonia Oceanica degradation, the decline of many populations of marine creatures and the much-talked invasion of plastics and pollutants into our oceans. After experiencing such a stark reality head-on, human beings acquire a special sensitivity and a sincere desire to really do something about it.
We want to take the right actions to guarantee the future of our planet and the natural environment on which all living beings depend: seas and oceans. Businesses, policy-makers and people in general have a lot to contribute and also to correct on the subject. From the manufacture of products with sustainable materials, through the use of non-polluting means of transport and even the food choices you make in the supermarket, all those involved still have a long room for improvement.
DAN Europe Sustainable Tour
We are endlessly thankful to DAN Europe Foundation for supporting Ocean Protection by trusting us on this project.
This is the first time a Foundation involved in Diving Safety and Hyperbaric Medicine devotes so many resources to Ocean Conservation.
From June till November 2021, we will be covering the following topics to be treated with partners & influential companies or organisations currently working on them. We will discuss how we can all do something from land to protect our Oceans from :
- Plastics & Microplastics.
- CO2 emissions
- Loss of Marine Biodiversity
- Need of further developing Marine protected areas
- Deep Sea Mining
Live feeds through DAN Europe Instagram and constant Blog uploads will be happening this year. Make sure to follow us!
High five to all of our partners in the Sustainable Tour, we just can’t wait to kick off!