PRESS RELEASE: Prince Willian unveils SeaForester as a finalist for the second annual Earthshot Prize Awards
November 4, 2022 — Today, Prince William and The Earthshot Prize revealed SeaForester as one of the 3 Finalists for the second inaugural Revive Our Oceans Earthshot for the restoration of seaweed forests.
Seaweed is a powerful tool for capturing carbon, absorbing more CO2 than trees. Once planted, these underwater forests reverse acidification, build up depleted fish stocks, boost marine biodiversity, improve water quality and – crucially – capture carbon. However, rising sea temperatures, pollution, coastal developments and other factors are decimating these underwater carbon sinks.
In the past 50 years, half of the earth’s kelp forests have disappeared from our coastlines. These once vast underwater jungles have been reduced to expanses of bare rock. Not only are they unable to store carbon, but the loss of seaweed has destroyed marine ecosystems and wiped out local fishing industries.
Luckily, this process is reversible. The team at SeaForester utilizes an ingenious solution: “green gravel”. Unlike trees, seaweed needs no soil or fertiliser. Seaweed spores are seeded onto small stones and scattered into the ocean. The stones latch on to the underlying reef, the seaweed grows and multiplies, spreading across the ocean floor. The seaweed forest returns.
Unlike past efforts to restore marine habitats, green gravel is cost-effective and easy to replicate at scale.
SeaForester will be in the running to receive a £1 million award at the second-annual Earthshot Prize awards ceremony. The Prize takes inspiration from President John F. Kennedy’s ‘Moonshot,’ which united millions of people around an organising goal to put man on the moon and catalysed the development of new technology in the 1960s.
Prince William said: “The innovators, leaders, and visionaries that make up our 2022 Earthshot Finalists prove there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future of our planet. They are directing their time, energy, and talent towards bold solutions with the power to not only solve our planet’s greatest environmental challenges, but to create healthier, more prosperous, and more sustainable communities for generations to come.
“I am so excited to celebrate these fifteen Finalists and see the five Winners of The Earthshot Prize announced in Boston – the hometown of President John F. Kennedy, who shared The Earthshot Prize’s belief that seemingly impossible goals are within reach if we only harness the limitless power of innovation, human ingenuity, and urgent optimism.”
SeaForester was launched in Portugal by Pål Bakken in 2016 to restore the forgotten forests in our ocean. Since then, SeaForester has tested the technique in Portugal and other countries. SeaForester’s goal is to begin reforesting much larger areas, with the aim to plant thousands of tonnes of seaweed by 2026. For rapid expansion and global reach, SeaForester offers mobile seaweed nurseries to coastal communities worldwide. These coastal regions will soon be able to take care of their underwater forests in their “blue front yard” in the same way they care for their trees on land. Our company hopes to attract more clients and partners to expand seaforestation worldwide.
Pål Bakken said, “We are honoured to be recognized by HRH Prince William as a Finalist for The Earthshot Prize. Reviving our oceans is one of the greatest challenges of our generation, and we believe that with the support of The Earthshot Prize we can accelerate and scale our efforts. Over the past half-century, half the world’s kelp forests have disappeared. This is a disaster for marine ecosystems, local fishing industries and the climate. Our solution aims to restore what has been destroyed. Reforesting our seas will help reverse ocean acidification, build up fish stocks and curtail climate change. Thank you to The Earthshot Prize, for recognising us as we replenish the world’s forgotten forests.”
In addition to their eligibility for the £1 million prize, all Finalists will receive tailored support and resources from The Earthshot Prize Global Alliance Members, an unprecedented network of private sector businesses around the world committed to helping scale innovative climate and environmental solutions and multiplying their impact.
The five Winners will be selected by The Earthshot Prize Council, a diverse team of influential individuals committed to using their platforms to champion inspiring leadership and elevate urgent efforts to repair and regenerate the planet. The Earthshot Prize Council Members include: HRH Prince William, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Cate Blanchett, Daniel Alves Da Silva, Sir David Attenborough, Ernest Gibson, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Jack Ma, Shakira Mebarak, Yao Ming, Luisa Neubauer, Indra Nooyi, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Naoko Yamazaki.
A truly global project, The Earthshot Prize convenes a diverse nominator coalition of more than 200 people and organisations around the world from every continent, a distinguished Expert Advisory Panel, and The Earthshot Prize Council comprising influential individuals committed to championing positive environmental action.
The fifteen Finalists were assessed by the Expert Advisory Panel of scientific, academic, and subject-matter leaders. Each of the Finalist’s solutions excelled in the rigorous screening process and were assessed on their potential to create game-changing impact around the world, and their ability to help us reach our Earthshot challenges while positively impacting people, communities, and the natural world.
For more information about The Earthshot Prize 2022 Finalists, please visit www.earthshotprize.org.
The Earthshot Prize awards ceremony will take place on Friday, December 2 at the MGM Music Hall in Boston. It will air around the world on BBC in the UK and PBS in the United States. The show will also be available globally on YouTube. It will premiere on Sunday, December 4.
SeaForester is an environmental impact company based in Portugal (Cascais) with the mission to “restore the forgotten forests in our ocean”. Since 2016, SeaForester put seaforestation on the global agenda and is now at the forefront of seaweed restoration initiatives worldwide. The SeaForester team consists of an international team of employees and advisors with broad experience from seaweed cultivation, seaweed restoration and business.
For more information about SeaForester, please visit www.seaforester.org
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About The Earthshot Prize:
The five Earthshot challenges are:
● Protect and Restore Nature;
● Clean Our Air;
● Revive Our Oceans;
● Build a Waste-free World; and
● Fix Our Climate.
The Prize aims to turn the current pessimism surrounding environmental issues into optimism, by championing inspiring leadership and helping to scale incredible cutting-edge solutions. More than a Prize, it works in partnership with a Global Alliance of Partners to support the scaling of the solutions discovered and selected each year.
New for 2022, The Earthshot Prize is launching its Fellowship Programme, in partnership with IDEO. The Fellowship is a unique accelerator designed to help Finalists grow their solutions by unlocking new routes to market, finance and major partnerships. Leading global design agency IDEO crafted the Fellowship to ensure all fifteen Finalists are aided to maximise their impact through ambitious collaborations with The Earthshot Prize Global Alliance of 45 businesses, NGOs and philanthropists.
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LinkedIn: @The Earthshot Prize