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Nurturing Conservation in the Water

Nurturing Conservation in the Water

Mission Blue is excited to partner with Blue Ventures, a science-led social enterprise that works with coastal communities to develop transformative approaches for nurturing and sustaining locally led marine conservation. In cooperation with their many partners, the Blue Ventures team works in places where the ocean is vital to local people, cultures and economies, and where there is a fundamental need to support human development. Over the last decade, their models have guided national fisheries policy and been replicated by communities, NGOs, businesses, donors and government agencies along thousands of kilometers of coastline. Blue Ventures have created the largest locally managed marine protected area (LMMA) in the Indian Ocean, catalyzed a sea change in community-led fisheries management, established sustainable aquaculture and ecotourism businesses, and developed new approaches to financing and incentivizing marine conservation. So far their work has impacted the lives of more than 200,000 coastal people. __BlueVentures_GarthCripps_CommunityConservation_SWMadagascar

Blue Ventures have contributed more than 20 stories to the Mission Blue curated Google Earth Explore the Ocean layer, visible on our website here (search for Blue Ventures). From community conservation, small-scale fisheries, blue forests and aquaculture, to community health and education, these stories represent the diverse range of transformative community-centered conservation initiatives, which engage communities towards long-term solutions for decreasing poverty, preparing for climate change and safeguarding biodiversity. Finalizing these stories for submission to Explore the Ocean was greatly aided by dedicated volunteers from Portland State University (Adam Zaremba, Kendra Lynn).


Through their partnership with Google, Blue Ventures are pioneering the use of and providing proof of concept for a number of emerging online mapping tools and storytelling resources. These tools are providing substantial practical benefits to ongoing marine research and conservation efforts in diverse ways, from influencing regulatory frameworks (e.g., securing municipal-level legal resource management rights; influencing REDD+ policy for mangroves), to facilitating conservation efforts (e.g., improving existing livelihoods through mangrove restoration, conservation and reduced-impact use), and contributing to predictive ecological models (e.g., future mangrove deforestation scenarios). Most recently, through the Trekker program, Blue Ventures have collected the first Street View imagery for Madagascar. The imagery resulting from the Trekker program is hoped to specifically help further bring attention to all of Blue Venture’s ongoing community-centered initiatives, and more generally, increase global awareness of Madagascar, showcasing in panoramic detail the incredible cultures and biodiversity the island nation is renowned for. What this new Trekker imagery means for the people of Madagascar is previously unavailable representation to a global audience. Through this additional exposure, it is hoped that further attention will be brought to the many challenges faced by the Malagasy, and the organizations and institutions engaged with local communities towards tangible long-term solutions.


Blue Ventures initiatives are generously supported by funding and in-kind contributions from organizations and institutions listed here.

For overviews of the themes within which Blue Ventures is working with coastal communities, view these Factsheets.

For stories from the field relating to all ongoing Blue Ventures activities, visit the Beyond Conservation Blog.

For an overview of the many meaningful contributions to community conservation and marine and coastal science to date, visit this Publications overview.

(All photos © Blue Ventures / Garth Cripps)
Source: Mission Blue

5 Tips for Saving the Planet with Sacred Activism

5 Tips for Saving the Planet with Sacred Activism

How we Revolutionize the World with Love

I travel a lot, and I meet the most well-intentioned, beautiful beings who are fighting against the injustices of the world. They stand for ending sexual violence against women, the destruction of Gaia, climate change, social inequality, and any number of other very good causes. I appreciate that these people are DOING something to heal the world. Their passion seems admirable and their commitment and self-sacrifice command respect.

Yet, I find something about the energy of some forms of activism weighing heavy on my heart.

We’ve all met the angry feminists that lash out at men, the rainforest activists who judge those who drill in the Amazon and the Occupy activists who hate the 1%. But how can we possibly co-create a more beautiful world if we’re coming from the energy of judgment and hate? As one of my spiritual teachers said, (forgive her language), “Fighting for peace is like f*cking for virginity”.

