One of the leading groups driving the creation of protected areas at sea is celebrating multiple accolades following the People. Environment. Achievement. (P.E.A.) awards 2015. The Awards recognise the crucial contributions of the inspirational people who are making difference to the green agenda.
Great British Oceans is an initiative launched by the Marine Reserves Coalition, hosted and co-ordinated by ZSL with Pew Environment Group, Great British Oceans, Blue Marine Foundation, Greenpeace and RSPB.. In February 2015, it launched with a call for government to create fully protected marine reserves in the UK Overseas Territories, principally around the Pitcairn Islands, Ascension Island in the Atlantic and the South Sandwich Islands in the Southern Ocean.
In March 2015 Great British Oceans celebrated as the government announced its intention to create the world’s largest marine reserve around Pitcairn encompassing over 830,000 square kilometres of ocean, an area about 3.5 times the size of the UK.
The efforts of the coalition were recognised with an impressive four P.E.A. awards, for Team, Nature (international), NGO (global), and Overall Champion.
Jarvis Smith, founder of the P.E.A. Awards, said:
"What a year for the Great British Oceans Coalition! This group of NGOs has achieved something incredible: following a long campaign, the UK government has decided to create the world’s largest marine reserve around the Pitcairn Islands.
"Oceans touch every continent around the globe and, in the UK, we’re never further than 70 miles from the coast. They’re the source of where we’ll be most affected by climate change, so resolving issues in the ocean will have a huge knock-on effect.
"A huge congratulations to the Great British Oceans Coalition for its hard work and fantastic collaboration."
Clare Brook, CEO of the Blue Marine Foundation (part of the Great British Oceans Coalition), said: !The whole GB Oceans team was beyond thrilled to win four PEA Awards, including Overall Champion 2015.
"It’s truly gratifying to have our hard work and achievements rewarded so resoundingly by the PEA Awards. It will give our campaign a huge boost and ensure that everyone – particularly the UK government – continues pay attention.
"We have already achieved so much this year in getting the world’s largest marine reserve designated around Pitcairn and a manifesto commitment to create a ‘blue belt’ around the 14 UK Overseas Territories. But there is still so much to be done, and these awards have given us all the strength and determination to ensure that Britain leads the world in ocean protection.
"I felt so proud to be able to collect the PEA Awards with my children. Because this campaign is all about them – about the younger generation – ensuring that we reverse the destruction of their biodiversity. This is their planet, and we should hand it to them in a decent condition."
— Clare Brook (@clarespiderfish) October 3, 2015
— The Pea Awards (@Peaawards) October 4, 2015