03 May All for Oceans
ALL FOR OCEANS
By Caroline Laleta Ballini
3 May 2019
The “pearl of Andaman” is located in the heart of a region particularly impacted by the ecological damage of mass tourism. It now constitutes the birthplace of Oceans For All, a non-profit foundation with a clear mission: to protect oceans.
The beaches of Thailand, coveted by millions of tourists every year, now unfortunately reflect the global state of our oceans. Pristine beaches have become nothing more than a subject for nostalgia for the over-fifties. The sea constantly throws up plastic bottles and debris of all kinds all over the kilometers of the kingdom’s beaches, while tourism, which is not always responsible, is constantly increasing.
We all know that the increasing amount of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is responsible for global warming and climate change but not many people know that the most of the CO2 is absorbed by the oceans creating higher acidic levels and raise in water temperatures. This process is directly responsible for the deterioration and death of coral reefs. There are nevertheless essential as they regulate the balance of all marine life. Remember, with no life in the oceans there can’t be life on earth. And yet, we have already polluted, exhausted and destroyed in part this precious resource…
It is the duty of those who have decided to settle in the kingdom to take part, each in their own way, in restoring the balance of the marine ecosystem wherever it is strongly affected by human activities, in particular tourism.
First of all, and this cannot be repeated often enough, this means changing a few daily habits: reducing one’s consumption of plastic bottles and preferring to use stainless steel bottles that one fills oneself, avoiding buying products with plastic packaging, banishing disposable plastic cups, cutlery and straws. It takes 450 years for a single bottle to degrade naturally and 25% of our plastic waste ends up in the ocean. It also means taking part in cleaning beaches near one’s home with associations such as Trash Hero (present throughout the kingdom www.trashhero.org/our- network), or getting into the habit of going to the beach with large trash bags. Finally, one can support an organization that protects marine life.
Foundation & Inspire
At the initiative of two divers passionate about the sea, David Martin, shark behavior specialist and advocate for their protection and conservation and Thibault Salaun, who manages a fleet of luxury motor yachts available for private day, the non-profit foundation Oceans For All is dedicated to organize resources and fund dedicated actions in this regard. They currently operate in areas heavily affected by the tourism industry around Phuket and Thailand.
To help and support the different projects of the foundation, a board of advisors gathering international or local personalities such as Pierre-Yves Cousteau (founder of Cousteau Divers), Nicolas Hulot (former French Minister of Ecology, founder of Fondation pour la Nature et les Hommes), Henry Landes (executive director of Good Planet Foundation), Dr Konkiat Kittiwattanawong (director of the Phuket Marine Biological Center), Dr Jean Jaubert (inventor of the Microcean® system, Former Cousteau Society expedition leader, scientific committee of the Prince of Albert II of Monaco Foundation and former director of the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco) to name a few.
A Small Reminder of the Facts
The oceans cover 72% of the Earth’s surface and are essential to humanity. Every human being depends on the sea, even those living in remote areas. The ocean plays a fundamental role in regulating the global climate: it exchanges heat and gases with the atmosphere thanks to currents and winds that sweep over the surface of the sea.
The oceans can absorb a thousand times more heat than the atmosphere and thus regulate climate change, delaying its magnitude. Thanks to the presence of marine vegetation, the ocean releases more oxygen into the atmosphere than all of the world’s forests.
Approximately 90% of the carbon present in the world is deposited on the ocean floor, mostly in the form of dead organisms. Phytoplankton, which only live for a day or two, fall to the bottom once dead. Through the different geological periods, therefore, the ocean has become the prime storage area for atmospheric carbon dioxide. Like plants on the ground, phytoplankton is at the base of the food chain of marine animals.
Coral, or polyp, is not a rock but a very fragile animal used as food, a habitat, a nursery, a hunting ground, a garden or a water filter by all tropical marine species. The disappearance of coral also causes that of many marine species. Imagine an Earth without trees or plants; plankton and algae are dying and yet they produce 70% of the planet’s oxygen!
Some coral live in symbiosis with zooxanthellae, a type of algae that nourishes itself and the coral with CO2 (which it transforms). The CO2 is expelled by the coral during its breathing. But when the sea warms up too much, the coral rejects the algae, whitens it, and is no longer fed, so it dies and its structure becomes more fragile, which also reduces its ability to protect the coasts against storm surges and erosion (a healthy coral reef reduces wave energy by an average of 97%).
