The Great Barrier Reef is under threat, and WiTH Collective – part of Isobar Australia Group – has launched a social movement to protect it.
The ‘Unite for the Reef’ campaign will put vivid pops of colour into millions of social media feeds as a global network of individuals united to pledge support for the future of the Great Barrier Reef.
Spearheaded by Earth Hour founder Andy Ridley, the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef movement uses social media to mobilise people from around the globe to take simple, tangible actions to track their impact on the reef.
Initially, the site launched with six actions that range from saying no to straws to reusing coffee cups and replacing plastic with canvas, and collectively feed into a dashboard that shows the global impact of seemingly small, individual choices.
By signing up to citizengbr.org, individuals can claim their own colour of the reef and encourage friends, families, supporters and clients to do the same.
Ridley launched the movement this week, midway between a split coral spawning season, a powerful symbol of ongoing life and a reminder that it’s action – not apathy – that will secure the future of the Great Barrier Reef.
“Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef is inspired by the reef’s annual coral spawning event that sees billions of tiny gametes and spawn – colourful lifeforms – flying into action and working as one to ensure its survival,” he said.
“We need humanity to do the same.
“We are asking the world to unite as one – like the reef does – to protect one of the most beautiful natural assets the world has to offer.”
“As the reef bursts to life in all its beauty below the surface, we’re going to flood people’s social media feeds with it above the surface – renaming every colour of the reef after the citizens who pledge to protect it.”
Ridley said the movement was created to show that individual action does matter and that when scaled an action on one side of the planet can make a difference for the whole planet.
“The issues facing the planet can be perceived as far too big for any individual to make a difference,” he said.
“Citizens aims to show that small, local actions taken on a global scale can create real and meaningful change.
“While we initially start with six simple actions that citizens can join, the site will be opened up to allow citizens and organisations to initiate and add their own tangible actions all around the world.
“These are actions you can do wherever you are in the world.
“It’s a call to unite for the reef and demonstrates the power of our individual consumer and social choices, and recognises the importance of the choices made by communities, business and governments.”
Ridley said that while the Great Barrier Reef can still take your breath away, the pressures to its future are real and immediate.
“The future of the reef is in our hands. We are the generation that has the power to save the Great Barrier Reef. Now is the time to act,” he said.
Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef will also support real reef management and conservation projects along the 2,300 kilometre-stretch of Queensland’s coastline.
These include tackling outbreaks of coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish, protecting endangered loggerhead turtle habitat, and supporting graziers to decrease sediment runoff into reef catchments.
Through the Citizens platforms, people from around the world can follow, support, initiate and be inspired by these projects.
Developed and launched by WiTH Collective and Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, the campaign aligns with the agency’s mission: to transform brands, businesses & and people’s lives with the creative use of digital.
Dom Hind, co-founder and chief operating officer for WiTH Collective Linked by Isobar, said: “We’ve been doing lots of things to reduce the agency’s environmental footprint. It’s something I’ve become particularly passionate about.
“So, when Andy got in touch about Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef and spoke to us about their ambition of creating meaningful change for the Great Barrier Reef, we jumped at the chance.”