One World, One Ocean, One Mission

By Tracy L. Anderson
Earth Common Journal
2013, Vol. 3 No. 1 | pg. 1/2 |

Abstract

MacGillivray Freeman Films was founded over forty years ago by Greg MacGillivray and the late Jim Freeman. In 2011, the company launched “the world’s largest ocean media campaign, a 10-year global initiative called One World One Ocean” (MacGillivray Freeman Films, 2010, Our History, para. 10), an awareness and change campaign focusing on saving the world’s oceans. The mission of One World One Ocean (OWOO) is to use “the power of film, television, new media and education initiatives… to change the way people see and value the ocean — and motivate action to restore it” (OWOO, 2012, Mission, para. 4). One World One Ocean’s science advisors, including principal advisor Dr. Sylvia Earle, believe that “the ocean is at a tipping point…. our actions over the next 10 years will determine the state of the ocean for the next 10,000 years” (OWOO, 2013, Why the Ocean?, para. 3). The media types used in the organization’s campaign were chosen because MacGillivray Freeman Films wants to develop and expand on its film-industry successes. This article outlines the history of One World One Ocean and explores its mission, its history, its scientific basis, its current projects and initiatives, its successes to date, and its future goals. It explains why these media platforms were chosen to support the organization’s mission and explores the vital questions of why it is important for all of us that we save the world’s oceans and how this mammoth task can be tackled before it is too late. The purposes of this article are to inform readers about One World One Ocean and to inspire them to consider ways they can work to achieve the organization’s crucial goals.

Introduction

MacGillivray Freeman Films was founded over forty years ago by Greg MacGillivray and the late Jim Freeman. The award-winning film production company creates “giant screen” IMAX films and shows them in theatres around the world. In 2011, MacGillivray Freeman Films launched “the world’s largest ocean media campaign, a 10-year global initiative called One World One Ocean” (MacGillivray Freeman Films, 2010, Our History, para. 10), an awareness and change campaign that focuses on saving the world’s oceans.

Mission

The main mission of One World One Ocean (OWOO) is to use “the power of film, television, new media and education initiatives… to change the way people see and value the ocean — and motivate action to restore it” (OWOO, 2012, Mission, para. 4). One World One Ocean’s science advisors, including principal advisor Dr. Sylvia Earle, a renowned oceanographer, National Geographic explorer-in-residence, and former chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States, believe that “the ocean is at a tipping point…. our actions over the next 10 years will determine the state of the ocean for the next 10,000 years” (OWOO, 2013, Why the Ocean?, para. 3). Greg MacGillivray, co-founder of MacGillivray Freeman Films and chairman of the One World One Ocean Foundation (OWOOF), a public charity sharing the same goals as the campaign, describes the negative consequences of failing to act for the sake of our oceans. “If we don’t shake people up now... we’re not going to have the same magical oceans left in forty years” (OWOOF, 2013, Who We Are, para. 2).

The Science

Why did MacGillivray and Freeman choose to fight for the ocean? Because “the ocean is Earth’s life support” (OWOO, 2013, Why the Ocean?, para. 1). It is the source of 97% of our water and 50 to 70 % of our oxygen; it regulates the climate, absorbs carbon dioxide, and provides protein for more than a billion people (OWOO, 2013, Why the Ocean?, para. 1). Human beings are highly dependent on the ocean for our continuing existence; unfortunately, the ocean is in peril.

The problems facing the ocean are broad and varied. Populations of many large fish, such as tuna, halibut, and cod have been overfished and estimates are that “90% of the big fish are gone [and] the average size of the remaining big fish has been cut in half or less in the last 50 years” (OWOO, 2013, Why the Ocean?, para. 2). In addition, the ocean has about 405 dead zones which are “areas where there is little to no oxygen due to fertilizer run-off and nitrogen pollution” (OWOO, 2013, Why the Ocean?, para. 2). Fortunately, these dead zones are reversible if their causes can be reduced or eliminated. For example, “efforts by countries along the Rhine River to reduce sewage and industrial emissions have reduced nitrogen levels in the North Sea’s dead zone by upwards of 35 percent” (Scientific American, 2013, para. 4).

