Swiss prestige watchmaker, Blancpain, and the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI®), the world’s largest dive training organisation, are joining forces with the aim to fundamentally increase the number of marine protected areas (MPAs) around the globe over the coming decade.
The organisations unveiled their collaborative partnership at the 9th Annual World Ocean Summit, the flagship event of the Economist Impact’s World Ocean Initiative, attended by the world’s top thought leaders from business, science, governmental and non-profit sectors – to tackle the greatest issues facing our blue planet.
“Blancpain and PADI have rich histories rooted in exploration and ocean conservation, inspiring both organisations to become powerful catalysts of planetary change,” says Drew Richardson, President and CEO of PADI Worldwide. “Protecting our oceans is not only core to our ethos, but critical for our very survival. The world must pull together to stem the urgent crisis in our ocean and we have an immense opportunity to bring about change. We’re proud to work alongside such a prominent partner who shares our optimistic outlook on the future and a deep commitment to further empowering our global community to seek adventure and save the ocean.”
Together, Blancpain and PADI will work with local communities across the globe to expedite the establishment of MPAs. At the heart of the multi-year, multi-million-dollar initiative is the flagship citizen science program, Adopt the Blue™ in which 6,600 registered PADI dive centers and resorts will be activated to develop the largest network of marine protected areas on the planet, enabling millions of PADI recreational divers to proactively engage in marine conservation at every opportunity.
Another keystone of the partnership is the formation of the Blancpain/PADI Community Grant, which funds critical conservation efforts in local communities. These grants will drive both ocean preservation as well as indigenous community support, serving as a force for good for both humanity and ocean.
“With our almost 70-year legacy of the Fifty Fathoms diving watch, Blancpain has developed not only a passion – but a deep commitment to our oceans,” says Marc A. Hayek, President & CEO of Blancpain. “We’re extremely proud of the role we’ve played in advancing global marine protection efforts and we are thrilled to be collaborating with PADI – and its community of divers – to bring about even more positive change.”
The successful implementation of marine protected areas is critical to the health of the world’s largest and most important ecosystem and has been proven to restore biodiversity, build resilience to climate change and re-establish vulnerable species’ populations.
“It will take a unified, dedicated effort to improve the state of the oceans. Together, we are directing the power of our organisations towards one of the most important – and urgent – missions on the planet,” states Richardson.
PADI® (Professional Association of Diving Instructors®) is the world’s largest and most popular diver organisation with a global network of 6,600 dive centers and resorts and more than 128,000 professional members worldwide. Issuing more than 29 million certifications to date, PADI enables people around the world to seek adventure and save the ocean through underwater education, life-changing experiences and travel. For over 50 years, PADI is undeniably The Way the World Learns to Dive®, maintaining its high standards for dive training, safety and customer service, monitored for worldwide consistency and quality. With a longstanding commitment to environmental conservation, PADI is leading the way for millions of people to actively explore, steward and protect the ocean through its course offerings and partnerships with like-minded, mission-driven organisations. PADI embodies a global commitment to ocean health with its mission to create a billion torchbearers to explore and protect the ocean. Seek Adventure. Save the Ocean.SM
Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain in the Swiss Jura, Blancpain is known as the world’s oldest watch brand. Loyal to its tradition of innovation and confirmed by countless horological complications invented over the years, the Manufacture is constantly pushing the boundaries of watchmaking to take this art to places where it has never been before. Exploration and preservation of the world’s oceans is at the core to Blancpain. With its legacy of the Fifty Fathoms – the first modern diver's watch – extending over almost 70 years, Blancpain has become close to the explorers, photographers, scientists and environmentalists who treasure this precious resource. With that affinity has come a determination to support important activities and initiatives dedicated to the oceans.
To date, Blancpain has co-financed 21 major scientific expeditions, celebrated its role in significantly extending the surface area of marine protected areas around the world, and presented several award-winning documentary films, underwater photography exhibitions and publications. This dedication to supporting ocean exploration and preservation is called Blancpain Ocean Commitment.
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