2018 is the International Year of the Reef and a head-turning publicity campaign, created as a result of collaboration between the International Coral Reef Initiative, UN Environment and The Ocean Agency has hit the streets of London as part of The London Loop’s digital exhibition.
We caught up with The Ocean Agency’s founder, Richard Vevers Tate, to understand the full story and the urgency to raise public awareness to the acute decline of the world’s coral reef ecosystems.
Richard left a career in advertising to be an underwater photographer and became involved in orchestrating a global survey of the world’s coral reefs in 2012 – highlighting a catastrophic 50% decline over the last 30 years.
He is now engaged in multiple collaborative projects involving scientists, global government agencies, philanthropist organisations and companies, including The Tiffany &Co Foundation and Google – to raise awareness and attempt to catalyse the global mindset and behavioural change that is necessary to slow and halt the destruction.
The project is urgent – as there is only a limited window of time to make the interventions necessary to conserve the reef ecosystems – which are not just beautiful natural wonders, but also provide food and income to over half a billion people world-wide. But as Richard explains, the plight of the coral reef is really just a canary in a cage for the broader impacts of global warming, which ultimately threaten multiple ecosystems across the globe.
So what can we do? Naturally, trying to limit the carbon footprint each of us creates by the way we live can make a contribution. But the International Year of the Reef is about a bigger conversation – it’s about groups working together to find a voice loud enough to influence companies and governments to make the wholesale change that will preserve our planet.
Naturally, we are happy to support iyor2018.org and bring their stunning images and powerful message to the streets of London. But we are also aligned in values. Loop.gl is all about creative collaboration and supporting dialogue – so we wish the campaign every success.