The first speech by a Head of State under the surface of the Indian Ocean
3 years ago today, Seychelles made an historic first-ever speech, delivered by a Head of State and broadcast live in a transmission facilitated by The Associated Press (AP), at 124 metres (406 feet) below the surface of the Indian Ocean.
On 14 April 2019, Mr. Danny Faure, Founder and Chairperson of the Foundation, then President of the Republic of Seychelles, made a global plea from a manned submersible urging for greater collaboration and stronger global protection of the “beating blue heart of our planet”.
Speaking to over 110 million viewers, Mr. Faure reminded the world of the fragility of the ocean and the urgent need to protect its health for the benefit of humanity. “This issue is bigger than all of us and we cannot wait for the next generation to solve it. We are running out of excuses to not take action, and running out of time,” said Mr Faure.
Seated next to Nekton pilot Randy Holt, Mr. Faure commended the work caried out by Nekton emphasising the need for more scientific research of the seas that will add impetus to the drive for sustainable ocean development. “Over the years, we have created these problems. We can solve them. We need decisive, coordinated international action. The deep ocean is the beating heart of the planet yet we have better maps of planet Mars than we do of the ocean floor. This needs to change as we gather the information available to identify priority areas for protection”, he further noted.
Mr. Faure delivered the speech during his visit of an ambitious science expedition in the Seychelles’ waters- the First Descent. The expedition was the first deep ocean research mission in Seychelles and a first for the Indian Ocean, led by Nekton and the University of Oxford and carried out in collaboration with the Government of Seychelles and other local organisations, including young Seychellois scientists.
Today, the Danny Faure Foundation seeks to contribute towards finding solutions that will enable the people of Seychelles and the world to find the right balance between ocean conservation and a thriving economy. Involved in a collaborative partnership with the Government of Seychelles, the Nairobi Convention and Nekton, the Foundation is working on the development of a new regional initiative – ‘The Western Indian Ocean – Resilience & Prosperity Initiative’ (WIO-RPI) – for a more resilient Western Indian Ocean that will contribute towards sustainable ocean development supported by science-based management and protection to ensure sustainable economic growth, enhance food security, and boost resilience to climate change.