Why is the IMMA programme so widely supported by the scientific community?

Why is the IMMA programme so widely supported by the scientific community?

The Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMA) programme aims to support the restoration of the balance of life in the ocean by identifying the most important marine habitats for marine mammals which can then be prioritised for conservation actions. It’s widely supported by the scientific community – and for good reason. It’s a transformative programme that ticks all the right boxes:

  • It is of the highest scientific level.
  • It meets the most stringent transparency and governance requirements.
  • It works with the most renowned ocean scientists and marine biologists – both non-political and independent.
  • It is endorsed by leading scientific and conservation institutions.
  • It has the highest visibility amongst scientists, governments, NGOs, industries and media.
  • It includes possibilities for ‘citizen science’, where interested people can participate in research and conservation actions.
  • It focuses on the recovery of the ocean ecosystem by tackling the problem at its source – with accelerating effects too.
  • It can feed into superyacht-specific operational programmes.
  • It is preparation for a future that better protects the ocean’s ability to remove carbon from the atmosphere.
  • In short, it’s the role model ocean conservation programme with a multiplier effect to boot.

The IMMA approach is based solely on the best available science, with no influence from politics or other stakeholders. This scientific legitimacy is part of the reason why the programme has such widespread support from both the ocean conservation community and regulatory bodies.

Our crowdfunding campaign is an opportunity for the superyacht community – companies, professionals, owners and charterers alike – to take on a stewardship role of the oceans. Collectively, we can support the important work of the IMMA programme and help protect our oceans.

Learn more about the IMMA programme and how you can contribute to our crowdfunding campaign

How does the IMMA programme work?

How does the IMMA programme work?

The Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMA) programme aims to support the restoration of the balance of life in the ocean by identifying the most important marine habitats for marine mammals which can then be prioritised for conservation actions. IMMAs are identified on the basis of four main scientific criteria:

  • species or population vulnerability,
  • distribution and abundance,
  • key life cycle activities,
  • special attributes.

Crucially, the decision process is entirely biocentric, independent of any political and socioeconomic pressure or concern.

Once an area has been identified as an IMMA, it is included in a dedicated e-Atlas and searchable database, offering actionable knowledge for governments and other regulatory bodies to implement marine conservation measures at national, regional and global levels. Following their identification, IMMAs may result in the creation of marine protected areas, mitigation measures through marine spatial planning or other zoning measures, opportunities for raising public awareness, or ways to protect special places.

The first IMMAs started to be placed on the global map in 2016 and, already, IMMAs have been used by governments and a variety of marine stakeholders around the world to inform conservation programmes and strategies, resulting in more sustainable ocean use. Examples include shaping and leading to protected areas in Vietnam and Bangladesh, and relinquishing oil and gas development in key dugong habitat in Mozambique.

In addition, information from the IMMA programme can be used to adjust sailing routes and behaviour at sea. Notably, IMMAs are being used by the International Whaling Commission to address the threat to whales derived by ship strikes, and by the U.S. Navy as Offshore Biologically Important Areas relevant to the mitigation of disturbance and mortality from sonar testing.

Our crowdfunding campaign is an opportunity for the superyacht community – companies, professionals, owners and charterers alike – to take on a stewardship role of the oceans. Collectively, we can support the important work of the IMMA programme and help protect our oceans.

Learn more about the IMMA programme and how you can contribute to our crowdfunding campaign

Why did we endorse the IMMA programme?

Why did we endorse the IMMA programme?

The Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMA) programme is the first ocean conservation programme to be endorsed by Water Revolution Foundation and was a logical choice. “We considered the transformative capacity of the project on a large scale, its multiplier effect and its large-scale impacts based on scientific indicators. We also looked at the support the project already had from government agencies, international agreements, NGOs, and leading scientists. The IMMA programme ticked all the boxes,” explained Vienna Eleuteri, initiator and vice-chair of Water Revolution Foundation.

The IMMA programme aims to support the restoration of the balance of life in the ocean by identifying the most important marine habitats for marine mammals and prioritising them for conservation actions. With 159 IMMAs already established across the Southern Hemisphere, the IUCN Task Force on Marine Mammal Protected Areas is now looking to the Northern Hemisphere.