A third example of the peril the ocean faces relates to coral reefs. According to the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, estimates from 372 coral reef scientists and managers from 96 countries show that “the world has effectively lost 19% of the original area of coral reefs; 15% are seriously threatened with loss within the next 10–20 years; and 20% are under threat of loss in 20–40 years” (Wilkinson, 2008, p. 5). This problem, too, is reversible. World Resources Institute senior associate Lauretta Burke says, “Despite the dire situation for many reefs, there are reasons for hope. Reefs are resilient, and by reducing the local pressures on reefs [fishing, coastal development and pollution], we can help buy time to find solutions to global threats that can preserve reefs for future generations" (as cited in NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, 2011, New Analysis, para. 4).

A major issue related to many of the individual problems is that oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface, but less than 2% of oceans are protected in comparison with 12% of land that is protected (OWOO, 2013, Why the Ocean?, para. 2). If we don’t work to save the ocean, and we keep on the path we are on, “many popular seafood species will likely be wiped out within 40 years [and] we’re within a century — possibly even less — of a world where jellyfish are the only wild seafood option left” (OWOO, 2013, Why the Ocean?, para. 3). With these concerns in mind, One World One Ocean is tackling the problems through education and multi-media.

Media Choices

Many organizations advocate for the ocean such as The Blue Ocean Institute, the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition and the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science (Marine Bio, n.d., Global Marine Conservation) . One major difference about One World One Ocean is its focus on media to achieve its goals. Greg MacGillivray explains, “What makes our campaign unique from other ocean campaigns is our focus on using motion picture entertainment and compelling storytelling to drive major social change on behalf of the oceans” (OWOO, 2011).

The media types used in the One World One Ocean campaign were chosen in part because MacGillivray Freeman Films wants to develop and expand on its film-industry successes. “We will build our constituency by starting with the fan base we’ve built over the past 35 years with 36 giant-screen films at 250 IMAX theatres in 32 countries where we are the only documentary film company to have generated $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales” (MacGillivray Freeman Films, 2010, One World One Ocean Campaign, para. 2). Image Maximum, also called IMAX, is “a motion picture format with the capacity for greater size and clearer resolution than standard movie systems” (Tech- FAQ, 2012). Other current and future OWOO media projects include a theatrical documentary, several television series, online videos and three new ocean-themed IMAX films in 3D (OWOO, 2012, Press Release).

Image-based media such as documentary films have long been known to be effective tools of change. One major reason for this relates to language and literacy barriers, which films and other images remove (Video Volunteers, n.d., The Power of Media, para. 2). Someone who can’t read or who doesn’t speak English can still learn many things from visual imagery and be compelled to action. Bill Gentile, an independent journalist and American University professor explains why imagery is so effective. “You’ve got the images, which are the driving force; you’ve got natural sound… and you’ve [often] got narration” (as cited in US Dept. of State, 2013, How to Say It, para. 3). Liba Rubenstein, director of outreach for causes and politics for Tumblr adds, “Media is a profoundly powerful tool for connecting with people and guiding them up the ladder of engagement” (as cited in US Dept. of State, 2013, How to Spread It, para. 2). Shaun MacGillivray, Producer and Managing Director at MacGillivray Freeman Films, discusses the emotional value of media images to the OWOO campaign, “the goal… is to connect people emotionally to the ocean, so they feel a desire to protect it” (as cited in OWOO, 2011).

If a single picture is worth 1000 words, then the 1000 images in a film are worth at least a million words. MacGillivray Freeman Films’ own research shows that the films are making an impact. One example comes from telephone interviews conducted with viewers of Journey Into Amazing Caves one week after they saw the film (2010, Educational Impact, para. 4):

  • 93% discussed the film with someone on the day they saw it,
  • 50% discussed it within the following week,
  • 57% recommended it to others and
  • 40% said it affected their thoughts within the week.

