Global Vision International Charitable Trust

Working with local grassroots charities and NGOs in 20 countries across the globe, the Global Vision International (GVI) Charitable Trust manages and fund-raises for numerous long-term programs. These further the works of of our local partners and aim to alleviate poverty, illiteracy, environmental degradation and climate change through: education; nutrition; conservation and capacity building. Our work focuses upon 3 key objectives, Awareness of global issues, Direct impact upon those issues on a local and global basis, and Empowerment of our alumni, be them our community members, staff, volunteers, fundraisers or donors, to continue impacting on key global issues independently
Aug 14, 2012

Carbon Neutral in Curieuse

The Curieuse Island Expedition base is home to the GVI Seychelles Terrestrial Expedition. Curieuse Island and its surrounding waters are a national park and have remained free from development over the years. Home to a population of Giant Tortoises as well as the most extensive area of mangrove system remaining within the inner granitic islands, Curieuse is of significant biological importance. Along with neighboring Praslin Island it is the only place in the world where the Coco de Mer palm can be found. A slow growing palm which produces the largest nut in the world, the Coco de Mer can be found all over the island. Curieuse also has several important nesting beaches for Hawksbill and Green turtles. The endangered Hawksbill is a frequent visitor and during nesting season can be seen dragging itself up local beaches during daylight hours.

It is with a view to protecting this amazing biological diversity that GVI has established a Terrestrial programme on Curieuse Island. As the expedition base is located in such an ecologically sensitive area GVI is determined to minimize our impact on the environment as much as possible and has instigated a number of initiatives with this in mind.

This month has seen the installation of a new photovoltaic system at the GVI Curieuse Island base, the first step towards achieving our goal of becoming carbon neutral. The solar panels are already busy turning sunlight into valuable electricity reducing our need to rely on a generator for power. Other developments include the completion of our new water catchment system, allowing staff and volunteers to collect rainwater. This is of particular importance as fresh water is extremely limited on the island. The harvested water will be used for numerous purposes including watering the organic garden that is starting to take shape.

Over the following months GVI will continue to develop green initiatives on Curieuse Island. The long term goal is to become carbon neutral and minimize our impacts further so that GVICurieuse is viewed as a working example of a model research station.

If you would like further information on the research carried out by GVI Seychelles please visit the website http://www.gvi.co.uk/programs/wildlife-conservation-expedition-seychelles. 

Aug 10, 2012

Beach Clean!

Every week, Staff and volunteers in Pez Maya, Mexico clean two hundred meters of beach on the stretch of coastline we live by. Over the course of twelve weeks we clean a transect of about two km in length and the amount of rubbish that we collect is quite simply staggering.

The vast majority of this rubbish is plastic; unsurprising considering that it is estimated that about 90% of all rubbish in the oceans is plastic.

In 1950, when plastic became “mainstream” approximately 50 million tons were introduced into public circulation. In 2008, to sustain our disposable lifestyle approximately 245 million tons were produced, the majority of which could be found in products intended to be thrown away. It is worth remembering that plastic does not decompose and that the original 50 million tons produced in 1950, as well as every piece of plastic produced since, are still with us in one form or another. In the last ten years we have produced more plastic than we produced in the whole of the 20th century.

This plastic, for the most part, finds its way to the ocean where the pieces break down into smaller and smaller particles causing problems including but not limited to:

  • Death of the ingesting organism. Over 250 species have been observed to have ingested, or become entangled in, plastic.
  • Increase in plastic pollution has resulted in a corresponding increase in species invasion.
  • The UN estimates that the greatest threat to the world’s oceans, as identified by the Global Environment Facility is pollution from land-based sources.

Plastics absorb chemicals (most commonly POPs) from the surrounding water resulting in absorbed concentrations which are orders of magnitude above the levels in the surrounding water. If the plastics are washed up on the beach the chemicals are leached by the action of sun and rain allowing the chemicals to run back into the sea at elevated levels where they are directly introduced to coral reefs resulting in bleaching and high incidence of coral disease.

