The Living Oceans

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WE CAN ONLY PROTECT WHAT WE KNOW
— Bernardo Sambra. Founder | The Living Oceans

The Living Oceans was created in 2004 by Bernardo Sambra (www.bernardosambra.com) and his wife Valerie Crousse, looking to become a photographic crusade to gather, through various initiatives and projects, the images of the best underwater photographers in the world with one goal: to create awareness of the beauty and fragility of the oceans and their inhabitants and also help educating the general public, especially the younger generations, about the importance of the oceans to man and our planet.

Under the slogan "Protecting through images,"The Living Oceans has published three books, the latter of which, OCEANS, published in limited edition with foreword by the renowned underwater photographer David Doubilet, was awarded with the PADIS prize as the Grand Book of the Year PADIS award.

Among the many initiatives developed by The Living Oceans there are two major exhibitions: "OCEAN EXPO", which was presented in South America and Asia, and "OCEANS: A World to Discover" that has been recognized as one of the best underwater photography exhibitions in the world. OCEANS brought together the work of 14 of the most renowned underwater photographers in the world and over 150 large-format photographs that could be appreciated by thousands of people.

As part of the initiatives undertaken by The Living Oceans, Bernardo and Valerie, and recently their daughters Alessia and Flavia, created Oceans 4KIDS, a vehicle to give presentations to children from different schools and edit books specially designed and conceived in which they seek to convey the beauty of the underwater world and invite new generations to care for and discover the wonderful world that lies under the oceans of our planet.


The Living Oceans at The United Nations Climate Change Conference 

We had the tremendous honor to launch our latest book Fragile as part of 20th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) or COP20 and have the backing of Mrs. Christiana Figueres,  Executive Secretary UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, who wrote the introductory text of ourbook.

Here you can read his strong message and urgent call to protect the oceans :

We evolved from the oceans; they have inspired artists and poets for centuries and provided food, resources and livelihoods for millennia. It is time to repay our debt, take responsibility and act to ensure they remain healthy, productive and a source of cultural and spiritual inspiration for generations to come.
— Christiana Figueres Executive Secretary UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

When the 20th century philosopher Hans Jonas wrote that mankind is “now a bigger threat to the sea than the sea has ever been to mankind” he was probably thinking of over-fishing alongside oil and chemical pollution.

 

Today however the German-born thinker would without doubt be echoing to the mounting scientific evidence of how greenhouse gas emissions are impacting on the marine environment, often in increasingly sobering ways. The fact that pollution linked to the burning of fossil is changing our atmosphere is perhaps well known. But that it is beginning to change the chemistry of our seas and oceans is only really now being understood.

Studies indicate that the levels of dissolved carbon dioxide are triggering a process of “acidification” that may challenge the existence of corals and other shell and skeleton-building marine life.

By the end of the century, if emissions are not reduced, ocean acidity could climb by 150% with significant potential impacts on the lives and livelihoods of coastal dwellers.

Tropical reefs, not only sensitive to acidification but also rising sea surface temperatures, provide shelter and food for an estimated 25% of known marine fish species, account for between 9% and 12% of world fish landings and provide food and jobs for some 500 million people world-wide. The aquaculture industry is the fastest growing food producer worldwide, increasing at a rate of 7% per annum and the proportion of fish produced by aquaculture and consumed by humans worldwide has risen to 50% of total production. Marine-based fisheries and aquaculture are at risk in two ways: future ocean acidification directly impacting the organisms themselves and indirectly through the food webs and habitats they depend on. 

Climate change is also impacting the marine world in other ways. Sea level rise and extreme weather events for example threaten coastal cities, small islands and the breeding grounds of wondrous creatures like turtles that are often important for tourism in some countries.

It is clear that humanity needs to accelerate and scale up its response to climate change through well planned, well-resourced, long term adaptation measures.

It is also urgent that emissions are dramatically reduced in order to meet the agreed goal of keeping a global temperature rise this century below 2 degrees C. This will require a peaking within the next decade, a deep de-carbonization of the global economy and climate neutrality in the second half of the century.

Forests, soils and other land based systems will be vital if we are to achieve this. But so will marine ecosystems like mangroves, sea grasses and salt marshes given their enormous ability to naturally soak up greenhouse gases.

We evolved from the oceans; they have inspired artists and poets for centuries and provided food, resources and livelihoods for millennia. It is time to repay our debt, take responsibility and act to ensure they remain healthy, productive and a source of cultural and spiritual inspiration for generations to come.

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— Claire C.