The Blu Hope campaign came about because of the COVID-19 pandemic!
Following the exposé that the UK and other developed countries were illegally exporting plastic waste to Malaysia, the British High Commission – Kuala Lumpur (BHC-KL) took steps to have the British plastic waste repatriated and initiated its Green is GREAT Plastics campaign. The UK and Malaysian Governments have been working closely to help educate the public about plastic pollution and encourage business and industry to develop a plastic circular economy. Our first event was the joint hosting of the VVIP Malaysian Premiere of Blue Planet II and Green is GREAT Exhibition attended by HRHs Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Tengku Zatashah and Malaysian Minister of the Environment Yeo Bee Yin. The second event was the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance Showcase at the Commonwealth Observance Day in conjunction with the Royal Commonwealth Society. The third event was going to be a celebration of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s official birthday on World Oceans Day. However, the COVID-19 pandemic meant Queen’s Birthday Parties were cancelled and the idea was born to take the Green is GREAT Plastics campaign digital.
BHC-KL were very fortunate that we had already been working with various key partners that alongside Alison Collingridge, Head of Marketing and GREAT Campaign, have helped turn Blu Hope into a fast-evolving platform/movement creating truly deep and meaningful positive action on-the-ground, starting with SABAH PLASTIC NEUTRAL, which was officially launched on Commonwealth Day, 9th March.
SIMON CHRISTOPHER, Founder of Scubazoo and TimorBlue, originally conceived and has continued to grow Blu Hope from the beginning. Simon, a marine zoologist by background, is a storyteller who has produced countless underwater films in the Coral Triangle and is based in Sabah, Malaysia.
After running Scubazoo for 23 years (Scubazoo.tv), Simon set up TimorBlue in 2018 to fast track deep impact marine conservation dove-tailed with maximum global awareness about the Coral Triangle from Timor-Leste. Having originally introduced Mura’s ground-breaking Cat-HTR technology to Timor-Leste and Malaysia in 2019, Simon is excited about harnessing the true power of storytelling with Blu Hope to help drive much needed, pivotal transformational change throughout UNESCO’s Ocean Decade
Exactly one year on from Blu Hope’s original launch – after officially launching SABAH PLASTIC NEUTRAL with Sabah Gov, by fully aligning TIMOR-LESTE PLASTIC NEUTRAL & SABAH PLASTIC NEUTRAL, Blu Hope will launch their ambitious CORAL TRIANGLE PLASTIC NEUTRAL platform on World Ocean/Coral Triangle Day 2021, together with strong support from world-leading Norwegian waste-to-energy experts, VOW.
MONICA CHIN, Born and bred ‘ocean-loving Sabahan’, Monica has been diving/promoting Sabah’s unique marine biodiversity for 22 years. Since 2013, she has organised many community-based clean-ups, educational, awareness projects with local communities. She also owns two local social enterprise companies, plus set up Marine & Environmental Research, Education & Conservation Centre (ADRECC). A regular speaker at various Asia Dive Expos and Australia, Monica was awarded ‘Top 25 most influential Women Diver in Asia’ at ADEX Singapore, plus ‘Outstanding Contributor to Ocean Conservation & Environment’ at ADEX Beijing.
With her “Ocean is not our Garbage Bin – Be part of the Solution” mantra, via super-strong, multiple stakeholder partnerships and collaborations, Monica greatly looks forward to rolling out Blu Hope all across Sabah and beyond, throughout Coral Triangle across UNESCO Ocean Decade.
JO RUXTON, Founder and Director of Plastic Oceans UK and Co-Producer of ‘A Plastic Ocean’. Jo was the first to alert the world to the perils of plastic pollution in the ocean. It was Jo who convinced Sir David Attenborough to lobby the BBC to include plastic pollution in Blue Planet II. Plastic Oceans UK have developed a wealth of education resources to help raise awareness amongst the youth of the issues surrounding plastic pollution and to teach children to become plastic intelligent. Jo is a supporter of Mura Technology’s Cat-HTR™ and came to Kuala Lumpur in early March 2020 to support our CCOA Commonwealth Day Showcase and meet with the Malaysian Education Sector.
Jo has recently launched Ocean Generation and team-Blu Hope greatly look forward to an even ‘deeper’ collaboration with team-Ocean Generation alongside their CORAL TRIANGLE PLASTIC NEUTRAL platform later this year.
Just one year on, this core team have helped bring together strategic partners, media partners and celebrities to combine resources, knowledge, networks and expertise, turning what was originally an international campaign into a powerful new platform dead set on bringing about positive change throughout UNESCO Ocean Decade and beyond.
Blu Hope is being supported by many people including Sir David Attenborough, Dr Sylvia Earle, Paul Rose, the Foreign & Commonwealth network across South-East Asia, Australasia and Pacific Islands, as well as the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, COP26 and The Rt. Hon. Lord Zac Goldsmith, Minister of State for Pacific and the Environment.
We would like to thank everyone for their gracious support.