When I was in Australia speaking at the Uplift Festival in December, 70 spiritual self-help leaders, elders from the indigenous tribes of five different nations, and change-the-world activists spent a week before the festival participating in an ongoing conversation about the intersection of spirituality and activism. How do we marry the principles of ‘being’ that we learn through our spiritual practices with the practices of ‘doing’ embodied by many activists on the front lines of global change? Are we better off sitting on our meditation pillows, raising the vibration of the planet and emitting frequencies of love into the world? Or do we need to get off our pillows and go DO something? Is there a way to be even more effective by merging the two?


Being Versus Doing

Those inclined toward ‘being’ claim that lasting change in the world stems from ending our inner wars, radiating love, and being the change we wish to see in the world. They hope to love people into doing the ‘right’ thing and tend to shy away from those in the ‘doing’ camps because they judge them as angry, hostile, and ineffective. They believe the revolution of love starts with accepting the world as it is, seeing the perfection in it, and then practicing love as an entraining invitation to others who yearn to create a more beautiful world.

But being without doing risks keeping love in a theoretical realm, a safe realm where it isn’t tested and developed by encounters with the world. Moreover, we are not separate beings. To exist is to relate. Sooner or later, the person inclined toward being moves toward doing.

Those who advocate for more ‘doing’ don’t think it’s enough to just sit around on meditation pillows or pray for peace or BE love. Such activities seem to them a bit ‘airy-fairy’—a waste of time when there is so much urgent work to be done. They think it’s naïve to assume that evil will just evaporate because enough of us start BEING love, and they assert that sometimes force is necessary in order to protect the innocent and the planet.

But doing without being risks reinforcing what isn’t working, repeating ineffective kinds of action that are determined by our own hang-ups, wounds, and blind spots. We are not separate beings—what we encounter outside ourselves mirrors something within. Sooner or later, the doer moves naturally toward the inner work that marks the pursuit of being.

So how might we marry being with doing, in service to co-creating the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible? This is the community conversation I have be facilitated with sacred activist Charles Eisenstein, author of The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible.

Sign-up here for a recording of ‘The Revolution Is Love‘ telecast.

Here are a few of the things we discussed. Perhaps this is how we change the world with love.

5 Tips for Saving the Planet with Sacred Activism

  1. End the story of separation

    Our culture tends to mistakenly define us as individual, separate beings, disconnected from one another, from Source, and from nature. Yet for millennia, spiritual lineages have taught about Oneness instead. What if we are not discrete individuals at the mercy of a random, chaotic world? What if everything we do to violate Life in any form harms us all?

  2. Withhold judgment

    My parents and my religion taught me to judge ‘right’ from ‘wrong’. But doesn’t that just further the story of separation? Isn’t it possible that what we think is horribly wrong might have been chosen by all of us as a collective consciousness so we could choose to act differently in the future? Isn’t it possible that what we judge as ‘wrong’ is exactly what our souls chose as part of our curriculum in this life? Isn’t it more loving to choose love instead, to feel compassion for the perpetrators than to judge them and shame them?

  3. Accept what is

    There might be wisdom in accepting what is, rather than resisting it. This sounds like madness, right? How can we accept genocide, the destruction of nature, and the greed of corporate bankers who steal from innocent people?

  4. Surrender, and avoid force until it’s time

    It’s tempting to push, strive, and make it happen, especially when the world looks like it’s falling apart. It’s not that there’s not a time for effort. But think of a woman having a baby. You don’t tell her to push that baby out when she’s six centimetres dilated. She would tear her cervix and haemorrhage. Both the woman and her baby could die. You tell her to rest, to breathe, to pause, and to do what she must to endure the discomfort of doing nothing for a while. Even when she is fully dilated, you don’t always tell her to push right away. You let the uterus push the baby down on its own for a while, let the baby descend effortlessly.
    You can apply this to sacred activism by invoking the spiritual act of surrender, offering up that which you sense wants to be born through you to the Universe. By recognizing that you can’t make it happen, you can instead allow it to happen through you. You can call upon Divine support with humble acknowledgment of your human limitations, and you can ask for inner or outer guidance. You can even ask for miracles.
    Then, once you’ve made this offering, you can rest, like the woman in labor, knowing that it is all handled and that if force is needed, you will know what to do when the time for birth is ripe. Then you might be asked to push like hell to bring into being that which wants to be born through you. Or you might not even have to push. That baby might just slide out and surprise you.

