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Flow Communications helps save our oceans – do your bit by supporting MPA Day

There is a strong and necessary global call for the protection of more marine areas worldwide. Awareness is being created around South Africa’s marine protected areas (MPAs) by the MPA Day Alliance, which is gearing up to celebrate the inaugural MPA Day in Africa on 1 August 2021.

South Africa currently has 41 MPAs, which make up only five percent of our coastline. Studies have shown that MPAs have great positive impact, not only on the marine life found in these areas, but also on surrounding communities and the economy of the areas. MPAs are important, because they support adjacent fisheries, ensure healthy marine animals, help with job creation, provide resilience to climate change and contribute to research.

There are various levels of protection and not all MPAs are wholly protected. In many MPAs, resource use is allowed according to strict regulations, while in other areas no resource use is permitted.

The drive to protect more of our ocean ecosystem stems from the fact that humans are deeply dependent on the ocean for the healthy future of our planet. Without a balanced and healthy ecosystem within the marine environment, we cannot have a healthy ecosystem on land. This, of course, has a great impact on humans, as well as terrestrial animals and plants.

Flow Communications is one of the MPA Day Alliance partners that have volunteered their expertise and time, free of charge, to support this worthy initiative.

‘It’s a privilege to be contributing to this important cause as part of the MPA Alliance, along with our clients the South African Association for Marine Biological Research [SAAMBR], the Two Oceans Aquarium Trust and WildOceans,’ says Flow CEO Tara Turkington.

The other MPA Day Alliance partners include the Dyer Island Conservation Trust and Olivia Jones Communications. The MPA Day Alliance is planning a number of exciting activities leading up to and on the day.

‘Flow Communication has been a critical partner and support to the MPA Day Alliance. I’m a scientist and I knew that to make MPA Day work I had to call on competent people. Tara [Turkington] is my main go-to as a communications and marketing expert. She has been an incredible and steady guide and helped us improve what we do. We could not have put this all together without Flow,’ says SAAMBR conservation strategist Dr Judy Mann-Lang.

Flow is hosting and providing technical support for a live online tour of four of South Africa’s MPAs on Sunday 1 August on its virtual event platform.  The integrated communications company is also hosting two Twitter chats to create a buzz around MPA Day and is responsible for the MPA Day social media, including content development and community management of the MPA Day Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Flow has also provided media training for all the alliance spokespeople.

‘Our oceans owe Flow a huge depth of gratitude,’ says Mann-Lang. ‘The value of working with a team that has such passion and with which we have such good relationships can’t be underestimated.’

Here’s how you can participate:

Join the celebration of our natural and marine heritage by celebrating MPA Day on 1 August. It is easy to show your support. Join the initiatives organised by the MPA Day Alliance, or visit your closest MPA.

Connect with nature and enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the area. Do your part and tell others about the MPAs around South Africa, why they are important, and why we should look after them and work towards increasing the protected areas around our coast.

Join the online live tour

On MPA Day (1 August), a live webinar will be hosted from various areas around the coast. Starting at 2pm, this exciting event will take the form of a live-crossing to four South African MPAs: iSimangaliso Wetland Park MPA, uThukela MPA, De Hoop MPA, Dyer Island and Table Mountain MPA.

Join the webinar to learn more about each of the featured MPAs, their history, ecosystems, historical and traditional significance and the people who love, make use of and protect these areas.

This online event will be ideal for families to learn about coastal areas of South Africa where they might not have been before, or to revisit areas they already know and love. Register here: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_NUIo0MvOTcKJDHwB4C4awg

Get tweeting!

The first-ever MPA Day in Africa will end with an interactive and sociable Twitter chat, hosted by the members of the MPA Day Alliance.

The chat is scheduled to start at 7pm on 1 August and will see active and lively interactions between the alliance members, their followers and others who are interested in, and have a love for, marine protected areas.

Follow MPA Day on Twitter @MPAsSA1 and be ready to answer some fun questions and show everyone your interest in these areas.

Show off your photographic skills and win great prizes!

To get the “gees” going for the special day, a photographic competition gives photographers of all ages and skill levels the chance to not only show off their photography talent, but also to win some amazing prizes. Photos may be taken in any of the South African MPAs – because local is lekker. The submission deadline has been extended to 31 August 2021 and the winners will be announced on 1 September.

Find out how to enter here: https://www.saambr.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/MPA-Day-Photo-Competition-2021.pdf

For more information about marine protected areas in South Africa, visit: https://www.marineprotectedareas.org.za/

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