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Community and wildlife-based initiatives

Community and wildlife-based initiatives

We work with carefully selected and aligned charity partners who are dedicated to Ocean and Wildlife preservation and undertake regular local community initiatives in the places we operate in globally.

Community initiatives

The Travelopia Art Project lands in Cape Town: 
Rebuilding our community & creating awareness

At Sunsail we have taken the time to understand what is important to our customers, our partners and our people to ensure our approach to sustainability drives positive change in the right areas.

As a part of our local community initiatives, we wanted to support the Cape Town community, where we have a sales and support team office, with an initiative, that would provide mutual benefit and include the local people.

In Cape Town and throughout South Africa there are unfortunately many run-down areas and at-risk communities. Two of our pre-departure team members who are based in Cape Town were particularly interested in how they could work with one of their local communities to make a difference. A small art project caught their eye, this focused on beautifying a building within a township. Art has proven to have an empowering effect in these townships as a painted mural can be uplifting for the residents but also serve as a tourist attraction, generating income and fostering better communication between different groups of people.

Our team were excited to get involved in creating our own mural, something that was both educational and inspiring to the community. We settled on an ocean themed painting as the ocean connects us all and belongs to us all and therefore it is everyone’s responsibility to protect it. Our pre-departure team all contributed ideas that were incorporated in the final design. We worked with an incredible local artist called Ayo, who helped the team convert those ideas and designs into an image that would work on the wall.

We then worked with a local organization who coordinate many art projects of this nature across several townships in Cape Town to select a suitable location. With their help we presented our designs to an individual homeowner to ensure they were involved with the process and happy with the proposed design.

All that was left to do was to paint – with the help of our local artist of course.

In total, we had 10 volunteers from across the Travelopia brands working on the project, which turned into a fun team-building experience, as well as an amazing opportunity to work within the community. We had a team of around 20 local ladies with us across the week and were incredibly proud with the end results. May our ocean mural continue to put a smile on everyone’s face who passes by.

ocean promise
ocean promise
ocean promise

Charity Partners

Climate and Nature Partnership

Blue Marine Foundation

As part of our commitment to climate and nature action, we’ve joined our sister companies across the Travelopia Group to partner with Blue Marine Foundation. Our objective is to help conserve and restore the stunning coastlines and marine life habitats that enrich your time on the water. From the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, Kenya to Indonesia, these protected “blue carbon ecosystems” have the potential to remove and store thousands of tonnes of carbon every year. They will also help protect a rich diversity of coastal and underwater wildlife, including endangered species. 

To help, customers can add an optional donation per person to their next yacht charter booking. Donations go directly to Blue Marine Foundation and will be used to support all areas of their incredible work. No matter how big or small, all donations are valuable. Read More

Blue Marine Foundation
Credit: Liam McGuire | Ocean Image Bank

Belize community initiatives

Fragments of Hope

Belize is home to the second largest reef in the world, keen divers and snorkellers flock here annually to enjoy the incredible marine life and corals that occupy the reefs. Fragments of Hope are an NGO based in the Placencia Peninsular, Belize, that focuses on the protection, restoration and regeneration of the reefs incredible corals.

Fragments of Hope take the smallest scraps of coral and regrow these within their nurseries, once the coral is established, they are replanted in the ocean to help damaged reefs. Healthy corals will attract marine life and support the increase in fish populations which are all key components for a thriving reef.

Over the last 8 years we have been supporting this fantastic organization, providing them with access to our yachts to conduct research, to replant corals as needed and to simply observe the corals at night. August is what is known as spawning season and is crucial to ensure the creation of new coral, the team will often take a yacht and conduct night dives to observe this.

In recent years stony coral tissue disease has started to impact the reefs in Belize therefore the education of anyone visiting the reefs has become vital. This is a water born disease that spreads through contact therefore it is essential that guests understand what to look out for and take the correct precautions to ensure this doesn’t spread. All our advice is shared with our customers upon arrival at our Belize base through the educational literature provided by Fragments of Hope.

