Seychelles president’s underwater speech: Protect our oceans

  • Seychelles President Danny Faure waves as he emerges from the ocean inside a submersible, off the coast of Seychelles on Sunday April 14, 2019. In a striking speech delivered from deep below the ocean's surface, the Seychelles president on Sunday made a global plea for stronger protection of the "beating blue heart of our planet." President Danny Faure's call for action, the first-ever live speech from an underwater submersible, came from one of the many island nations threatened by global warming.(AP Photo/Steve Barker) Steve Barker

  • In this Saturday, April 13, 2019, photo, Seychelles President Danny Faure, left, sits inside a submersible on the deck of vessel Ocean Zephyr, off the coast of Desroches, in the outer islands of Seychelles. Faure toured the vessel and was presented with some of the findings and observations made by a British-led science expedition documenting changes taking place beneath the waves that could affect billions of people in the surrounding region over the coming decades. (AP Photo/Steve Barker) Steve Barker

  • Seychelles President Danny Faure waves as returns from a submersible dive, off the coast of Seychelles on Sunday April 14, 2019. In a striking speech delivered from deep below the ocean's surface, the Seychelles president on Sunday made a global plea for stronger protection of the "beating blue heart of our planet." President Danny Faure's call for action, the first-ever live speech from an underwater submersible, came from one of the many island nations threatened by global warming.(AP Photo/Steve Barker) Steve Barker

  • Seychelles President Danny Faure speaks during an interview with the Associated Press, on the island of Desroches, Seychelles on Sunday April 14, 2019. In a striking speech delivered from deep below the ocean's surface, the Seychelles president on Sunday made a global plea for stronger protection of the "beating blue heart of our planet." President Danny Faure's call for action, the first-ever live speech from an underwater submersible, came from one of the many island nations threatened by global warming.(AP Photo/Steve Barker) Steve Barker

  • Seychelles President Danny Faure disembarks from a submersible, off the coast of Seychelles on Sunday April 14, 2019. In a striking speech delivered from deep below the ocean's surface, the Seychelles president on Sunday made a global plea for stronger protection of the "beating blue heart of our planet." President Danny Faure's call for action, the first-ever live speech from an underwater submersible, came from one of the many island nations threatened by global warming.(AP Photo/Steve Barker) Steve Barker

  • Seychelles President Danny Faure emerges from the ocean inside a submersible, off the coast of Seychelles on Sunday April 14, 2019. In a striking speech delivered from deep below the ocean's surface, the Seychelles president on Sunday made a global plea for stronger protection of the "beating blue heart of our planet." President Danny Faure's call for action, the first-ever live speech from an underwater submersible, came from one of the many island nations threatened by global warming.(AP Photo/Steve Barker) Steve Barker

  • An image taken from video issued by Nekton shows Seychelles President Danny Faure, left, smiling after speaking from inside a submersible from the vessel Ocean Zephyr, under the water off the coast of Desroches, in the outer islands of Seychelles Sunday April 14, 2019. Faure toured the vessel and was presented with some of the findings and observations made by a British-led science expedition documenting changes taking place beneath the waves that could affect billions of people in the surrounding region over the coming decades (Nekton via AP)

  • An image taken from video issued by Nekton shows Seychelles President Danny Faure, left, speaking from inside a submersible from the vessel Ocean Zephyr, under the water off the coast of Desroches, in the outer islands of Seychelles Sunday April 14, 2019. Faure toured the vessel and was presented with some of the findings and observations made by a British-led science expedition documenting changes taking place beneath the waves that could affect billions of people in the surrounding region over the coming decades (Nekton via AP)

  • In this Saturday, April 13, 2019, photo, Seychelles President Danny Faure, center, gets briefed on the details of submersible operations on the deck of vessel Ocean Zephyr, off the coast of Desroches, in the outer islands of Seychelles. Faure toured the vessel and was presented with some of the findings and observations made by a British-led science expedition documenting changes taking place beneath the waves that could affect billions of people in the surrounding region over the coming decades. (AP Photo/Steve Barker) Steve Barker

  • In this Saturday, April 13 2019, photo, Seychelles President Danny Faure, right, tours the vessel on which researchers from a British-led science expedition are currently exploring the waters of the vast island nation, off the coast of Desroches, in the outer islands of Seychelles. Faure toured the vessel and was presented with some of the findings and observations made so far by the research team. (AP Photo/Steve Barker) Steve Barker

  • In this Saturday, April 13, 2019, photo, Seychelles President Danny Faure smiles during an interview with the Associated Press, on board the vessel Ocean Zephyr off the coast of Desroches, in the outer islands of Seychelles. President Faure was visiting a British-led science expedition exploring the depths of the Indian Ocean where scientists documented changes taking place beneath the waves that could affect billions of people in the surrounding region over the coming decades. (AP Photo/Steve Barker) Steve Barker

  • In this Saturday, April 13, 2019, photo, Seychelles President Danny Faure, center, smiles for a photograph with two young Seychellois scientists on board the Ocean Zephyr, off the coast of Desroches, in the outer islands of Seychelles. President Faure was visiting a British-led science expedition exploring the depths of the Indian Ocean where scientists documented changes taking place beneath the waves that could affect billions of people in the surrounding region over the coming decades. (AP Photo/Steve Barker) Steve Barker

Associated Press
Published: 4/14/2019 8:15:11 PM

In a striking speech delivered from deep below the ocean’s surface, the Seychelles president on Sunday made a global plea for stronger protection of the “beating blue heart of our planet.”

President Danny Faure’s call for action, the first-ever live speech from an underwater submersible, came from one of the many island nations threatened by global warming.

He spoke during a visit to an ambitious British-led science expedition exploring the Indian Ocean depths. Oceans cover over two-thirds of the world’s surface but remain, for the most part, uncharted. We have better maps of Mars than we do of the ocean floor, Faure said.

“This issue is bigger than all of us, and we cannot wait for the next generation to solve it. We are running out of excuses to not take action, and running out of time,” the president said from a manned submersible 400 feet below the waves, on the seabed off the outer islands of the African nation.

Wearing a Seychelles T-shirt and shorts, the president told the Associated Press after his speech that the experience was “so, so cool. What biodiversity.” It made him more determined than ever to speak out for marine protection, he said. “We just need to do what needs to be done. The scientists have spoken.”

The oceans’ role in regulating climate and the threats they face are underestimated by many, even though as Faure pointed out they generate “half of the oxygen we breathe.” Scientific missions are crucial in taking stock of underwater ecosystems’ health.

Small island nations are among the most vulnerable to sea level rise caused by climate change, and some have found creative ways to express their concerns.

Land erosion, dying coral reefs and the increased frequency of extreme weather events threaten such countries’ existence.




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