This month, Project AWARE® is proud to announce the expansion of the organization’s advocacy and engagement efforts in China. In close collaboration with the China Next Foundation, the Better Blue project and our long-time partner PADI® and its new team in China, we will continue to engage a truly global community of ocean conservationists.
“With so many Chinese divers advocating for the marine environment, we felt it was time to support however we could,” says Project AWARE’s Director of Global Operations, Danna Moore. “To do that, we knew it was extremely important to collaborate with local community groups to fully understand the conservation opportunities and challenges, interests, and needs on the ground.”
To advance our shared conservation goals, Project AWARE will support activities, such as marine documentary film-making, reef checks, Dive Against Debris® and the UN Environment #CleanSeas campaign, organized by motivated divers. These efforts will be led by Miao Wang, founder of the Better Blue Project and Chinese ambassador of the i-Seahorse citizen science program. Her dedication to the capacity building of divers’ knowledge and skills for ocean conservation has led to an already established divers' network in more than 30 cities in China.
The Better Blue project engages divers and diving practitioners in sound marine conservation practices and scientific education across China. More than 150 offline events throughout China have already been conducted in the past year. More than 20,000 people have directly participated in Better Blue events in collaboration with over 30 organizations and initiatives.
It comes as no surprise that Miao was recently selected as one of the Regional Finalists in the election of the UNEP Young Champion of the Earth – a forward-looking prize designed to breathe life into the ambitions of brilliant young environmentalists. Miao stands out from more than 600 candidates as one of the very few candidates whose focus is on ocean conservation issues in China.
We congratulate Miao Wang for this well-deserved level of award for youth in the UN Environment Program. We look forward to working with her to increase ocean awareness and protection amongst our Chinese community at large.