Pyeonchang, Republic of Korea, October 10th, 2014 – 84 companies operating recreational diving and ecotourism in 44 countries delivered today a Declaration to the 12th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity, requesting protection from the continued devastation of the natural environments and species upon which their businesses depend, by practices such as rampant industrial fishing, wildlife traffic and logging of native forests.
The Pyeongchang Declaration of Non-Extractive Businesses will also be delivered to all fisheries, forestry and natural resource management treaties, which are responsible for managing the very activities which increasingly endanger diving and ecotourism.
“Recent reports confirming that the natural world continues to be destroyed globally at an alarming rate, and the lack of corrective measures by governments to stop it, are a war cry for the non-extractive activities which generate jobs and income for millions of people, and it is about time that international treaties listen to us and take effective action”, said José Palazzo, Jr., CEO of the Brazilian-Australian business consultancy firm Truda Palazzo & Associates, one of the co-promoters of the Declaration together with Manta Ray Bay Resort & Yap Divers from Micronesia and the Onda Azul Dive Center from Brazil.
Dive operators are particularly alarmed at the rate in which unsustainable fisheries and climate change are damaging their resource base. “Divers are responsible for the well-being of thousands of coastal communities in the developing world, and the lack of decisive response by governments to issues ranging from shark finning to ocean mineral exploitation is already threatening the livelihoods of people in all regions of the globe. The fact that international treaties do not yet consider our businesses´ needs and ways to protect us from predatory uses of Nature is a gaping hole that needs to be addressed”, said Paulo Guilherme Cavalcanti, a Brazilian dive operator from Rio de Janeiro and co-founder of the Divers for Sharks campaign. “We are encouraged by the warm acknowledgment of our concerns by the CBD Secretary, Dr. Bráulio Dias, and hope to be listened to also by other treaties just as they listen to the fisheries lobby and other extractive interests”, he added.
It is estimated that non-extractive businesses contribute more than 400 billion dollars/year to the global economy, promoting activities such as wildlife watching, trekking, diving and community-based tourism. Signatories of the Declaration “strongly urge international treaties and agreements, and national governments, to work expeditiously to end all unsustainable extractive uses of biodiversity, in order to protect our businesses and the livelihoods of millions of people from the deleterious effects of such damaging practices.”
The Pyeongchang Declaration of Non-Extractive Businesses can be accessed at www.diverforsharks.com.br/nonextractive/