Hope Spots bridge gaps

Two important developments are taking place. Firstly, researchers who were working in isolation are now being drawn together under the Hope Spot umbrella. Secondly, if the researchers are not aware of the spectacular findings of other researchers, then how can the public, municipalities, businesses, schools and others be informed about the wonders of their own Hope Spots?

Recognizing that the currency of researchers is to publish peer reviewed papers and produce top class graduates, a role for Hope Spots is to translate data into forms that can be used by stakeholders. Similarly, it seems that nearly all users of the seas and coasts are 'citizen scientists' or would like to be citizen scientists. Once again, the Hope Spot NGOs can be the bridge between the data collected by the public and the institutions managing and sharing those data.

The manner in which Hope Spots, working through SST, will translate information into useable forms will be by producing well illustrated readable books, provide content and illustrations for educational books giving a local focus while remaining completely in-line with the curriculum (CAPS); use radio, educational films and where possible television; produce popular articles and use educational plays and activities on action days. The news media will also be used for announcements.

The media featured prominently before and at the launch of the Hope Spots in December 2014 and after the launches the links to media need to be maintained by Hope Spots to promote education and information sharing and to celebrate national and locally important days and activities.

Communities who care

South African Hope Spots will be unique in many respects, but most importantly they are to be fully people orientated; they will be driven by communities of caring people drawn from all sectors of society. 

When Sylvia Earle describes Hope Spots she emphasizes the role of people and the power that people have to care for the environment. She points out that people have the power to destroy the world and the power to use this sweet spot in time to use our scientific knowledge, our technology, our passion, our caring and love of the sea to improve the world. 

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