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Coral reefs are nature’s pinnacle of achievement in the ocean, yet they are disappearing at twice the rate of rainforests; leading experts fear they could be gone by 2050. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has already lost 50% of its corals over the past 30 years, and is now a critically endangered ecosystem; many other reefs around the world have already disappeared or face extinction.
It is estimated that up to 60% of all marine life in our oceans is directly or indirectly dependent on coral reefs, and over 500 million human beings depend on them for their survival. Climate change is also causing such rapid changes to polar marine ecosystems that critically important food chains are now threatened and in decline, with dire consequences looming for marine life and the human beings that depend on them.
This rapid deterioration of a vital global ecosystem highlights the critical importance of supporting OAA’s work.
+What does OAA Do?
Collectively, the OAA’s Development Partners constitute a major global network with the potential outreach capacity to connect with billions of people through their marine education and conservation initiatives, and the OAA Global Educational Endowments.
The OAA’s Global Educational Endowments consist of science and media assets contributed by the OAA’s Development Partners. They include critically important open-source scientific interactive references and databases, regionally and globally significant digital still and video stock footage libraries, music, educational modules, documentaries and feature films.
Activities, goals and projects take many forms and serve many purposes, including but not limited to:
• Offering OAA Global Educational Endowments to selected primary and secondary schools, tertiary institutions, public museums and aquariums, and other entities that have the capacity to enhance worldwide ocean education through collaborative sharing of OAA resources.
• Working directly with individuals (including secondary school children) on projects that the OAA may support through sponsorship and/or assistance with promotion and networking.
• Offering OAA Global Educational Endowments to selected not-for-profit organisations and individuals actively involved in marine conservation, marine research and marine park management.
• The preservation, digital scanning (if required), indexing and ongoing maintenance and hosting of globally significant marine-related stills and video libraries contributed to the OAA (Media Legacies), which are then made accessible to end users by way of Global Educational Endowments.
• Looking for potential new Development Partners with significant and relevant scientific and media assets they are willing to contribute towards OAA’s Global Educational Endowments initiative.
• Funding the completion, maintenance, updating and online hosting of Dr. J.E.N. Veron’s ‘Corals of the World’ open-source interactive platform, including Coral Reef Identification and Geographic databases, and additional stages.
• Aiding photographers, film-makers, educators and other producers of digital content to achieve significant and rewarding outcomes for their own projects.
• Producing, organising and promoting special public events and major film screenings that focus on creating awareness of ocean issues. These are often managed in collaboration with or by sponsoring other entities with OAA assets.
• Stimulating youth science education and conservation ethics with OAA-driven initiatives such as the OAA Art Award (2012), which was the largest environmental Art Award in Australia, and the Video Awards for secondary schools, planned to be run in future years.
• Collaborating with Development Partners for the delivery of compelling educational packages, study modules, events and interactive experiences, based around the wonders of the ocean world and the issues confronting it.
• The creation of an online Marine Art shop, where OAA’s Development Partners (of the artistic kind) sell and promote their art and media products (videos, books, photographs, ocean art, etc.), allowing the OAA to collect a 20% sales commission; this is normally used to cover some administrative and operating costs, but may also be allocated to help fund special projects of its Development Partners.
+How to help OAA?
OAA is involved in several large-scale projects that are in urgent need of additional funding to complete. These include Dr. Charlie Veron’s Corals of the World project, and the digital scanning and indexing of master photographer Roger Steene’s extraordinary collection of marine photographs (tens of thousands of high quality stills).
The management of OAA’s extensive network of digital resources, the cataloguing of new research data, and the day-to-day support of real-world educational and marine conservation initiatives requires considerable time, manpower, effort and funding. In order to reach the full range of potential end users globally that can benefit from the OAA’s Global Education Endowments, the OAA is seeking sponsors and funding infusions that will enable it to hire additional professional staff to promote and deliver its science and media assets.
Please contact us directly if you would like to donate to OAA’s work. OAA has acquired Deductive Gift Recipient (DGR) endorsement form the Australian Government, which provides substantial tax advantages for donors in Australia.
+Who is OAA?
Ocean Ark Alliance (OAA) is not-for-profit organisation based in Australia, dedicated to promoting and sponsoring marine education and the conservation of oceanic environments (with particular emphasis on tropical coral reefs, coastal communities and polar biomes). Its appointed Directors are Simon Marsh, Dr. J.E. N Veron, Guy Morel and its founder David Hannan. Dr Marc Y Burdick, a co-founder of OAA, is currently setting up a USA based branch of OAA. Other informal ‘directors’ of initiatives and projects have variously been named to enable OAA representation at events and functions around the world.
OAA is part of a global network of Development Partners which includes marine scientists, researchers and undersea explorers, film-makers, photographers, artists and media specialists, educators, conservation organisations and businesses. OAA has representatives in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, France, The Czech Republic, Russia, China, The Philippines, Japan, The Cook Islands, and The Seychelles.
Ocean Ark Alliance is made up of three different types of Development Partners:
(1) Contributors; Organisations and individuals that grant OAA the authority to offer third party end users the license-free use of their open-source scientific references, databases and still photography and video libraries (Global Educational Endowments), for not-for-profit educational and conservation applications.
(2) End Users; Organisations and individuals to which the OAA provides Global Educational Endowments, which allows access to and license-free use of its science and media assets for not-for-profit educational and conservation applications. End users also include organisations the OAA endows with science and media assets, which they may be formally permitted to use while acting as a further distribution hub for OAA resources.
(3) Sponsors; Organisations and individuals that contribute their time and/or financial support to the OAA’s administration, projects and initiatives.
For more information see also Ocean Ark Alliance Development Partners.