The programs and initiatives of One World One Ocean focus substantially on films as tools for social change; however, the organization also strives to “extend the intellectual and social impact of our films [by designing] educational outreach programs that broaden the film-going experience [to] carry forward the themes and issues presented in each film” (MacGillivray Freeman Films, 2010, Our Mission, para. 2). These programs aim to reach as wide an audience as possible and to deepen and expand the message presented by the films. Some of these resources include teacher’s guides, family activity guides, a speaker series, traveling exhibits and companion books (MacGillivray Freeman Films, 2010, An Education Legacy).

Suggested Reading from Inquiries Journal

Overcoming the threats of the snow leopard with immediate action may be what will save this species from extinction. This report provides a brief overview both of the challenges faced by the snow leopard and the roles local people have taken in the decline and subsequent recovery of this apex predator. Panthera uncia... MORE»
Advertisement
The number of species becoming extinct has drawn a significant deal of attention from scientists and non-scientists alike. This research reviews recent literature citing evidence for the impact humans have had on our planet and how our biological systems are affected in both known species of flora and fauna as well as unknown species... MORE»
In today's globalized world, international cooperation and information sharing becomes increasingly important. This paper examines the criteria provided in the United State's Endangered Species Act, the European Union's Habitat Directive, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List. The interplay between these... MORE»
The activity of feral ungulates such as pigs, goats, and deer has resulted in extensive biodiversity loss in Hawaii. These animals were introduced by the Polynesians as domesticated livestock, and now play a destructive role in the local ecosystem. Ungulate populations have played a destructive role in the fragile ecosystems of Hawaiian Islands in a variety of ways. Grazing and rooting result in damage of ground cover and consumption of native plants... MORE»
Submit to Inquiries Journal, Get a Decision in 10-Days

Inquiries Journal provides undergraduate and graduate students around the world a platform for the wide dissemination of academic work over a range of core disciplines.

Representing the work of students from hundreds of institutions around the globe, Inquiries Journal's large database of academic articles is completely free. Learn more | Blog | Submit

Follow SP

Latest in Environmental Studies

2017, Vol. 9 No. 05
Is it possible to objectively define the Anthropocene? This essay argues that whether or not it is precisely definable as a geological epoch, its true value, as a concept grounded in futurity, lies within the social realm. The origins of the term... Read Article »
2013, Vol. 3 No. 1
Published by Clocks and Clouds
Postmaterialist values, those that emphasize higher-order human needs, have become widely accepted as the determining force behind environmentalism in the West. Little research has been dedicated to studying the importance of these values outside... Read Article »
2017, Vol. 9 No. 03
In Gallup’s 2016 environment poll, 64 percent of U.S. adults are now worried a “great deal” or “fair amount” about global warming, with a record 65 percent attributing warming primarily to human activities (1). These... Read Article »
2016, Vol. 6 No. 1
Despite all the information we have regarding climate change and the potential perils of continuing on our path of consumption, people are slow to make the necessary changes. Our tendency to live habitually and the dampening effect continuous negative... Read Article »
2016, Vol. 6 No. 1
Whenever a decision is made in a social, political, or economic context, it is implicitly grounded in an ethical outlook. But where do these outlooks come from? To investigate this query, I examine the basis for ethical decisions regarding technology... Read Article »
2016, Vol. 6 No. 1
In today's globalized world, international cooperation and information sharing becomes increasingly important. This paper examines the criteria provided in the United State's Endangered Species Act, the European Union's Habitat Directive, and the... Read Article »
2016, Vol. 6 No. 1
Climate change and the myriad of challenges that come with it are a reality the entire world must face. However, for Canadian province, Alberta, the stakes are especially high. Oil and gas mining made up 18.3% of Alberta's GDP in 2015 and therefore... Read Article »

What are you looking for?

FROM OUR BLOG

How to Use Regression Analysis Effectively
What is the Secret to Success?
Writing a Graduate School Personal Statement