Blue Pledge to save our ocean
By Vishaal Kumar
RENOWNED Fiji Company J Hunter Pearls is one of the three pearl farming companies globally to be part of "The Blue Pledge Foundation".
The company’s owner, Justin Hunter, revealed this initiative during the three-day SPC Workshop on the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 in Nouméa, New Caledonia last week.
Mr Hunter said the foundation was a private sector initiative based on a partnership finance model focused on the preservation of tropical marine ecosystems that support island and coastal communities who are dependent upon them.
"The Blue Pledge is a way the private sector can engage in the blue economy because pearl farming is inherently merged with a pristine environment and where ever you have pearl farms, we have marine protected areas (MPA's)," he said.
"The Blue Pledge is a way to start a foundation that is going to be a way to market our activities, what we do, why these products are good and why consumers should be buying them."
He said unlike other MPA's, they were creating a cleaner environment and merging conservation with economic returns and creating jobs.
He also added the Blue Pledge would be set in using block chain technology.
"If you buy Blue Pledge pearls, you will have identification to where you can scan the products, and this will tell you exactly where the farm was, who farmed it, what projects we are working on and where the money is going to," he said.
He said 10 per cent of the earnings from the sale of these Blue Pledge pearls would be given to the communities.
"It will go into addressing the most significant environmental issues like waste disposal and waste water treatment," he said.
"Our tropical reefs can only take so much. Nitrates and phosphates are probably the greatest threats to coastal communities. We want to address a cleaner system and clean up the inputs that are creating the conservation issues."
He said the other two pearl farms who are part of the foundation were Paspaley of Australia, Jewelmer of Philippines.
"All these companies are locally owned, get proportional returns back into their countries and invest in jobs and people," he said.
"We would love to have every pearl company in the world join us because we would be helping the market and fixing the industry."
He said the Blue Pledge Collection, couture and fine pearl jewellery collections would be launched by 20 international designers in 2019 with exhibitions in New York, London, Paris and Beijing.
Vishaal Kumar’s story has been developed as part of the Pacific Community Workshop on the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030. This was made possible through SPC’s Australian funded Climate and Ocean Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac). COSPPac works to help translate ocean science that is critical and relevant to the Pacific region to better inform evidence based decision making for our climate and oceans.