Kangaroo Island's North Coast has just been designated as one of the planet's Hope Spots by the Mission Blue organisation.
Local research organisations Kangaroo Island Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch and AusOcean nominated KI's North Coast as a Hope Spot under the Mission Blue Project.
Tony and Phyll Batram were very excited to receive the letter of confirmation from Mission Blue president Dr Sylvia Earle.
As was AusOcean founder Alan Noble, who like the Dolphin Watch group has been advocating for greater protections for the North Coast from development, such as Kangaroo Island Plantation Timber's proposed port at Smith Bay.
"We at AusOcean are excited about the prospects for the North Coast of KI being nominated as a Mission Blue Hope Spot and delighted to be supporting KI VH Dolphin Watch and others involved in the process," he said.
Mr Bartram said the closest equivalent Hope Spots were the Great Southern Reef of Australia and also Salisbury Island, nominated by the people of WA.
Details regarding the Hope Spot program can be found on www.missionblue.org
"As you will see from their maps there are very few designated Hope Spots in Australia and to have such outstanding company is very exciting indeed," he said.
"Hopefully it will transpose into greater protection against human impacts including inappropriate development. The economic benefits to the Island could be significant obviously."
Dr. Sylvia Earle congratulated the Hope Spot Champions for Kangaroo Island North Coast.
"As you know Hope Spots are special places that are critical to the health of the ocean - Earth's blue heart. Hope Spots are about recognizing, empowering and supporting individuals and communities around the world in their efforts to protect the ocean," she wrote.
"While about 12 per cent of the land around the world is now under some form of protection (as national parks etc.), less than six per cent of the ocean is protected in any way.
"Hope Spots allow us to plan for the future and look beyond current marine protected areas (MPAs), which are like national parks on land where exploitative uses like fishing and deep sea mining are restricted."
Hope Spots are often areas that need new protection, but they can also be existing MPAs where more action is needed.
They can be large, they can be small, but they all provide hope due to:
- A special abundance or diversity of species, unusual or representative species, habitats or ecosystems
- Particular populations of rare, threatened or endemic species
- A site with potential to reverse damage from negative human impacts
- The presence of natural processes such as major migration corridors or spawning grounds
- Significant historical, cultural or spiritual values
- Particular economic importance to the community
"The Hope Spots Council made this designation based on the merit of the nomination and the criteria mentioned above," she wrote.
"We commend you for all of your work with Kangaroo Island North Coast and celebrate with you for this designation. We stand in solidarity with you and support your efforts to protect this incredible place."