OCEANS WITHOUT BORDERS

  Leaving our Oceans a Better Place

Oceans Without Borders is a unique collaboration between &Beyond – a luxury travel company with its roots in conservation and experiential guest experiences, and Africa Foundation – a non-profit organisation dedicated to community-led development and conservation of Africa’s natural environments.

Bringing together broad expertise, and working intimately with coastal and island communities, we are dedicated to marine conservation and community development at sites where &Beyond and Africa Foundation operate, including in Africa, South Asia and South America.

 

Our Mission

What are we doing to address the challenges of ocean conservation?

Through research, conservation initiatives, raising awareness and working closely with local communities, governments and other stakeholders, Oceans Without Borders strives to strengthen the conservation status of our island sites, expand opportunities for local community development, and contribute to global efforts to protect our oceans.

The Challenge

Oceans are under increasing pressure from a range of threats many of which combine to impact marine ecosystems

Our oceans cover 70% of our planet and are critical to life on Earth. They produce over half of the oxygen we breathe, absorb over fifty times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere and drive our climate and weather patterns. They are home to an extraordinary diversity and abundance of life, much of which forms the basis of important economic activity. They also directly support the livelihoods of tens of millions of people who depend on healthy coastal forests, rivers, mangroves, coral reefs and seas for their food and livelihoods. Despite their importance, however, oceans are under increasing pressure from a number of threats, many of which combine together to impact marine ecosystems.

People and Oceans

Hundreds of millions of people around the world depend directly on the ocean for their livelihoods and food. In East Africa alone, more than 30 million people live along the coast, with this number expected to double…

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before 2030.

Communities in the region face some of the world’s most pressing development challenges with among the highest rates of population growth and lowest rates of per capita income globally. At the same time, increasing demand for marine resources from an increasingly depleted, wealthy and hungry world outside, is putting even more pressure on marine ecosystems in the region.

Balancing the critical need for economic development with protection of the environment is one of the region’s greatest challenges. Ocean protection in Africa, however, lags behind most other parts of the world in terms of territorial waters within Marine Protected Areas, and effective management of those that do exist.

 

Overfishing

Fishing is an important economic driver and the basis of livelihoods and food security for many hundreds of millions of people worldwide. However, unsustainable, illegal and destructive fishing practices threaten fish…

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stocks, marine ecosystems and the services they provide.

Many of these impacts are most acutely felt in developing countries, including in East Africa. Limited capacity to regulate use and trade, monitor catch and illegal activities, and mitigate negative impacts on marine environments, means that countries in the region are not only losing their natural resources, which threatens local food security and livelihoods, but also losing valuable revenue desperately required for development.

Learn more about our projects focused on Fisheries & Food Security.

Habitat Loss

There are many types of marine habitats ranging from coastal wetlands and estuaries, mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reefs, to the offshore open ocean and sea beds many kilometres deep.

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While most parts of the world’s oceans are experiencing some form of habitat loss or degradation, coastal areas, due to their proximity to human populations, are most affected.

Pollution, destruction of coastal wetlands, logging, unsustainable and destructive fishing practices, unregulated or poorly designed coastal development and climate change, all contribute to the loss and degradation of our marine habitats, with impacts on all of the ocean’s biodiversity and the ecosystem services oceans provide.

Pollution

Pollution of our oceans comes from many different sources with dire implications for marine life, as well as humans who consume it higher up the food chain. Approximately 8 million tons of plastic end up in our world’s oceans annually…

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, with this amount increasing each year.

Oil spills, dumping waste at sea, and run-off from land that includes fertilisers, sediments, heavy metals and other chemical pollutants, all impact water quality and marine life and habitats. Other forms of pollution that may seem less obvious, including light and noise pollution, are also increasingly impacting our marine life and oceans.

Unregulated Tourism

Tourism is a major contributor to economic growth, and in many places is an important facilitator of environmental conservation and sustainable development. When done poorly, or on unsustainable scales, however…

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, unregulated tourism can have severe impacts on local environments and communities.

In marine environments it may contribute to destructive coastal development, increased pollution, and physical damage to marine ecosystems. Poor tourist management practices can also impact threatened species, for example, through over-consumption of marine resources or negatively impacting the behaviour of marine wildlife such as whale sharks, dolphins, whales and turtles.

Climate Change

Of all the impacts on our oceans, climate change is potentially the most devastating. Rapidly rising concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere are increasing ocean temperatures and…

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causing more frequent, intense and extensive coral bleaching events around the world.

Scientists estimate that more than 30% of the world’s coral reefs have been severely impacted by coral bleaching which has caused widespread loss of coral habitat.

Warmer temperatures also cause polar ice caps and glaciers to melt, raising sea levels and flooding low lying coastal areas and islands. Greater concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere also lead to ocean acidification, with higher levels of acidity inhibiting the growth of the calcium carbonate skeletons of corals and plankton, which are the basis of the marine food chain.

Explore our projects

See what types of projects we tackle with the goal of leaving our oceans a better place

Make a difference

Leave our oceans a better place

Donate to support our efforts to preserve marine species and critical habitats, and to build resilient local communities. Learn what your donation can do.

Take the Oceans Pledge

Learn what simple choices you can make each day, wherever you may live, to ensure the protection of our marine resources and the future of our planet

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LEAVING OUR OCEANS A BETTER PLACE

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