International Visitors Leadership Program Alumni,
Ambassador Kenneth Howery,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I feel very grateful and honored to be among you as there is an extraordinary amount of goodwill, talent and intelligence in this room.
My FULBRIGHT experience in the US strengthened my understanding of the benefits, beauty and importance of international bridge building and reconciliation.
As a musician I have experienced this kind of bridge building where music is a
platform where people from all walks of life can meet and affirm our common humanity regardless of our differences of opinion.
Music can also be a positive social force for promoting democracy and conservation.
As artistic director of Coral Guardians in collaboration with scientists at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and communications experts at Albaeco, we combine music and science to raise awareness about the world’s coral reefs and what is needed to safeguard them for future generations.
Coral reefs are the Rainforests of the sea, covering less than a tenth of a percent of the oceans it is home to about 25% of all marine species.
It is an astounding concentration of biodiversity.
Worldwide, more than 500 million people depend on coral reefs for food, income and coastal protection.
Coral Reefs are also a treasure of potential medicines yet to be discovered
and a model for how to build our cities as they recycle everything.
Sadly, we have already lost half of the Coral Reefs and with 2 degrees rise in temperature we risk losing 99%.
For most people including myself, it is abstract and hard to comprehend why a couple of degrees can be so destructive.
It wasn ́t until I learned that the oceans absorb 90% of our excess heat causing the water to be too warm for corals to survive.
Surely there have been many variations of temperature in the history of our planet, but now they are happening too fast for the corals to adapt.
Coral reefs have been around for hundreds of millions of years and we risk destroying them in a human lifetime.
In order to celebrate what we still have, I and many others have pursued
underwater photography of coral reefs. So let´s have a look.
I wrote this music inspired by a Marine Sanctuary in the Philippines where
20 years ago I was a volunteer diver counting corals.
This marine sanctuary is now an educational center for schoolchildren
and it has been awarded as best managed reef in the Philippines.
The music is conceived as a solemn procession of endangered species.
It is called Danjugan Sanctuary.
MUSIC & CORAL REEF PHOTOS
In order to preserve and protect this Life supporting Ecosystem and World Heritage for future generations,
we must hold our elected leaders accountable and responsible to navigate towards a more sustainable future.
If we do not stop the destruction of the Natural World, nothing else matters.
THE EYES OF ALL FUTURE GENERATIONS ARE ON US