We are raising funds for the North Atlantic Ocean to be mapped. This is a popular route for superyachts crossing between the Mediterranean and Caribbean so we, as a community, have a strong connection to this region. The North Atlantic Ocean will cost €550,000 to study in its entirety with the money directly funding the scientists whose work will make the identification of the IMMAs possible. Once identified, these IMMAs will be ripe for species conservation and effective marine management, under the spotlight of an informed public, leading to more sustainable ocean use in this ungoverned area of the high seas.

Our crowdfunding campaign is an opportunity for the superyacht community – companies, professionals, owners and charterers alike – to take on a stewardship role of the oceans. Collectively, we can support the important work of the IMMA programme and help protect our oceans.

Learn more about the IMMA programme and how you can contribute to our crowdfunding campaign

Why should the superyacht community support ocean conservation?

Why should the superyacht community support ocean conservation?

Alongside providing the superyacht industry with the tools and knowledge to reduce its footprint, we recognise that, for a sustainable future, the industry must also directly invest in conservation efforts. We need to go beyond only reducing our impact – only then can the superyacht industry succeed in becoming sustainable.

In fact, it’s time we made the oceans a key stakeholder of our industry. We need to shift from viewing ocean conservation as philanthropy to understanding that it is, in fact, an investment.

We are pleased to see an increasing commitment throughout the yachting community to support the protection of the ocean. Yet, this comes with questions, namely, what are the most effective and impactful projects to support? That’s where Water Revolution Foundation comes in.

To systematically address this question, we have embarked on a mission to identify and support truly impactful and innovative marine conservation projects. In the coming year, the foundation will develop a formal ocean conservation programme. “This forthcoming programme will deliver a new path to nurturing both ocean and human vitality through transformative marine ecosystem conservation projects at scale,” said Vienna Eleuteri, initiator and vice-chair of Water Revolution Foundation. “By doing so, we are connecting an entire business sector to the scientific community and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

The Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMA) programme is our first endorsed project. It aims to support the restoration of the balance of life in the ocean by identifying the most important marine habitats for marine mammals and prioritising them for conservation actions. We view it as an opportunity for the superyacht community to take on a stewardship role of the oceans with companies, professionals, owners and charterers alike coming together to collectively support the programme’s important work and help protect our oceans.  

Learn more about the IMMA programme and how you can contribute to our crowdfunding campaign

 

 

The importance of sustainability training

The importance of sustainability training

For the path towards increased sustainability, perhaps the most important step for success is to provide awareness and make clear to corporate executives and managers what the business case is. To achieve this, Corporate Responsibility training is strongly advised, through specialised content courses that will clearly clarify the concept, recognise the importance of setting goals and emphasise the importance of corporate sustainability for the future of the yachting industry.

Through training, the appropriate knowledge will be acquired and the necessary skills for the development of a corporate sustainability strategy will be strengthened. This knowledge covers the understanding of Sustainable Development in its entirety, the accurate identification of stakeholders and essential issues, the adoption of the most valid and demanding standards and information on legislation and upcoming sustainability trends. Following a recognised certification programme and joining an international network of sustainability leaders helps organisations to apply the right strategies.

“When it comes to the yachting industry topics such as sustainability reporting, the integration of the circular economy and the restriction of the use of plastics inside materials are among the top essential issues on which the industry will focus in the next coming years,” explains Nikos Avlonas, Centre for Sustainability & Excellence.

Read the complete article on Superyacht News

Response to SuperYacht Times’ webinar

Response to SuperYacht Times’ webinar

In a bid to keep the superyacht industry informed and connected during these unusual circumstances, yachting expert Hein Velema approached SuperYacht Times with the idea of hosting a series of free online seminars. On Thursday 26 March Water Revolution Foundation joined their webinar focused on sustainability in yachting.

During the webinar, the audience posed many interesting questions and suggestions. Due to time constraints, these remained unanswered. Water Revolution Foundation would like to respond to these valuable questions and suggestions from the audience.

Please note that the answers solely come from Water Revolution Foundation, the other panellists have not been consulted.

Read our responses

Watch the full webinar