94% of life in the world is aquatic Oceans produce 70% of the oxygen we breathe 100% of Life on Earth depends on Oceans
Act with Oceans for All
The projects of Oceans For All began with the restoration of coral reefs by means of a coral agricultural development program and the construction of a land-based coral farm in Phuket, with the help of technology invented by Dr. Jaubert of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.
Marine biologist and Doctor of Oceanography, and an important specialist in reef-building corals, he was seconded in 1992 to the Principality of Monaco to found the European Oceanological Observatory. His teams have notably discovered how coral reefs, the marine equivalents of primary forests, contribute to maintaining the important balances of the biosphere. They have developed a process for the biological purification of seawater that allows for the culture of corals in an aquarium: Microcean®, already implemented by the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.
This system enables coral to grow faster and be relocated to reefs around Phuket (in collaboration with local reef NGOs and government agencies) that have been damaged by tourism activities in places such as Koh Phi Phi, Koh Racha and other areas around Phuket where 90% of the reef is now dead due to the daily 5,000 tourists in the last 18 years. The Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation has offered to support the progression of this project through their social channels. The Coral farm will also become an educational tourist attraction for all nature lovers.
Then came a huge footprint compensation project: Blue Pass
Beach resorts and yachts’ most attractive and precious resource is of no cost at all. The ocean is free of charge! By actively participating in the conservation of our oceans’ life, the tourism industry is preserving its most valuable asset as well as its reputation, when the world is becoming increasingly concerned with the state of our oceans.
Hotels, yacht owners, travel agencies, but also individuals can compensate their carbon footprint by purchasing their Blue Pass, which correspond to the amount of CO2 generated by their activities and thus help our oceans through the activities of the foundation. Oceans For All goes to meet them to explain how much CO2 they produce annually.
Our carbon footprint is the amount of Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
our daily recreational and professional activities generate.
From burning fuel in the power plant producing the electricity that we use in hotels and houses and from burning fuel in our automobiles, boats and air travel. For example, a hotel in Phuket with 100 rooms and no particular renewable energy program consumes a quantity of electricity corresponding to more
than 1,000 tons of CO2 per year released into the atmosphere. The foundation makes it possible to set up financial strategies involving their clients enabling them to compensate their carbon footprint (that is to say, translate these excesses of CO2 into donations). They will then receive their Blue Pass certification.
Earning a Blue Pass is the way of compensating your carbon footprint by making the corresponding donation and help finance the foundation’s projects, at THB 300 per ton of CO2. This rate is based on the lowest carbon compensation price applied today worldwide.
Many other projects that may be sponsored by partner hotels wishing to involve their clients are under development. Among these, the release of juvenile marine life such as sharks and sea horses to help restore the balance of the marine food chain or the license to clean Phang Nga Bay with the first solar-powered catamaran, created by two French engineers, which will cruise the bay collecting floating plastic. Oceans For All are in talks with the James Bond movie franchise producers and actors to support this project, Phang Nga Bay is a major marine attraction in South Thailand with its landmark renamed “The James Bond Island” the shooting location of The Man with the Golden Gun…
HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
According to the official data in 2018 from the Thai Ministry of Energy (www.eppo.go.th) 1kWh consumed means 0.515kg of C02 sent into the atmosphere.
Example: ln Phuket, a family with an electricity bill of around
3,000 Baht per month (approx 800kW) means a carbon footprint of 4.9 tons of C02 per year. Therefore, the corresponding price of their Blue Pass is 1,484 Baht/year.
ln addition to the carbon footprint generated by your electricity consumption, you can complete this calculation by adding the C02 emission generated by your vehicle, boat and flight activities.
The C02 emissions by your vehicle in Thailand depend on many factors such as your vehicle type, your speed, your engine size and the type of fuel you use. To simplify we have taken the average data. (Source: The Environmental Research lnstitute, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok)
- Bus (8500cc) average C02 emission is 1,200g/km
- Pick up & Van (2500cc) average C02 emission is 270g/km
- Passenger car (2000cc) average C02 emission is 170g/km
- Motorcycle (125cc) average C02 emission is 44g/km
Your boat’s carbon footprint is the emission of C02 from burning the fuel in your engine(s). On average at cruise speed, inboard diesel engines generate 2.55kg of C02 for 1 liter burned and speedboats with outboard petrol engines 2.35kg of C02 for 1 liter burned. (source: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA))
As an individual passenger, the carbon footprint average calculation when you travel by plane is 110g of CO2 each mile. (Source: blueskymodel.org)
- Calculation form on www.oceansforallfoundation.org