Algoa Bay Hope spot declaration

Species and Spaces, People and Places

We, the people of Algoa Bay, having witnessed the proclamation of Algoa Bay as a global Hope Spot, declare on this day that we will strive to sustain the marine biodiversity integrity of our maritime space by ensuring that it is protected and sustained in a healthy condition for all people and marine creatures to enjoy for future posterity;

Acknowledging that oceans are regarded as the “last frontier” on earth, and that oceans decisively influence Earth’s ecological balance, as well as world geopolitics, globalisation, socio-economic balance and life on earth,

Accepting that oceans cover two thirds of the world’s surface and as such the world’s population as well as all living things are dependent on the oceans,

Recognizing that a failure to sustain the oceans in a healthy condition will lead to dire consequences for all humanity,

Conscious that the ocean space represents a unique socio-cultural entity that has offered sustenance and a distinct culture and way of life for centuries, 

Convinced that the world oceans, seas and coastal areas are in a state of crisis, facing a greater array of problems and dangers than ever before in history such as toxic pollution from cities and fields, anthropogenic waste disposal, excessive nutrients and oil spills resulting in an increasing threat to living and non-living resources in the coastal and ocean environments thereby adversely impacting and fundamentally changing natural ecosystems, and even threatening human health, 

Further convinced that marine life and vital coastal habitats are straining under the increasing pressure of deteriorating sea water quality and the cumulative effects of excessive human use and that the ability of marine ecosystems to produce the economic and ecological goods and services that are desired and needed, have been substantially reduced, 

Aware that in some instances there has been a significant decline of ocean wildlife and even collapses of ocean ecosystems and with over half of the world's population living along coastal areas, there has been unprecedented commercial and residential over development, 

Mindful that the condition of the oceans and the ecological state of the marine environment will ultimately determine the fate of planet earth, and that the four vital ecosystems for humankind and for all marine life forms i.e. salt-marshes, mangroves, estuaries and coral reefs require the highest level of protection, 

Accepting responsibility to work with boat based tour operators to ensure that water based recreational activities such as whale and dolphin watching are used as opportunities for marine education and awareness and in this regard to assist with sourcing funding to support these important coastal activities, 

Committed to ensuring that on shore, near shore and off shore recreational activities are appropriate for the marine environment and managed in accordance with integrated coastal zone management plans,
Endorsing that responsible ocean governance means integrated management combining the land and adjoining water in a single-unified framework for sustainable economic development to improve the quality of life of people; environmentally appropriate development; and equitable development in terms of inter-societal, intergenerational and international equity,

Convinced that the time has come to rethink how to manage oceans and recognizing that they are a key pillar for many countries contributing to their economic and social development which are vital in the fight against poverty, and that they can become more profitable, more sustainable, and meet the needs of a growing population without sacrificing the health of fragile ocean ecosystems,

Concerned that too many of these essential natural resources are being degraded by unsustainable use, putting the ecosystems services they provide, such as food security and climate regulations for instance, at risk,

Endorsing the concept of a 'Green Economy in a Blue World' which takes into account six different economic areas in the marine sector and provides recommendations on how to boost their potential by implementing green measures, the six economic areas being fisheries and aquaculture, marine transport, ocean nutrient pollution, marine-based renewable energy, coastal tourism, and deep-sea minerals,

Reasserting the overarching vision of the 2050 AIM Strategy to foster increased wealth creation from Africa’s oceans and seas by developing a sustainable thriving blue economy in a secure and environmentally sustainable manner,
Agreeing that any development in the local maritime space should undergo a thorough risk assessment and cost benefit analysis,
Convinced that the maritime sector as a whole has much to gain by operating in a marine environment that is in a healthy condition; and which favours the market economy, private enterprise and free trade; and that serves to optimize its beneficial effects in a green blue economy that contributes significantly to the creation of wealth and employment,

Committed to supporting marine scientific research in order to monitor and evaluate the condition of the sea within the local maritime space and accepting that “if the sea is sick, we’ll feel it, if it dies, we die and that our future and the state of the ocean are one” (Dr Sylvia Earle, 1995),

We, the people of Algoa Bay, commit ourselves to work with others to achieve the economic, social and environmental goals of ocean sustainability. We affirm our support of the Mission Blue goal to ignite public support for a global network of Hope Spots large enough to save and restore the blue heart of the planet. We accept that there is still time for us to take action to stabilize and reverse the global decline of the natural ocean systems that keep us alive. We acknowledge that although humans pose grave danger to the health of the ocean, we also represent great hope. As custodians of Algoa Bay we accept our responsibility to protect and sustain the blue heart of our maritime space.

Port Elizabeth, 11th December 2014


21 things to do

21 Things To Do

Click on the image above to download your copy of 21 easy things anyone can to do for a Hope Spot by Dr Lorien Pichegru.

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