Introducing PADI AWARE Foundation – A Non-Profit Public Charity to Achieve Critical Ocean Conservation Goals
PADI is committed to investing in our ocean, the future of the dive industry and in our dive communities around the world. In the face of rising threats to our ocean and the growing role divers can play in helping to restore a balanced ocean ecosystem, a natural and critical next step in the PADI organization’s Save the Ocean mission is the formation of the PADI AWARE Foundation.
For more than 30 years, PADI and Project AWARE have worked together to address precarious issues affecting ocean health, building a truly unique voice for the protection of the underwater world. Transformed from an environmental ethic created by PADI® in 1989, to a separate nonprofit organization with global reach and a passionate community dedicated to protecting our ocean, Project AWARE has stayed at the forefront of emerging ocean issues and pressing global challenges.
Building on the legacy of the alliance, the evolved partnership will leverage PADI’s strengthened focus on conservation and global reach to achieve shared goals and objectives aimed at harnessing the power of the global PADI dive community to restore balance between humanity and the ocean. By putting the weight of the PADI brand behind the charity, PADI and PADI AWARE Foundation can set ambitious critical ocean conservation goals on an unprecedented scale.
On Earth Day, PADI and PADI AWARE Foundation announced their joint blueprint for ocean conservation, commencing the PADI Decade of Ocean Action, joining the United Nations’ universal call for a Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically supporting the implementation of SDG14 – Life Below Water. By connecting the PADI conservation blueprint to the international agenda for sustainability, we take meaningful actions that help advance the global agenda designed to create a healthier people and planet.
To achieve the goals established under the blueprint, the PADI organization will engage and activate the growing global community of PADI Torchbearers to provide human resources that participate broadly and locally in ocean-saving initiatives.
As one of its first projects and an important part of working collaboratively with local communities, PADI AWARE Foundation will launch a Community Grant Program. Saving the ocean requires all of us acting together in thousands of ways on a local level, so these grants will provide much-needed financial resources to PADI Dive Centers and Resorts for local ocean-protection initiatives and activities.
“The Community Grant Program exemplifies our commitment to the Foundation’s new mission to drive local action for global ocean conservation,” says Danna Moore, Global Director of PADI AWARE Foundation. “This program will be the cornerstone of all of our work, directly addressing local community needs while advancing global policy goals tied to the United Nations Decade of Action,” says Moore.
To further elevate and support PADI’s Mission, PADI AWARE Foundation will expand and build new conservation programs, activist movements, public outreach, courses and partnerships that address key ocean threats such as marine debris, climate change, marine habitat loss and vulnerable species protection across the planet.
By Katie Thompson, Global Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, PADI Worldwide