What is a SEA Pledge?
A SEA Pledge is a written, spoken or video commitment you can make to increase your handprint (the positive actions you make for the environment) and decrease your footprint (the negative impacts you have on the environment). Depending who you are or what you do, your pledge will differ.
SEA Pledges are commitments to measurably improve the manner in which people treat the environment, thereby reducing their footprint. They are also commitments to help others, increasing their handprints. People may copy or modify one or more of the existing pledges, but the most helpful pledges are the new, unique pledges to reduce footprints and increase handprints. New ideas can inspire others. Ideally, promissory pledges should make a financial contribution as funds go to charitable causes (such as SEAS Centres).
Who should be involved?
Anyone anywhere can make a SEA Pledge, although those most closely associated with the sea, coasts and estuaries should take the lead. Others will follow. There are millions of specialist users of the seas throughout the world who use the seas for recreational, commercial and industrial purposes. All have a vested interest and are the obvious first choices for pledges as improving the seas is of direct interest and value to them, however, we encourage everyone to get involved. From school groups to diving concessions, anglers to surfers, the more people who make SEA pledges the better! SEA Pledge enables many thousands of South Africans all around the country to participate, but especially those along and near to the coast.
Who will benefit from my SEA Pledge?
Sea Pledges help you and everyone else as your contributions do count in reducing environmental impacts and raising awareness. If you persuade others to also make pledges, then you will soon be living in a better environment. Pledges among yachters, surfers, anglers, swimmers, divers, boaters and everyone else who uses the seas will improve standards and develop an ethic of conservation among people who have financial resources.
Pledges also help the poor. Millions of people living along the coast and elsewhere in rural Africa are dependent upon natural resources from which they harvest unsustainably. Some coastal communities are amongst the poorest in the world and are extremely vulnerable to the potential negative effects of climate change. They have no choice but to continue to use the diminishing resources upon which they depend, or face starvation. As a matter of urgency, the SEA Pledge you make contributes to the Sustainability Education And Skills Centres for Employment (SEAS Centres) which will provide the teaching materials, education and skills training that enable people to find employment.
What is in it for me?
There are many reasons for making your own SEA pledge:
- Leading a more sustainable life will save you money, lead to greater health, benefit others and lead to a better world
- You will feel good about making a difference in the lives of those living along the coast in the most need, while your actions are improving the precious planet
- You will set an example and be a leader for others to follow
- You will learn about environmental issues; expand your understanding and awareness of environmental and sustainable initiatives.
- Gain recognition for your SEA Pledge by setting high standards and exceeding your expectations and those of others.
- You may win awards! Prizes are to be won for: unique pledges, pledges that achieve and go beyond their goals, pledges that benefit others, pledges that influence sustainable actions and more.
What are the awards?
In December 2012, a year after COP 17, awards will be given to those who are judged to have done the best in fulfilling their pledges. There will be series of categories in which awards will be made. Some awards will be for good new ideas and the implementation of those ideas. There will also be some lucky draws. Most, however, will be in the challenge section for individuals or groups that have achieved best in terms of raising standards and helping others. In the next year (2013), those new standards will need to be surpassed. Therefore, each year the standards will be raised.
To qualify for an award at least two but preferably all three of the following criteria need to be met:
- in a measurable way it will be necessary to show that negative footprints (impacts) on the environment have been met and that the targets set have been reached or bettered.
- in a measurable way it will be necessary to demonstrate that in meeting or surpassing the pledge targets, the environment has been improved or that others have been helped.
- a new, unique or simply a very good idea has been presented and implemented with success.
Who are the judges for the awards?
Judges will be chosen from outside of the Sustainable Seas Trust, usually drawing upon people and organizations with knowledge and special expertise which enable them to qualify as judges. The role of Sustainable Seas Trust is to facilitate the process and ensure fairness. It has been suggested that the public might be involved in selecting the best ten groups or candidates; this suggestion is being entertained.
What does SEA Pledge have to do with COP 17?
The UNFCCC COP 17 meeting occurred in Durban, South Africa in 2011. From October to December 2011, SST went on a road tour and visited over 25 towns in coastal South Africa to spread awareness of COP 17, collect SEA Pledges, and encourage activities on 3 December 2011 that would send strong, positive messages to decision makers at the COP 17 conference.
On Saturday, 3rd of December 2011, in the middle of COP 17, SST had the official launch of SEA Pledge. Dr Tony Ribbink gave a presentation about SEA Pledge to the Global Ocean Forum, and during that day there were fun, wholesome and positive activities going on to spread awareness and send a message to the United Nations. Read more about the official launch here.
How do I make a SEA Pledge?
There are multiple ways you can make a SEA Pledge and join the crusade for sustainable seas!
- Written Pledge: Either fill in the printed pledge form and return it at one of our events, or click here and write your pledge directly into the pledge catalogue.
- Video Pledge: You can send a video of yourself making a SEA pledge or you can load your pledge onto YouTube and we will add a link to it on our website.
- Photo Pledge: Take a picture of you performing your pledge and submit to us via email so we can add it to the web, be sure to include in writing your pledge.
- Monetary Pledge: Visit our Given Gain page to make a financial pledge and contribute to the development of SEAS Centres.
What are the monetary pledges used for?
Most funds donated through SEA Pledges go directly into the development of Sustainable Education and Seas Centres for Employment (SEAS Centres). SEAS Centres are educational and training facilities that are being developed to break the cycle of impoverishment amongst South East African coastal populations. By providing education and skills development for employment, marginalized communities are empowered to lead more sustainable lives, find employment and successfully contribute towards the economy.
Will my donation be properly used?
Donations to SEA Pledge are destined to enter Trust accounts in Sustainable Seas Trust. As such they fall under the strict management of the Board of Trustees. The trust account is in Board of Executors (BoE) Trust, which is the oldest trust company in the world with a long history of impeccable management of trusts. BoE is in the Old Mutual, Nedbank stable.
Most funds donated through SEA Pledges go directly into the development of Sustainable Education and Seas Centres for Employment (SEAS Centres). SEAS Centres are educational and training facilities that are being developed to break the cycle of impoverishment amongst South East African coastal populations. By providing education and skills development for employment, marginalized communities are empowered to lead more sustainable lives, find employment and successfully contribute towards the economy. However, some funds might be used to support SEA Pledge activities which increase the contributions to the SEAS Centres. These will not be arbitrary decisions as all funds are strictly managed by a Board of Trustees.
50% of donated funds are dedicated for use in the year in which they are donated. The other 50% enters an endowment trust which aims at sustaining and maintaining SEAS Centres activities in the future. The capital will never be touched, but a proportion of the annual yield will be used for projects, the remaining proportion will be reinvested in the capital. However, as a donor you may instruct SST to place your entire donation into the endowment or make all available in the year of donation.
If you choose to place your donation in a particular project or area, then you will be able to follow the progress of that programme on the web. Then, because 50% of your donation is placed in an endowment, annually you will be able to watch the endowment grow and learn of the projects it supports. If you do not specify a project when you made your donation, then you would follow the general growth and impact of SEA Pledge and SEAS Centres. In addition to regular reports of progress on the web and automatic tracking of progress, there will be annual reports on SEA Pledge and SEAS Centres.