PADI AWARE Foundation’s Community Grant Programme, now entering its second year, has secured a new corporate sponsor. Skincare brand Medik8 is set to support four grassroots underwater conservation projects.
The programme is open to all PADI dive-centres, as well as local marine-conservation NGOs and charities working on budgets below US $1 million.
PADI AWARE says that in 2022 the programme dedicated nearly 25% of its public funds to empowering communities carrying out ocean-protection initiatives in support of the UN Decade of Science for Sustainable Development.
The initiatives fall into five categories: coral restoration, developing marine protected areas, eliminating marine debris, reducing climate-change effects and protecting extinction-threatened species such as sharks and turtles.
“Last year we launched the grant programme to directly support PADI members and NGOs driving meaningful conservation projects, often who have little or no funding support,” says the foundation’s global director Danna Moore.
“This year, due to the collaboration with Medik8, we can provide more resources directly to local communities that need them most. Medik8 is a like-minded organisation that shares our science-based, sustainability-driven and community-oriented values – and will be a strong partner committed to helping us create positive ocean change.”
The brand’s founder Elliot Isaacs is a PADI Master Scuba Diver. “We strongly believe that increased social investment will allow us to make a more significant mark on wider society,” says Medik8 head of sustainability Alexandra Florea. “Working with grassroots organisations who understand exactly what is needed on the ground will mean we can generate the greatest impact.
“We chose PADI as our long-term charitable partner because, like us, they put science at the heart of everything they do to bring about positive results.”
The first grant recipient also featured last year: Kosamare, which seeks to monitor and restore seagrass and install permanent eco-moorings in high-density areas in posidonia meadows in Kefalonia, Greece. The other three have yet to be announced. The next round of proposal submissions is on 4 April.