The PADI AWARE Foundation is the new Project AWARE!
Here's a short breakdown of the history:
PROJECT AWARE FOUNDATION 1989:
Their ocean conservation adventure started as a project - an environmental ethic initiated by PADI in the late 90's. The founding mission of project A.W.A.R.E was to teach the world about the importance and responsibility of preserving the aquatic environment.
PROJECT AWARE 1992:
With tremendous support from the dive community, Project AWARE Foundation was registered in 1992 as an independent non project organizarion in the US, established a UK charity in 1999 and received formal nonprofit status in Australia in 2002.
PADI AWARE FOUNDATION 2021:
PADI AWARE Foundation is created an official PADI entity, further strengthening 30 years of partnership. Together we work to mobilize the PADI Torchbearer Community and advance the AWARE mission to drive local action for global ocean conservation.
Why has Project AWARE become PADI AWARE Foundation?
To evolve their partnership, increase their conservation impact and to officially join PADI’s mission to create one billion Torchbearers to protect the ocean. The new PADI AWARE Foundation combines PADI’s strengths in numbers (a network of over 128,000 PADI Professionals across the globe) with Project AWARE’s strengths in conservation (30 years of program development and policy expertise). PADI’s mission, working in concert with PADI AWARE’s conservation programs, will engage and activate a global community of Torchbearers on an unprecedented scale
Will there be any changes, will anything remain the same?
PADI AWARE Foundation will legally maintain public non-profit status and continue to function as a global ocean conservation charity. There will be greater integration in its operations, fundraising, and branding with PADI, allowing the organization stronger financial stability, community reach and program scale.
What about the existing Project AWARE courses?
PADI AWARE Foundation will build on the three decades of work done as Project AWARE. Evergreen programs and campaigns like Adopt a Dive Site, 100% AWARE, Shark and Rays and Dive Against Debris will continue with an overall program focus dedicated to the organization’s new mission to drive local ocean action for global impact. To support this commitment, PADI AWARE Foundation will launch a Community Grant Program in June, aimed at providing resources to local communities to participate, educate and advocate for ocean protection. With greater strength under the PADI brand, PADI AWARE will also expand and develop new conservation programs and courses addressing climate change, marine habitat loss and vulnerable species protection.
Are the conservation goals going to change?
PADI AWARE Foundation’s conservation work will continue to be underpinned by the Project AWARE Clean and Healthy Ocean strategy. All programs under this framework will support countries’ implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals commitments, particularly Goal 14 - Life Below Water. By joining forces, the PADI and PADI AWARE Foundation partnership will establish joint conservation goals under our shared vision to achieve balance between humanity and the ocean
How will PADI AWARE Foundation be funded?
PADI AWARE Foundation will continue to rely heavily on support from public donations. PADI is strengthening their commitment by financially supporting the PADI AWARE Foundation’s operations and work. All donations generated under Project AWARE have helped establish evergreen programs that have achieved notable conservation impacts. These foundational programs, such as Dive Against Debris, will continue to evolve as primary drivers for the conservation targets established under the PADI Blueprint for Ocean Action.
It's exciting times ahead for PADI and their conservation plan!
We plan on doing as much as we can for ocean conservation for as long as we can! Our AWARE Officers - JoJo & Ellie - will be keeping you up to date on both the AWARE Foundations and DDS's actions and plans, as well as running courses & dives. We'll be on hand to encourage divers (and non-divers) to think about their actions and support this amazing charity.
You can also join PADI's Torchbearer community to stay up to date with campaigns, events and PADI's conservation work. As a Torchbearer you also become responsible for the promotion of the charity aswell being an active voice for the ocean.
What is a PADI Torchbearer?
A PADI Torchbearer cares deeply about taking action to heal the planet, shining a light on what’s possible, and leading communities towards a sustainable future. They believe there is a better and more responsible way for humanity to live in balance with nature.
Ultimately, there are 5 goals:
COMMUNITY GOAL 1 - STAND UP FOR THE OCEAN
We will speak up and use our voices to drive positive change. We will lend our support to environmental campaigns, sign petitions, attend key events, write to our representatives and engage in conversation with our local communities. As the world moves forward, we will continue to be the ever-louder voice of the ocean.
COMMUNITY GOAL 2 - ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY
We will take direct responsibility for ocean health and act as stewards for the places we love, both above and below the surface. We are driven by the common understanding that all life on Earth is connected and that our actions have a direct impact on the natural world. We will serve as role models in our communities and amplify the movement for the betterment of people and planet.
COMMUNITY GOAL 3 - DIVE WITH A PURPOSE
We recognize that every dive is an opportunity to collect vital data that can be used to create future protection measures for the ocean. We will participate in conservation programs and contribute to citizen science through activities that preserve underwater habitats and biodiversity vital to human and planetary health, helping the local communities where we dive.
COMMUNITY GOAL 4 - REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
We will restore balance by reducing our own carbon emissions at work and at home. We will help the ocean and coastal communities manage the effects of human-induced climate change by working with key partners to recover and protect seagrass meadows, mangrove forests and salt marshes.
COMMUNITY GOAL 5 - MAKE SUSTAINABLE CHOICES
We will reject single-use plastic, support genuine eco travel and voluntourism, make sustainable food choices, dive with eco-friendly operators when possible, and support businesses that are taking an innovative approach to sustainability. Our example will influence those around us, paving the way for systemic change.
Find out more here:
During the Project AWARE & AWARE Foundation transition you'll still see some older marketing/course materials - but it's all still the same stuff!
We'll be running Project AWARE courses as usual for now and adding slightly updated information, as well as introducing the new AWARE Foundation courses when they become available.
So keep an eye out for their exciting new courses, which include: Climate Change, Coral Reef & Marine Protected Areas!
We have some exciting bits coming up for this month:
Keep an eye out for some weekly AWARE posts on Facebook
Keep your other eye out for some other blog posts
AWARE & Coral Conservation course - 21st September, 1800
Dive Against Debris Shore Dive - 22nd September, 1830
We will also be promoting the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy course this week that will be ran in October. The Peak Performance Buoyancy course is a great opportunity to get you neutrally buoyant in the water - this is a great way to ensure that you don't damage any fragile corals and/or disturb the sensitive life within the sediment and other fragile habitats.
The course is being ran on Sunday 24th October at Vobster Quay. We are offering £50 off this course for non-club members and 50% off for club member (check our Facebook page to get your club offer code!) - RRP £185!
Click the link below to book onto the course. Please ensure that you can attend this date before booking.
Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for regular posts and events & activities throughout this month.