Coral
Placencia Sailing Club

Established in 2012, the Placencia Sailing Club works with the youth within their local communities to engage them in sailing, providing the training to allow individuals to develop the skills required to be a sailor.

When Placencia Sailing Club was first established we donated an Optimist dinghy to the organization and have been supporting them ever since. Annually we provide them with a committee yacht for officials during their competitions and have supporting them in delivering equipment to other parts of Belize. We have helped fundraise to purchase new equipment for the club including a Lazer dinghy. This is vital in ensuring children continue to be able to sail as they grow. Both the Optimist and Lazer dinghies the club use are Olympic boats therefore this training provides children with multiple options for adulthood in a country with limited opportunities. Many of the children who start sailing with Placencia aspire to become skippers of larger yachts like ours.

Poor and Famous

Unfortunately, some areas of Belize have challenges with crime, gangs and violence therefore it is essentially that children have initiatives that will take them away from the city and engage them in different activities. An organization that is based in Belize City is Poor and Famous, that focus on engaging young boys in playing football.

We are a supporter of the initiative and donate regularly to ensure the organization have the equipment and uniforms they need to be able to train and play in competitions.

Greece community initiatives

Ionian Dolphin Project   

Since 1991, the Ionian Dolphin Project aims to ensure the long-term viability of marine mammals living in coastal waters of the eastern Ionian Sea. Dolphins and Mediterranean monk seals inhabiting the coastal waters of Greece are facing significant threats. Some of them must deal with increasing human encroachment, while others have disappeared altogether from portions of their former range. 

The coastal waters of Greece still harbour a remarkable diversity of marine mammal fauna compared to other parts of the Mediterranean. Yet, such richness is decreasing due to the degradation of the marine environment and other human-driven impacts.  

The Ionian Dolphin Project conduct research and conservation activities aimed at identifying measures to slow down, halt, or reverse such trends. 

At Sunsail, we support them by various means, such as providing yachts for their research, reporting sightings, and educating our customers. In addition, we are working alongside this organisation, and the WWF to declare certain islands in the region marine protected areas.   

Learn more about the Ionian Dolphin Project here.  

Dolphins
Kosamare      

The Kefalonia Organisation for the Study and Awareness of the Marine Environment (Kosamare) was established as a social cooperative enterprise in 2018. They are a team of professional divers and biologists with a range of technical skills and experience and therefore have a unique ability to access and study the undersea environment. 

Their mission is to study, raise awareness, and protect the local marine ecosystem and endangered marine species. Some of their aims below: 

  • Carry out research and conservation projects related to the local marine environment, endangered and invasive species. 
  • Engage and inform the public by working with tourists, the population and local schools.  
  • Provide technical and logistical support to institutions working in the study and protection of marine species in the area. 
  • Their flagship project is the monitoring of the Mediterranean monk seal, a programme that allows a study of the local subpopulation. They intend this data to inform protective measures such as marine reserves that are supported through community engagement and run several programmes in collaboration with local, national, and international organisations. 

Kosamare offers educational talks to our Sunsail flotilla guests to increase awareness of initiatives and ways our customers can support them. 

Learn more Kosamare here.  

Sunsail Lefkas Flotilla
Greek Tourism Board  

Sunsail remains in discussion with the Greek Tourism Board around sustainability initiatives and how to move forward in this space via the use of government grants.  

As one of the initial steps, Sunsail is proud to have attended as a panellist for a showcase on ‘Sustainable Sailing in Greece’ held in December, 2023. The Greek National Tourism Organisation hosted a discussion with sailing companies to look at the increasing efforts to ensure the protection of the marine environment. The Sustainable Sailing in Greece initiative is powered by the Ioanian Environmental Foundation

We are proud to already have various initiatives in place through Our OCEAN Promise, and we look forward to building on these, as well as supporting what we can achieve as a collective in Greece, by continuing to focus on current and future efforts to make sailing in the amazing waters of Greece more sustainable. 

Learn more on Sustainable Sailing in Greece here.  

sustainable sailing greece event

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