PADI, the world’s largest ocean exploration and diver organisation, together with the newly created PADI AWARE Foundation, a non-profit public charity dedicated to driving local action for global ocean impact, have announced the fourth annual AWARE Week.
Hosted by PADI dive centres, resorts and professionals around the world from 18-26 September, AWARE Week empowers and inspires the dive community to take part in events, activities and courses – virtual or in person – to advance conservation awareness and engagement at the local level.
“AWARE Week 2021 brings together eco-conscious divers and ocean enthusiasts to advance PADI’s conservation blueprint, charting a decade of ocean action to achieve a balance between humanity and ocean,” says Kristin Valette Wirth, Chief Brand and Membership Officer for PADI Worldwide. “By uniting as a community of PADI Torchbearers™ who explore and protect the ocean, we work as a global force for good taking meaningful action for the ocean to drive lasting change.”
The week-long event leverages the collective influence of divers and dive industry professionals, as well as the general public, to address key threats facing the marine environment through citizen science, public policy and education. AWARE Week 2021 will take the organisations’ current programme to the next level and build on them by tackling additional marine conservation issues such as: climate change, marine protected areas and coral reefs. These new programmes, coupled with the flagship programme – that address marine debris and vulnerable marine species – represent the five key components of PADI’s Blueprint for Ocean Action, in direct support of the United Nations Decade of Science for Sustainable Development.
One of the key highlights is PADI AWARE Foundation’s flagship citizen-science programme, Dive Against Debris, the only programme of its kind, which helps divers not only remove debris from the ocean but also report data that can inform ocean friendly policy change to prevent further pollution from entering the ocean.
As a proud sponsor of PADI AWARE Foundation’s marine-debris programme, Seiko joins PADI to amplify PADI AWARE Week to its audiences, helping to build awareness. The annual week invites the global dive community to make a concerted effort to gather this critical survey data so they can be used by marine researchers and policymakers for conservation action.
“Protecting the ocean requires the actions of everyone around the globe working together,” says Valette Wirth. “Together with PADI AWARE Foundation, Seiko and our other partners in conservation, we recognise that anyone with passion for the ocean can become an ocean ambassador and contribute to worldwide efforts to save the ocean as a PADI Torchbearer. AWARE Week 2021 will inspire people with a clear and effective path to action for the planet.”
Throughout AWARE Week 2021, divers, ocean advocates, water enthusiasts and the global community at large may also support and protect the ocean by participating in AWARE specialty courses, which educate participants on the importance of a clean and healthy ocean, and via fundraising, donating and taking part in local conservation activities hosted by PADI Dive Centres, Resorts and Professionals.
There are plenty of events taking place right here in the UK. Blue Ventures has created a sub-organisation called Salt Water Britain, led by marine scientist Charlie Young, and their first summer series of events will conclude with an AWARE Week dive trip to the Farne Islands on 25-26 September, while Fifth Point Dive Centre is running a virtual PADI AWARE Week challenge from 18-24 September, where participants will be transformed into eco-divers in seven days.
To take part in AWARE Week 2021, visit padi.com/awareweek2021. For more information about the PADI AWARE Foundation, the community of PADI Torchbearers and how to get involved year round, visit padi.com/conservation