CEOs Assemble on Ocean Floor, Take Pledge to Protect Marine Life

Thiruvananthapuram: Chief executive officers (CEOs) of five IT firms, in a first-of-its-kind initiative, held an underwater conference at Kovalam here as part of spreading awareness against marine pollution and global warming. They huddled together on the ocean floor at a depth of around six metres in the Arabian Sea and took a pledge that they will do their best to protect marine life. The event was organised by Bond Safari Kovalam in association with Uday Samudra Leisure Beach Hotel and Spa, Kovalam.

Raja Gopaal Iyer, CEO, Udaya Samudra Group of Hotels; Hema Menon, Centre Head, UST Global, Thiruvananthapuram; Dinesh P Thampi, VP, TCS; Dr. Shyam Kumar, Neologix, Thiruvananthapuram and Rony Thomas, CEO, Avon Mobility Solutions, armed with scuba gear and other gadgets, plunged into the sea. The arrangements for the conference, including the chairs, were made on the seabed off the Groove Beach at Kovalam. The CEOs also released a logo as part of their ‘OceanLove’ campaign.

The event assumes much significance in the wake of a recent global report that termed seas near Mumbai, Kerala and Andaman and Nicobar Islands as the most polluted in the world. The database called Litterbase was compiled by researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Germany based on 1,237 scientific studies. It said most of the plastic and other debris in the sea originate from inland. Besides affecting marine biodiversity, pollution poses a big threat to the people who live close to the sea.

Jackson Peter, MD, Bond Safari, exuded confidence that the unique event will be an eye-opener for international and national policy makers on the increased risks and consequences of global warming and marine pollution. “Global warming, marine pollution and ocean acidification are global issues which need global solutions to address them. I believe #OceanLove initiative such as this will open eyes of international, national and regional policy makers when it comes to draft laws which are meant to protect the rich marine diversity we have,” he added.

“Sea pollution is rising at an alarming level. Our endeavour is to make the public aware of the dangers posed by littering especially the unscientific disposal of plastic,” said Raja Gopaal Iyer. “Formation of a club to be christened Beach and Marine Environment Protection Club (BMEPC) is the next step in the action plan. We will launch the Club officially on World Ocean Day on June 8. At least 40 hotels have joined the club. We will regularly clean beaches and river fronts to ensure that litter will not enter seas. We will also draw a code of conduct in this connection,” he said.