16 November 2023 at 11:00 am
Auckland hosts Voice of The Oceans round the world expedition
New Zealand alumni David Schurmann was inspired by the ecological awareness of Kiwis to create international initiative combatting plastic pollution.
Just over two years after leaving Brazil on the sailboat KAT to sail around the world, the Voice of The Oceans (VOO) initiative arrived in Auckland, New Zealand, at the beginning of November.
One of the initiative's leaders, David Schurmann, is an alumni from New Zealand – he studied Cinema at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and at the South Seas Film & Television School in the 1990s. And since then, he was inspired by the ecological awareness of Kiwis. Throughout his career as a filmmaker, in addition to fiction films, David produced documentaries about the importance of preserving the environment.
VOO’s mission is to examine and record the environmental state of the oceans including plastic pollution so that this data can raise awareness and inform education, science, and innovation that improves the health of our oceans. It has the global support of the United Nations Environment Programme.
The VOO arrived in Auckland to mark the end of the first stage of their journey, after traveling for two years and visiting more than 100 destinations, recording the levels of plastic pollution they see as they go.
The arrival in Auckland featured the event “Brazil and New Zealand: Sustainability & Innovation” – guest panelists discussed how their businesses are innovating in the sustainable space. The event was organised by the Latin America New Zealand Business Council (LANZBC), the leading organisation focused on promoting business growth opportunities and collaborations in Latin America. Support for the event was provided by Education New Zealand Manapou ki te AO (ENZ), the Latin America Center of Asia Pacific Excellence (CAPES), and Viaduct Harbor Holdings (VHH).
Giuliana Silveira, CEO Latin America New Zealand Business Council (LANZBC) said that it was a privilege to work with Voice of the Oceans and these amazing NZ businesses to showcase what each of them is doing to innovate in the sustainability sector.
“We have to join forces to fight the climate crisis. We hope events, such as this, help to raise awareness and create a dialogue within the business and education communities to share our kaitiakitanga responsibilities," said Guiliana.
Part of the arrival programme, also included over 70 children from Stanley Bay Primary School joining an environmental afternoon with talks by the Voice of The Oceans crew about the importance of taking care of the marine environment.
“It's always a special moment to be back in New Zealand! We have a very close relationship with this country, which has been an important stop on all our major expeditions. My youngest sister Kat was born here, and I decided to stay in New Zealand during my families first expedition around the world, to study film making and start my career as a director”, said David Schurmann at the events in Auckland.
The VOO crew will spend the next few months in New Zealand to raise awareness about the state of Earth’s oceans before setting sail again to continue their trip around the world.
More information on VOO and their expedition can be found here - Voice of the Ocean - we turn people's attention to the ocean.