SOLOMON Airlines, Our Telekom, Soltuna and Dive Munda have joined forces to clean up ocean debris in the Western Province on 2021 ‘World Oceans Day’.
The four Solomon Islands companies and local Solomon Islands youths joined the global campaign via a beach and underwater clean up in the ocean around Munda.
“Our collaboration is a practical demonstration of what we all can do, to help restore and protect the ocean ecosystem,” said Belinda Botha Operations Director at Dive Munda.
“Education and awareness are vital, and as we work together to gather debris and rubbish and remove it from the ocean and shores, we are also helping to raise awareness that people everywhere can take their own action to restore our shared ocean,” she said.
“Around the world and in the Solomon Islands the ocean connects us all and we strongly encourage others to follow our lead.
By being aware and doing what we can, even in our own small areas, together we can make a big difference over time,” she said.
Robertson Szetu, Chief Commercial Officer at Our Telekom agreed: “We are proud to join the World Oceans Day initiative, and we would like to see more companies and organisations in the Solomon Islands also doing the same,” he said.
“This day is celebrated today around the world to create ongoing awareness not only among communities but also within companies like ours, to understand the vital economic and social importance of preserving and protecting our ocean ecosystems,” he said.
“We must create greater understanding and respect, and learn from lessons from the past and from elsewhere in the world,” he said.
On 8 June, three boats with Our Telekom team members, Solomon Islands youths sponsored by Soltuna, plus staff from Dive Munda and Solomon Airlines, undertook ocean and beach cleanup efforts at popular spots including Nusalavata, Kundukundu Nomana and Hite, ensuring the entire activity was single-use plastic free.
The activity has been launched recently under the 2nd phase of Dive Munda’s continuing Youth Sponsorship Initiative due to commence officially on 1 July 2021.
As part of the 2nd phase of the initiative in partnership with Agnes Gateway Hotel, Solomon Airlines, Scuba Schools International, Blue Oceans Program.
Coral Sea Foundation and Plasticwise Solomon Islands, sponsors can contribute to support the development of youth across our country including:
• Training a group of 12 local girls certified under phase 1 to launch a Munda plastic recycling project
• Training a group of 15 local youth certified under Phase 1 to spearhead a coral restoration and rehabilitation program
• Support monthly beach and underwater clean-up dives
• Sponsor a local youth to do the SSI Advance Adventurer certification course for AUD$250 Under the programme’s initial phase, over 100 Solomon Islands youth (60% female, 40% male) were certified as open water divers last year.
Phase Two launched last month, will continue dive training and furthering education of youth in ocean preservation and conservation.
“Our initial Dive Munda campaign was an overwhelming success, thanks to wonderful sponsor partners, friends, family, guests and ambassadors,” said Belinda Botha.
“Now we are continuing dive education for the certified youth, keep them diving with a beach and underwater clean-up program, starting with our very own coral restoration, identification and rehabilitation project in Munda, and our “Stop Plastic Pollution” project.
“We are also aiming to train more local female dive instructors and to encourage and educate local entrepreneurs in the art of opening a successful dive operation,” she said.
Kenwood Harry, Marketing Manager at Soltuna agreed: “We encourage other sponsors to come onboard to develop Solomon Islands youth and build our local sustainability efforts.
At Soltuna, it isn’t just our corporate obligation, we all care deeply about our environment and are proud to support initiatives like this,” he said.
To help continue Dive Training and Ocean Preservation education for Solomon Islands Youth, sponsors can donate to the programme through emailing Dive Munda on [email protected] or through an online Click n Donate campaign: https://clickndonate.com/empower-solomon-islands-youth-goal-20-000/ Notes of Interest:
• World Oceans Day was first declared as 8 June, 1992 in Rio de Janeiro at the Global Forum, a parallel event at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)
• The ocean covers over 70% of the planet.
• The ocean produces at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen, and is home to most of earth’s biodiversity
• It is the main source of protein for more than a billion people around the world.
• Currently, an estimated 90% of big fish populations are depleted, and 50% of coral reefs destroyed
• An estimated 40 million people globally will be employed by ocean-based industries by 2030