Save The Waves Coalition and the International Surfing Association (ISA) have announced an innovative, multilateral partnership to proactively designate and protect special surfing locations around the world through an internationally recognized surfing conservation initiative: the World Surfing Reserves program. To guarantee the protection of waves worldwide, local and national support is critical, and the ISA, through its affiliated National Governing Bodies, plays an essential role in reaching national and regional leaders where specific wave zones are situated.
“The ISA is very pleased to act as a catalyst in this new program,” says Fernando Aguerre, president of the International Surfing Association. “We’re not saving the waves for surfers, because we’re surfers. We’re protecting these special places as citizens of the world, because community surfing areas are not only an important part of the natural coastal environment, but they are increasingly an important part of local and national culture, and a vital element of local economies and socio-economical development.”
“To truly protect waves worldwide, local interests are of great importance,” says Dean LaTourrette, executive director of Save The Waves. “The ISA’s support is critical to reach regional leaders where wave zones are located, and without the grassroots support of local communities, we couldn’t move forward with the World Surfing Reserves program.”
Other key elements of the program include the creation of a World Wave Sites Fund to finance signage, research, and campaigns for the protection of waves, and pending partnerships and endorsements with the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), National Surfing Reserves (NSR) Australia, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Center, Global Heritage Fund (GHF), as well as other groups that will help support and implement the program worldwide.
To help launch the program, Save The Waves hosted the Value of Waves Roundtable on Friday, December 5th, in Half Moon Bay, California, to bring together thought leaders from various disciplines, to discuss the worldwide program management and implementation. The day’s events culminated with the inking of the partnership and endorsement of the World Surfing Reserves concept by the ISA and Save The Waves Coalition, signed by Aguerre and LaTourrette on behalf of their respective organizations.