If the plastics are ingested by an organism the toxins collect in its tissue, not necessarily causing death but being passed up the food chain as each organism is preyed on in turn. Ingestion by humans of the contaminated flesh of these organisms has been linked to cancer, altered immune systems and developmental problems in children.

So back to where we started, Volunteers and Staff collecting plastic and other pollutants from the beach.

When we first began using the method from The Ocean Conservancy at the end of 2011 we collected, in 12 weeks from 2 km of beach, 580 kg of non-recyclable waste (including nearly 4000 plastic bottle caps), and 65kg that was recyclable- this was the first time that we had completed the new 2km transect and so we expected to take a lot of rubbish off the sand. At the start of 2012 in the first 12 weeks we collected approx. 450 kg of non-recyclable waste and again approx. another 10% that was recyclable. Then with the start of the storm season came the plastic…

After collating all of the data from the most recent transect, in the last twelve weeks we have collected 1113 kg of rubbish, over a tone. From a beach that had been completely cleared twice previously in the last 5 months.

This is not a local problem, this is happening on every beach in the world. Please, if you can’t get to a beach to clean up the rubbish, contribute by not creating the rubbish in the first place, think about the items that you are using, refill your plastic water bottles, try not to use plastic bags or other ‘disposable’ items and please, pass the message on.

Aug 10, 2012

Beach Clean!

Every week, Staff and volunteers in Pez Maya, Mexico clean two hundred meters of beach on the stretch of coastline we live by. Over the course of twelve weeks we clean a transect of about two km in length and the amount of rubbish that we collect is quite simply staggering.

The vast majority of this rubbish is plastic; unsurprising considering that it is estimated that about 90% of all rubbish in the oceans is plastic.

In 1950, when plastic became “mainstream” approximately 50 million tons were introduced into public circulation. In 2008, to sustain our disposable lifestyle approximately 245 million tons were produced, the majority of which could be found in products intended to be thrown away. It is worth remembering that plastic does not decompose and that the original 50 million tons produced in 1950, as well as every piece of plastic produced since, are still with us in one form or another. In the last ten years we have produced more plastic than we produced in the whole of the 20th century.

This plastic, for the most part, finds its way to the ocean where the pieces break down into smaller and smaller particles causing problems including but not limited to:

  • Death of the ingesting organism. Over 250 species have been observed to have ingested, or become entangled in, plastic.
  • Increase in plastic pollution has resulted in a corresponding increase in species invasion.
  • The UN estimates that the greatest threat to the world’s oceans, as identified by the Global Environment Facility is pollution from land-based sources.

Plastics absorb chemicals (most commonly POPs) from the surrounding water resulting in absorbed concentrations which are orders of magnitude above the levels in the surrounding water. If the plastics are washed up on the beach the chemicals are leached by the action of sun and rain allowing the chemicals to run back into the sea at elevated levels where they are directly introduced to coral reefs resulting in bleaching and high incidence of coral disease.

If the plastics are ingested by an organism the toxins collect in its tissue, not necessarily causing death but being passed up the food chain as each organism is preyed on in turn. Ingestion by humans of the contaminated flesh of these organisms has been linked to cancer, altered immune systems and developmental problems in children.

So back to where we started, Volunteers and Staff collecting plastic and other pollutants from the beach.

When we first began using the method from The Ocean Conservancy at the end of 2011 we collected, in 12 weeks from 2 km of beach, 580 kg of non-recyclable waste (including nearly 4000 plastic bottle caps), and 65kg that was recyclable- this was the first time that we had completed the new 2km transect and so we expected to take a lot of rubbish off the sand. At the start of 2012 in the first 12 weeks we collected approx. 450 kg of non-recyclable waste and again approx. another 10% that was recyclable. Then with the start of the storm season came the plastic…

After collating all of the data from the most recent transect, in the last twelve weeks we have collected 1113 kg of rubbish, over a tone. From a beach that had been completely cleared twice previously in the last 5 months.

This is not a local problem, this is happening on every beach in the world. Please, if you can’t get to a beach to clean up the rubbish, contribute by not creating the rubbish in the first place, think about the items that you are using, refill your plastic water bottles, try not to use plastic bags or other ‘disposable’ items and please, pass the message on.

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