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Leading oceanographer and Rolex testimonee Sylvia Earle is the president, co-chairman and founder of Mission Blue. Picture: SUPPLIED/ROLEX
Leading oceanographer and Rolex testimonee Sylvia Earle is the president, co-chairman and founder of Mission Blue. Picture: SUPPLIED/ROLEX

The Rolex Perpetual Planet initiative was launched in 2019, with the aim of supporting a vibrant and active network of individuals and organisations using science to understand and preserve earth’s sensitive ecosystems on land and in the water, to help make our planet perpetual.

Sylvia Earle is the president, co-chairman and founder of Mission Blue, an environmental protection initiative targeting the world’s oceans, and supported by Rolex. Earle has been a Rolex testimonee since 1982.

Sylvia Earle on Caladesi Island in the Florida Gulf Coast Hope Spot near Dunedin where she grew up and fell in love with the ocean. Picture: SUPPLIED/ROLEX
Sylvia Earle on Caladesi Island in the Florida Gulf Coast Hope Spot near Dunedin where she grew up and fell in love with the ocean. Picture: SUPPLIED/ROLEX

Sylvia Earle started Mission Blue in 2009 and has spent the majority of her career underwater, developing a deep and profound respect for the animals and plants that call the ocean home.

This environmental-protection pioneer wears many hats on a daily basis. She is an explorer, author, scientist, teacher and oceanographer, and is a long-standing Rolex testimonee. Perhaps more than anyone else, Earle understands that the future of humanity depends on the health of our ocean ecosystems, and that it’s never been more important to protect the sea.

Across the globe, a network of scientists are building on my life’s mission to save the ocean
Sylvia Earle, president, co-chairman and founder of Mission Blue

With the support of the Rolex Perpetual Planet initiative, Earle and the league of scientists working under the Mission Blue banner are aiming to set our oceans on a course of healing. Their undertaking is to contribute to the global goal of protecting 30% of the oceans by 2030.

The establishment of Hope Spots is one of the ways that Mission Blue plans to meet this ambitious target.

Hope Spots are marine protected areas (MPAs) that play a critical role in the survival of certain ocean species, and which local communities depend on to thrive. Mission Blue is working to create a network of these Hope Spots all over the world.

Sylvia Earle, founder of Mission Blue, during an expedition to a Hope Spot at Cabo Pulmo, Los Xabos, Mexico, in 2017. Picture: SUPPLIED/ROLEX
Sylvia Earle, founder of Mission Blue, during an expedition to a Hope Spot at Cabo Pulmo, Los Xabos, Mexico, in 2017. Picture: SUPPLIED/ROLEX

Earle understands that it is only with the involvement of these communities and through education that we can hope to build sustainable solutions to environmental threats. The Rolex Perpetual Planet initiative and Mission Blue also highlight the work done by local champions to further study, explore, understand and better protect these areas.

With the support of Rolex’s Perpetual Planet initiative, the number of Hope Spots in the world’s oceans has ballooned from 50 in 2014 to over 140 today. And many more are still being nominated. It’s a story of passion and commitment that is still being written.

“It’s really about developing a network of people who are inspired to make a difference through their actions, and to inspire others to do the same,” says Earle.

Navigate to Rolex.org to discover more and to watch the Rolex 'Heroes of the Oceans' documentary. #PerpetualPlanet #MissionBlue 

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