These were the themes of Protect Our Future’s latest video campaign which focused on preserving and highlighting Little Cayman as a true Mission Blue “Hope Spot.”
Hope Spots are regions of the world that are scientifically identified as critical to the health of the ocean and should be preserved for future generations.
One year ago, Little Cayman received the distinct honor of becoming a global “Hope Spot” because of the high abundance of threatened and endemic species found there. It is also one of the last remaining spawning sites for the endangered Nassau grouper. Additionally, sea turtles nest by the hundreds on Little Cayman’s beaches every year, and the coast is abundant with marine life, including seven species of sharks.
The students of Protect Our Future teamed up with members of Plastic Free Cayman, CCMI, and The Mangrove Rangers to focus on issues of plastic pollution, mangrove preservation and coral reef health. Led by National Geographic Youth Explorer Ben Somerville and OH-WAKE Magazine Editor Dejea Lyons, the Caymanian students’ high quality content will be highlighted on both local and international platforms including National Geographic, OH-WAKE Magazine and Mission Blue.
POF member, Amber Ebanks developed the slogan, “Listen to Little and Learn from Grand” to showcase the importance of the wisdom housed in our youth and elders; wisdom that is often lost or ignored. Parallel to this, the students encourage us all to learn from the mistakes of Grand Cayman as the health of our ecosystems decline and unsustainable development continues. Anyone who travels to Little Cayman can “listen to its nature” and understand the value of protecting one of our world’s last untouched paradises. As Caymanians, we are fortunate to have it, but many take the island for granted.
Current POF leaders, Chloe Bentick-Lalli, Thomas Dickens, and Nicholas Corin spent hours interviewing locals in Little Cayman, story boarding and editing video content in order to produce a high quality social media campaign that reminds us all of the importance of preserving Little Cayman’s natural beauty.
This is especially crucial as our islands face rapid and unchecked development projects, impeding climate change, and continued loss of biodiversity. This youth initiated campaign aims to not only raise awareness but to challenge our government to take the necessary steps to protect the natural habitats of our islands. POF was especially pleased to see the government make modifications to the CPA in order to create a more sustainable development plan. We would like to see similar steps towards sustainability in Cayman. This includes instituting a national plastic ban, more conservation efforts to protect the central mangrove wetlands, and more funding for reef preservation and research.
As much of the world continues to battle the loss of biodiversity, our campaign encourages our leaders to “open their eyes” to both what is happening and to what is possible.
“Our Actions Decide Our Future!”
***Note… all campaign videos can be seen via Instagram and Facebook and can be used by your media source including the attached photos: