In every corner of the world, our environment being affected by our actions. We are seeing our natural surroundings change before our very eyes, and human impacts on our oceans, wildlife, and land are reaching crucial levels; where the damage we are causing could be irreversible.
However, there are millions of people and countless organizations and conservation groups devoting time, energy, and money to helping our planet.
Look around your own community, and you will find people working to clean your beaches, save local wildlife, and keep our environment healthy.
Please don't hesitate to have a hands on experience in shaping your planet's future...it could make a world of difference.
Given Aotearoa's unique marine and terrestrial biodiversity, safeguarding New Zealand's living environment is paramount for nature to prosper.
Marine Protected Areas (MPA's), sustainable fisheries, legal protection for endemic Maui and Hector dolphin species, seabird conservation, Southern Ocean and Antarctic Ocean conservation.
To make it easy for every Kiwi to take part in cultivating their environmental future, WWF have established and are funding local projects under the Habitat Protection Fund (HPF).
More than 100 communities are participating in conserving and restoring native wildlife habitats and protecting endangered species. Yellow-eyed penguins and Grey spotted Kiwis are just a few of our species affected by habitat loss, while the Royal Albatross, Sea lions, and whales remain among our most threatened endangered wildlife.
This fund enables individuals, families, businesses and corporations to participate regionally in restoring the balance of their natural surroundings. Both of New Zealand's islands are deeply connected and dependent upon the vast oceans that encircle them. Shaping the health of our marine environment is in our best interest and is also our responsibility.
WWF highlight the impact climate change is having on New Zealand and the environment, while providing education, resources for teachers, and school projects to help nurture a long-standing social change in our nation's youth.
By providing funding and resources at local level, WWF's 'grassroots' approach is helping each and every one of us connect to our environment, and become an active force in protecting it.
Before human colonization of New Zealand, there was a greater number of endemic species, which have now been reduced by 32%. With human development and modernization comes wildlife habitat degradation, industrial farming, and the introduction of foreign species.
The Community Conservation Innovation Programme provides accessible tools to communities and local groups wanting to address an environmental issue. Tips on planning and managing, as well as criteria for funding community-led initiatives are accessible through the Environmental Education Action Fund and the Tindall Foundation.
Following up from our 'community project' post from July 9th, Eco-Odyssey is proud to report the "1000 Kids, One message" project aimed at raising awareness for the plight of sharks around the world was a huge success!
Bringing together shark-loving kids and some of the world's leading ocean conservationists, the message "I am the future! I won't eat shark fins!" was loud and clear.
This project, held in Hong Kong, is especially significant, given the event took pace in a shark consuming nation. Hopefully, Asia and other 'hot zones' for shark finning and consumption of 'shark fin soup' will be shaped and changed by a brighter and compassionate young generation of 'shark ambassadors'!!
Making a difference, effecting positive change, and helping a worthy cause stems from passion and genuine empathy. Whether you are helping a friend, the environment, or an unjust cause, acting upon your intuition to be supportive, informative, or simply follow through with what you believe in, is how big accomplishments are met.
The Eco-Odyssey foundation strongly supports any effort and commitment to nurture and protect our environment, especially our treasured living oceans. Every step counts, and when people join together to defend our planet's health, we become empowered ambassadors for our own futures.
♥HeartsforSharks is an Australia based initiative made up of ocean-loving passionate individuals standing up for our ocean's endangered shark population by raising awareness of their true gentle nature, as well as the perils they face.
Global shark populations are declining at an alarming rate due in large part to the practice of "Shark Finning". As top apex predators, an ocean devoid of sharks would cause entire ecosystems to fall out of balance. The estimated 73 million sharks killed annually to support the finning and fishing industries is hugely unsustainable, inhumane, and unacceptable.
The more groups, organizations, and forces that join to speak out for our threatened sharks are helping to create awareness, educate, and evoke change that will hopefully save sharks!
Please visit ♥HeartsforSharks Australia on their website and Facebook page to find out how you can get involved in conserving an ocean species that has been living peacefully on this planet for millions of years.
Eco-Odyssey will continue to promote Shark conservation and support the global movement to save these irreplaceable animals.
Cyberport, Hong Kong, China
This unique event is asking 1000 children to come together at the Cyberport in Hong Kong to form a united front for the conservation of our world's critically endangered sharks. Together with National Geographic journalists, various politicians and celebrities, the children participating will be promoting a passion and initiative to save sharks from extinction. The event will be broadcast on Youtube and you can find out how to donate to the cause at: http://www.1000kidsonemessage.org/
If you and your community are passionate about an issue like "Shark finning" and would like your voices to be heard by your nation's leaders, don't hesitate to write to your local governments and acting environment ministers.
As a community, you can act as a large powerful family able to demand a better ban on shark finning and adequate protection for New Zealand's ocean wildlife.
Minister of fisheries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister of Conservation: email@example.com
In the Canadian city of Toronto, the creator of the "SHARKWATER" documentary is working to end the trade of shark fins in his hometown. Following the immense success of the film in 2006, Rob Stewart has been organizing various events around the world to raise awareness about Shark Finning. During the summer of 2011, Stewart and international NGO's will be launching a campaign and coalition to ban shark fins in Toronto. For more on this event link to: http://www.abandonfear.com/index.php/2011/06/13/finfreetorontocom/
And if you are from this part of the world, find out how you can take part in this important effort!
You can volunteer with FOREST AND BIRD, which have projects ongoing throughout the year. Find out how you can dedicate a weekend or two helping to nurture your planet: http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/get-involved/volunteer
Since World War II, the Industrialization and Globalization of our societies, governments, and economies have generated what is now called the "throwaway" culture.
Over 1,500,000,000 Kilograms of plastic is produced every year around the world. Nearly half of that ends up in our living oceans.
Please be aware of your use of 'disposable' plastics, and take a moment to consider the permanent implications of buying, consuming, and throwing away a lifetime of plastic.
The planet is yours, be proud to protect it.