Branson was happy to discover that both Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, and his wife are avid supporters of conserving the oceans. The three set up an important meeting after the diving team returned from the Great Blue Hole. The respectable politician and his wife sat down with Branson, who explained exactly what he had found. He described and showed them all of the plastic waste sitting at the bottom of the vista and the dangers it held. What concerned Branson and the other two crew members was what would happen to the garbage if it wasn’t taken care of.
Branson explained that if the plastic doesn’t get cleaned up, there is a strong chance that it will spill into the rest of the ecosystem. If this much plastic waste begins traveling freely across Belize’s ocean, it could cause a massive death toll on its inhabitants. The Prime Minister and his wife were extremely supportive of Branson’s ideas and promised to work with him to solve this problem. They planned on making an announcement with their plans.
The True Threat Lurking Inside Oceans
While the expedition into the Great Blue Hole was meant to uncover mysteries of the ocean, it ended up being a reminder of our own faults and misbehavior. There were no giant mythical sea monsters at the bottom of the Great Blue Hole, only a reminder of how much pollution we cause as humans. Richard Branson, who was already an avid environmentalist, took this opportunity to pursue his mission with even more vigor and urgency.
The multi-billionaire business mogul had partnered with Ocean Unite, a conglomerate of conservationists from many different disciplines and professions. They had been actively promoting awareness of the importance of conserving our blue oceans. Mankind has wreaked havoc on these aquatic areas in the last century. A large percentage of the fish population has gone extinct during that time, while countless tons of non-degradable waste has been sent to the bottom of the ocean. It rots there and pollutes the waters, killing fish through suffocation and accidental trapping every second of the day.
Richard Branson’s Environmental Goal
Richard Branson has made it one of his life’s missions to help make at least 30% of earth’s oceans into protected areas. These protective statuses guarantee that fishing and polluting will be either highly regulated or practically non-existent. People who violate these laws are subject to heavy fines and even legal punishments. There is a strong movement towards conserving our oceans, and the fish population is already beginning to make a recovery.
Both Ocean Unite and Richard Branson predict that at least 30% of the world’s oceans will gain protected status by 2030. This coincides with many other ambitious global goals, such as completely annihilating poverty by the same date. Shortly before his journey into the Great Blue Hole, Branson sat down with Belize’s then-Prime Minister, Dean Barrow. In their meeting, the business mogul convinced him to turn at least 10% of this Central American country’s ocean area into a protected zone. Branson also convinced Barrow to ban gill nets, which cause substantial harm to the ocean’s inhabitants.
Living Life By Example
The British billionaire chose to make a large change in all of his airlines, which would undoubtedly affect the environment in a very positive way. He asked that all companies under his supervision pledge to stop using single-use plastics on their flights. Airlines generally use millions of these plastic products, as they serve hundreds of people multiple times per flight.
Branson claims that much of his motivation to help reduce global pollution comes from his grandkids. The thought of them having to live in a world without corals and many of the ocean’s inhabitants is very sad to him. This is why the billionaire works very hard to make sure that our future on this planet is a better one. The country of Belize has also taken major strides in the same direction, thanks to the crew’s visit to the Great Blue Hole. One of the biggest advancements they have made was a pledge to end the consumption of single-use plastics in 2019.
Branson’s Love of Planet Earth
Sociologists have found that the more money a country’s citizens make on average, the more environmentally aware they become. Most people in poor countries are busy surviving and feeding their children, which makes pollution and climate change a secondary priority for them. Someone like Branson has much to be grateful for and works hard to show it. The business mogul has recently started a campaign to dedicate an entire island in the Caribbean to help the endangered ring-tailed lemur species procreate and flourish there.
Branson has also led various other companies to be more environmentally friendly. He hosts an annual Special Award for Environment, which helps motivate the companies, and he is also a member of OceanElders, an organization that constitutes various influential people who are devoted to helping raise awareness for the environment. But what do these highly successful individuals do to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to helping end pollution and reduce climate change?