Martina is a marine biologist and a diving instructor. According to her, Martina owes SCUBA diving much of what she is, be it in her personal or professional life. For Martina, it’s all about exploring people and nature, discovering how deeply linked they are, reconnecting them when the link is severed. However, both humans and seas are diverse and complex – they respond to a multitude of drivers while influencing each other. Martina knows that a holistic approach is the way forward.
Recreational SCUBA diving has become a mass leisure activity engaging millions of people worldwide. Diving can do much for society, and benefits include direct and indirect revenues, the promotion of ocean stewardship, contribution to scientific research, fostering social inclusion and personal development. Yet, diving has also negative impacts, due to damage or disturbance of habitats and organisms, conflicts with local communities over the use of resources, equity issues, cultural clashes. These aspects clearly relate to the three pillars of sustainability covering environmental, economic and social dimensions and can only be addressed by a systemic approach.
This is exactly Green Bubbles’ agenda, a project funded by EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 643712) of which my company is a partner. Green Bubbles is about SCUBA diving and for the diving system itself. Further to the research and communication work by its international consortium, Green Bubbles actively engages divers, professionals, operators, certifying agencies, MPAs, NGOs. “Because,” Martina says, “it’s just one ocean – and it belongs to all of us.”