  5. Take inspired action

    Most of the time, there comes a time when it’s time to do something, but it’s not motivated by fear or impatience. It’s motivated by the impulse of love that springs through you and leaps you to your feet in acts of pure service. You can tell the difference because acts of love feel easeful. You feel grateful for the opportunity to serve. If the very idea of what you must do leaves you feeling exhausted or resentful, you’re probably motivated by fear, not love. When the time for action arises, you can trust that you will know what to do. And you will have the courage to act.



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The post 5 Tips for Saving the Planet with Sacred Activism appeared first on UPLIFT.
Source: Uplift Connect

Can Peace go Viral?

Can Peace go Viral?

The power of social networks now allows good ideas to have self promotion built-in! 

The profit-driven model of mainstream media has delivered the lowest common denominator of human potential. With a focus on fear, violence, division, and sound-bites that never delve into the deeper roots of issues, the news media exploits the symptoms of global issues without ever addressing the underlying cause. Meanwhile the masses are lured into watching these programs while advertisers remind audiences about their inadequacies and encourage them to buy things they don’t need. Real communities don’t work this way, and neither do the social networks that mirror natural human interactions. While gossip continues to play a role in social circles, the stories that stick most in peoples heads are always the ones that bring hope, inspire, and lift the community up. Peer to Peer Diplomacy lays a foundation for a process of undermining the exploitation of the fear, violence, and division propagated by the mainstream media thus allowing the peace, love, and mutual respect stories to go viral.

Imagine these 2 scenarios:
1. Give ignorant people weapons and feed them with fear, or
2. Put communications technologies in the hands of intelligent/compassionate people and feed them with inspiration.

It isn’t hard to imagine the different outcomes between the two! Option number one  is very lucrative for certain industries including the military industrial complex, prison industry, mainstream media. Option number two works on a different kind of currency, social equity, that includes lucrative opportunities but is not solely driven by a desire for money. Creative inspiration and the desire for community enrichment are non-monetary forms of currency that provide incentive for innovation even when funds may be lacking. There is a growing movement of people who know and understand this concept. As this evolves, so will the opportunities for the financial success of compassionate action, social innovation, and creative problem-solving.


“Follow the money” is a great way to understand what motivates policy, wherever the greatest incentive is for profit, is usually where things go in our current system. In a recent article entitled, The Biggest Moneymaker Of All Time: Cancer, And Why The Profiteers Don’t Want A Cure, the author reminds us what happens when the financial incentives of not finding a cure outweigh the financial incentives for a cure. The same logic applies to war, and so many practices that are destroying communities, and the environment. What if large amounts of people allowed higher ideals to motivate them by embracing the concept of social equity as an incentivizing force? We are seeing this concept slowly take hold around the world aided by technology and fuelled through social networks.

In Post-Capitalism: Rise of the Collaborative Commons, the author starts out by stating that “the revolution will not be centralized”. This article lays out the foundation for a very hopeful vision of the future inspired by the work of economist, Jeremy Rifkin. Rifkin writes and speaks about the third industrial revolution in which there will be a reordering of human relationships, from hierarchical to lateral power, that will impact the way we conduct business, govern society, educate our children, and engage in civic life. Though this is a revelation when applied to modern systems and technology, this wisdom is inherent in the traditional values of indigenous communities where cooperation is central to village life. Charles Eisenstein is another pioneer in the realm of gift-economies, bringing the concept of community and sacred back into our understanding of commerce.

Jeremy Rifkin quote

So how does all of this express itself when it comes to creating peace? Ronny Edry and Michael Tamir are applying this wisdom through multiple initiatives at The Peace Factory. If we are entering the Third Industrial Revolution, then the Peace Industry is likely a good place to buy stock! Where good ideas lack an advertising budget, they make up for it in people networks. Sharing inspiration makes you more friends and increases your social equity, plus it’s a whole lot of fun. Engaging your friends in a discussion about new concepts, hopeful solutions, and dreaming of a better world is central to the emerging paradigm. So what are you waiting for? Give it a like, give it a share, start an inspired conversation in the comments below and you will be adding fuel the fire that is transforming our planet into a more sustainable, healthy place to live for all of us.

Ronny Edry on the power of viral images to promote Peace



The post Can Peace go Viral? appeared first on UPLIFT.
Source: Uplift Connect