World NGO Day – Sea Save Foundation
For our second instalment for World NGO Day, where we celebrate incredible marine and diving NGOs from across the globe, we caught up with the founder of the Sea Save Foundation, Georgienne Bradley. Since 2003, the Sea Save Foundation has aimed to protect our oceans through the awareness and education of marine ecosystem conservation.
What inspired you start Sea Save Foundation?
As a scientist, photographer and underwater documentary producer, I centered my life around the ocean. I have been privileged to dive everywhere from Madagascar and Alaska, to the Red Sea and the Galapagos Islands. I never consider my job as “work”, I see it as a passion and a gift. When I started to see negative changes in ocean ecosystems I was concerned. Production companies were not interested in conservation films. Reality television was all the rage, and I felt I needed to do something. It was time to tell a new story, the story of the shifting baselines I had witnessed over my many years of diving. Along with Jay Ireland, we founded the Imaging Foundation and that eventually became the Sea Save Foundation
What are the key issues your organization is tackling?
If you are going to protect oceans you need to successfully achieve three things:
1. You need to raise awareness about the beauty and importance of oceans for decision-makers, fishing communities and the general public
2. Protection laws and public policy must be passed and incorporated into daily life.
3. These laws must be enforced.
Our campaigns and efforts focus on the first two of this three-prong approach.
What are you most proud of achieving through the charity?
We are working with the UNand Conference of the Parties for both the Conference of International Trade of Endangered Species and Sustainable Development Goal Ocean Conference. We work with members of the international community to drive conservation policies. We attribute our success in this arena to the fact that we balance local cultures, economies and science into our approach. We strive to uncover creative win-win plans whenever possible. We have worked with CITES for a decade and are proud to report that all marine species proposals we championed have passed, and that the animals now receive protection from international trade.
What are your future plans for the Sea Save Foundation?
We will continue to work with the UN. Then, join in the CITES Secretariat Master’s programme starting this April. To optimise our role at the UN, I want to not only understand the biology and the delegation, but I need to understand the bureaucracy of the UN organisations. So much needs to get done as quickly as possible and if I am versed in protocol details, I can better navigate and leverage the system for good.
How can people get involved?
I am so happy you asked! Please go to our website. As a largely volunteer-run organisation, we are heavily dependent upon dedicated people to join our team. We all work virtually and feel this largely offsets our carbon footprint. Also, be an ambassador. Sign up for our “Ocean Week in Review” or find your own news source. But most of all, we really need donations. This work is critical, and we hope to double and triple down over the next few years.