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Surfing for change in the Galápagos


In May 2022, the World Surf League (WSL) gathered surfers from around the world to their very first competition in the Galápagos. Sails of Change was proud to sponsor the event. It was an opportunity to shine the spotlight on the newly expanded marine reserve around the Galápagos, and Ecuador’s leadership in developing policies that preserve and value the ocean. Sails of Change hopes that the event will encourage action to extend marine protection in the Eastern Tropical Pacific seascape, and more areas around the world.

Highlighting the need to protect 30% of the world’s ocean by 2030 (30×30) is Sails of Change’s first campaign. The WSL’s community of surfers already have a deep appreciation of nature, its importance to their sport, and to theplanet. By taking to the surf in the unique marine environment of the Galápagos, with WSL sharing the experience across a range of media, the 30×30 message can reach a new audience.

This message is at the core of the actions carried out by Sails of Change, founded by Yann Guichard, Dona Bertarelli, and her children, who share a deep connection with the ocean.

Sporting performance and the preservation of nature is another pillar of Sails of Change. Surfers rely on the power of the ocean for their performance, so they are well placed to understand the interdependency of nature and their sport. They love the outdoors and being part of the blue ecosystem. Immersed in the ocean, day after day, surfers experience nature as their element.

They appreciate the biodiversity of the places they surf and, of course, want to ensure that it’s preserved. An excellent example of how nature can be protected is the recent extension in the Galápagos of existing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), with the creation the Hermandad Marine Reserve. By protecting migration routes for sharks, whales, sea turtles, manta rays, and many other species, the continuing health of the ocean and its biodiversity is ensured.

The surfers’ deep connection to blue ecosystems and passion for nature gives them power to speak out in support of protecting the ocean around the world.

Surfers pride themselves in their sense of community. They travel the world in search of new waves. Their sport and their passion for the ocean connects them to the knowledge of local surfers and the places they live. They support each other in finding the perfect waves. Developing surfing can be one part of creating sustainable tourism opportunities for communities. Blue economy tourism depends on ocean health, so it is in everyone’s interest to raise awareness and protect the ocean for the benefit of all.

Sails of Change supports partnerships with communities helping to build a sustainable future for themselves and their environment. The partnership on this event with the WSL and its community of sports and nature lovers can help further the goal to increase nature protection in the Galápagos and around the globe.

More to explore

Whether a sport takes place on land, water, indoors or outdoors, it generates an impact on its environment.
Outdoor sport is an activity that readily connects us with our natural environment.
How can we improve our running habits and reduce our impact on the environment?

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