As we say goodbye to 2023, I want to share some highlights. With each passing year in ever deepening turbulent times, I realise the importance of looking back in gratitude at my own journey, my development and on the things that I can control.
We published a book! The Ocean and Us brings together the expertise of over 35 specialists. If you want to learn about the ocean and all the ways our lives affect it, then this book is for you! Order here.
We launched a petition against deep-sea mining. At one point this was the largest petition on deep-sea mining in the world with over 340,000 signatures collected. Sign here.
We handed-over the petition to Dutch parliament. The buzz created and (ongoing) discussions with political parties in the Netherlands resulted in NL taking a position on this issue. With the formation of a new Dutch government we will work to improve that position.
With thanks to our funders EarthPercent & Patagonia we were able to attend the final negotiations of the High Seas Treaty at the UN in New York (an historic milestone for the ocean) as well as the Assembly meeting of the International Seabed Authority in Kingston. At the ISA we witnessed the blatant unpreparedness of this woefully ill-equipped body to regulate mining in our global commons. The simple fact is we can’t afford to allow mining on the High Seas at all.
I was invited to speak at over a dozen different events in 2023 on the issue of deep-sea mining and the intersection with the High Seas Treaty, including:
European Court of Auditors, Luxembourg, Pakhuis De Zwijger, Amsterdam,
Change Now, Paris, The Ocean Race & Women in Energy, The Hague.
I am a proud ambassador of Stop Ecocide NL. For years I have been arguing that deep-sea mining is the perfect example of ecocide as defined for entry to the Rome Statutes of the International Criminal Court.
We changed our name to The Ocean and Us to reflect our broader mission. We joined 1% for the Planet.
W4O continues as a project of The Ocean and Us. Among others we are a partner in the EU co-funded WIN-BIG project -empowering women in the blue economy.
We are developing an ambitious new project to take the campaign to stop deep-sea mining to a new level! Check-out & support here.
I am grateful that I can continue my passion for the ocean. But the truth is it isn’t always easy. Most of what I do, I do with very little funding. Not enough for a salary let alone hire anyone to boost capacity. In my experience ocean advocacy seems reserved for the privileged.
If there is one thing I draw courage from it is all the messages from people inspired by what I do and who I represent. Thank you! I am not going anywhere. I will keep getting louder on ocean issues and on deep-sea mining in particular. We have such exciting work planned for the year ahead. Join us!
Love & Peace to all.