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Current Initiatives

CFTO’s Advisory Board Member, John Englander, has written the book, High Tide On Main Street, which was released October 31, 2012. The book discusses the current phenomenon sea level rise worldwide and how it will affect communities everywhere.  A portion of the proceeds for each book will go to support CFTO.

Click here to see the informational flyer. To reserve an AUTOGRAPHED, INSCRIBED COPY of the book, please send an e-mail to



“Climate change will have significant impacts on the marine and freshwater systems that support the world’s fisheries. Indeed, many of these impacts have already been observed in scientific studies, including coral bleaching, ocean acidification and changes to the range of fish stocks in response to warmer ocean temperatures. In addition to these direct ecosystem impacts, fishing fleets and communities will face an increased risk of extreme weather events, rising sea levels, coastal erosion and other climate-related effects.”

In Hot Water: An African Perspective on Fisheries and Climate Change

Alex Benkenstein

South African Institute of International Affairs

Published in Outreach: COP 17-Day 10

December 7, 2011


World Aquarium programs use multi-stakeholder analysis involving governmental, non-governmental and public organizations as well as local citizenry, resulting in comprehensive, sustainable actions which can contribute to the mitigation and amelioration of the problem originally discussed. We find that this approach fosters a much more harmonious buy-in by participants, thus positively affecting long-term results.

Effects of Climate Change on Health:

Arrangements are being made to hold a workshop to summarize the findings of the Fall 2009 UNESCO-World Health Organization Workshops on Climate Change, Health and Environment in India. Modern and traditional methodologies will be included for development of an action plan for health conditions related to climate change in India. Traditional and modern methods of local healthcare coupled with sustainable methods of agricultural and conservation practices will be included in the book for this area.  The summarization of the findings will be compiled into a workbook as a draft and disseminated for review to committee members and the workbook draft will be published as a book. Regional workshops will be held throughout India (starting March 2011 in Patna, India).  Pilot programs will be held in Amigarh, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Kerala. The program will start in rural villages and progress to modern areas.

Microfinance Project for Fisherfolk in Kollam, India:

This project was realized in 2008 based upon a multi-year field study including surveys of local leadership and post-analysis that led to a collaborative between the World Aquarium, Fatima Mata National College, Sathigiri Ashram and the Desinganad Multi-State Development Cooperative Credit Society Limited (DDS).  DDS is a Social Organization working in the field of development support activities. It is established to promote, facilitate, conduct and co-ordinate social action/ programs for the emancipation and upliftment of the weaker sections, particularly those socially challenged and discriminated against on the grounds of gender, caste and creed. The operational area of DDS lies in the coastal region of Kollam inhabited by the traditional fisher folk and the adjoining backwaters where also the livelihood is largely dependent on fishing related activities. The impact of poverty is interwoven with fisheries throughout Kerala, India, upon which 80% of their economy is based. In one year, we expect this project to be sustainable. The aim is to positively affect the entire economy of Kollam, Kerala, India. This project, we hope, will become a model for other fisheries communities throughout the world.

Impact of Religious Views on Global Warming:

This project was first  created after reviewing the conference: Faith-Based Organizations and Education for Sustainability through the UNESCO Centre of Catalonia in March 2007.  At the 2009 United Nations Frameworks Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen with the session chair of UNESCO Education Development for future planning in 2010. Religious leaders will convene in India to further ascertain many  religious viewpoints on environmental issues including global warming and its effects on the environment as well as possible ways they can engage their congregations in conservation actions.  The results will be collected, recorded and prepared for circulation. Six regional conferences will be organized and religious leaders within each region of the world will receive invitations to attend the appropriate conference according to their geographical location. The six regional conferences will take place throughout the world. Each workshop will concentrate on finding common goals on mankind’s ethic al responsibility to nature.  The results will be collected, recorded and prepared for circulation. The findings of the meeting and the six regional conferences will be published as a book. A follow-up International Conference convening religious leaders will be held to assess the results of the initial meetings and to formulate effective methodologies for communication of climate change messages to their congregations and to other United Nations affiliates. Each conference  could be held in conjunction with a leading religious university.

Youth Voices in Conservation Campaign:

This project was created in 2010 as a result of seeing a great number of youths involving themselves in the issues surrounding climate change starting in 2008.  We are editing articles submitted about youths’ conservation activities and creating an internet awareness campaign as well as sending out press releases to announce the Youth Voices Campaign.  Internet awareness will include announcements through e-mail mailing lists and museum and organizational partners, including United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Encyclopedia of Life, and Centre of Environment Education (CEE). A draft book will be completed and will be disseminated to committee members for final approval.  The book will published  for release on World Environment Day and World Ocean Day 2011 and the corresponding professional development training program will be finalized for immediate use. A full-scale campaign to announce the Youth Voices book will be launched, including advertising to school districts, various media interviews and selling the book on along with other book sale outlets. Professional development training program curricula will start to be finalized for completion by the publication date of the book and pre-sales of the training will be undertaken. Youth Voices will be heavily marketed to schools and professional development training programs will be underway. The corresponding state educational standards will correlated to Youth Voices and will finalized. Youth Voices will be used in schools in the pre-determined 250 schools. Pre and post student assessments will be taken to enable quantification of results. Two years after Youth Voices’ release, regional meetings will be held to assess the program as a whole and to make any amendments to the program for improved results.   Five years after Youth Voices’ release, a global meeting to discuss Youth Voices findings will be convened.

Upper Ganges River Dolphin Conservation Project:

This project started in September 2010 at a collaborative meeting between the Institute of Environment & Eco-Development, World Aquarium/ Conservation for the Oceans Foundation, UNESCO, A.N. College, Dept. Of Water Sciences & Environment, Bihar State Pollution Control Board and Bhagalpur University, Bihar.  The meeting was entitled, “Aquatic Conservation of Ganga River in Bihar.” A focus of the project is the conservation of the Susu River Dolphin (Ganges and Indus River Dolphins).  Construction of dams and barrages, dredging and development of the riverine environment, and pollutants from industrialization and intensive agriculture are the major causes of freshwater dolphin extinction. In addition, the dolphins are incidentally killed through fishing activities and are deliberately killed for their meat and oil. This book will mark the beginning of a collaboration to improve conditions of the Ganges River Dolphin and to lessen the effects of pollution, and improve fisheries and agricultural practices towards the improvement of water quality.

Caspian Sea Conservation: A Regional Approach

The first contact from the World Aquarium and the World Ocean Network (WON) was established in 2004. A European Seas Regional meeting was held in January 28-29, 2006 entitled, “Mobilizing Public and Stakeholders Toward Fisheries Sustainability” involving representatives from Russia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Iran.   A second regional  meeting was held November 6, 2007 in conjunction with Pacem in Maribus XXXII – 2007, Women, Youth and the Sea.  The theme was Marine Biodiversity/Food Security. In Russia, a meeting was convened at Astrakhan University entitled, “Survey on how the recommendation of Leadership seminar on Caspian Sea and its Deltas Region Sustainable development and regional security held in  27-30 May, Astrakhan, Russian Federation – has been implemented 27 – 28 August 2010.” A summative book regarding conservation of the Caspian Sea region is expected to be published. A positive outcome of these meetings is the establishment of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Site at the Caspian Sea, improved conservation practice and development of sustainability of the fisheries as well as an agreement with the oil companies for future environmental protection were amongst the additional precedents set.

Youth Voices

Young people making a difference in their communities through environmental actions towards a sustainable Earth.

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