Deepen your commitment to ocean conservation by joining the Torchbearer Community taking action for people and planet.

In 2020 we saw a resurgence of marine life across the world’s oceans as a result of the global lockdowns created by the COVID-19 pandemic, giving us hope that that environmental protection can make a difference. The climate and environmental crisis was forced to take an understandable backseat to the pandemic and many plans were put on hold as global organizations canceled or rescheduled meetings designed to tackle these enormous challenges facing our planet. But despite these delays, threats to the ocean – and the urgency to address them – continues to increase. 

All global citizens can play a role in the movement to save the ocean. The time to act is NOW.

Fortunately, we can still take actions today that will turn the tide towards a brighter future for humanity and ocean. What we do in 2021 –and the decade ahead- is critical for the health of our global oceans and for the well-being of humankind.  The United Nations has proclaimed a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health and gather ocean stakeholders worldwide behind a common framework that will ensure ocean science can fully support countries in creating improved conditions for sustainable development of the Ocean.

PADI is committed to mobilizing and recruiting as many citizens as possible to protect and heal the ocean.

We cannot ignore that nature around the world is in a state of crisis. This crisis is as urgent a threat to the planet and to people as the climate crisis, and each challenge contributes to the other. In 2021 we all must work together at all levels of society to recapture the global momentum for what was to be the Year of the Ocean (2020) while the decade ahead needs to be about action and implementation. We can refuse to accept a world where turtles, fish and coral reefs vanish from our seas and instead, choose to bring forward a new era where everyone uses the ocean sustainably

The PADI Torchbearer Community is open to everyone who cares deeply about taking action to heal the planet and wants to forge a more sustainable relationship with nature and with the communities in which they live and travel.

To help in the global agenda to protect biodiversity and restore ocean health, PADI organized the Torchbearer Community in 2020. As the deterioration of ocean and coral health has reached unprecedented rates over recent years, we felt compelled to prioritize conservation across the business, rewriting our mission and vision statements to reflect a deeper commitment to protect the underwater world we love and depend on for survival. We have a unique opportunity to mobilize millions of divers and other ocean enthusiasts around the world to stand up for the ocean, serving as a force for good and catalyst for change for the ocean and our dive communities around the world. 

“It is our time to define ourselves as good ancestors now, to define our legacy as both explorers and stewards of the Ocean and her health.”

– Drew Richardson, PADI President and CEO

Every PADI Torchbearer is another ally for the ocean. The larger the community, the more capacity for impact. The Torchbearer 5 community manifesto unites us in our approach and guides our actions now and in the days to come, ensuring our individual contributions play into a wider movement towards a healthier future for people and planet. PADI is forging partnerships with leading and influential organizations such as The Ocean Foundation, WSL PURE, We Are One Ocean, Mission Blue and Reef World to ensure that we are mobilizing our community the most effective way possible.

The PADI Torchbearer community has the power to influence policymakers and governments around the world.

Throughout 2021, we will continue to rally for support of the We Are One Ocean 30×30 Petition, calling on world leaders to protect 30 percent of our shared, global ocean by 2030. In February, we will ask for every Torchbearer to participate in the Great Barrier Reef Census, the world-first citizen science effort to survey the Great Barrier Reef. We will also continue to work along-side our primary partner in conservation, Project AWARE, to enlist Torchbearers to help save the Short-Fin Atlantic Mako Shark and to continue to grow Dive Against Debris, PADI’s flagship underwater citizen-science program with the power to influence waste management policies around the world.

2021 will present more opportunities to take actions that heal and protect the ocean.

  • Coming World’s Oceans Day, June 8th: PADI will be launching an updated and more interactive experience on the PADI Website helping connect divers and ocean enthusiasts with ways to stand up for the ocean.
  • The expanded Conservation Portal on will highlight the PADI’s conservation courses and programs and share stories from the Torchbearer community and how they are healing the ocean and our dive communities around the world. 
  • Through a new tool on the PADI website, visitors will be able to find conservation courses, events and activities at PADI Dive Centers and Resorts around the world. 
  • Strengthened PADI and Project AWARE partnership that supports more conservation programs and opportunities for divers to engage in citizen science.
  • There will be new tools for the PADI Torchbearer Community to monitor and track their conservation impact

Be part of the Decade of the Ocean by becoming a PADI Torchbearer.

2021 is a critical year for recapturing the momentum we need to energize us for the decade ahead. As this pandemic has proved, we are as irrevocably dependent on one another as we are on nature, and to truly thrive, we must do so together.

Written by Katie Thompson, PADI Global Director, Corporate Social Responsibility

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