We started our global kids eco-project ‘Message Me’ on the remote, tropical island of Arborek in Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia. Working with 70 kids (of 120 inhabitants!) on an island where there is no fresh water or electricity.
We are a married couple, both film-makers and photographers, from London & Rio de Janeiro who left our jobs in the UK in October 2015 to spend 1 year+ traveling the world across 20+ countries to make a film about our eco + social projects. Our enterprise is called Planet Hero! We are also traveling with a drone camera capturing aerial footage in every country we visit!
Life is very different on Arborek for kids compared to life in the Western world. Children here are not glued to TV screens, tablets or computer games; instead, Mother Nature is their baby sitter and playground! The project involves writing messages to put in plastic bottles that pollute the seas or wash up on the beach: to invite children internationally to participate and create a cross-cultural dialogue and eco-activism amongst children. We make a short film of each intervention including aerial and underwater footage. Plus the kids on Arborek photographed each other with their messages under the ocean!
More info: theplanethero.com
Don’t step on the coral because it will break
Raja Ampat is one of the world’s most remote locations and home to the highest concentration and diversity of marine life on Earth.
Please don’t throw trash in the sea
The oceans of Raja Ampat contain 80% of all the world’s coral species, 1350 species of fish, 6 of the world’s marine turtle species and 27 varieties of marine mammal. The migration of manta rays is also important here.
Recycle plastic bottles
“This staggering concentration of biodiversity is unparalleled anywhere in the world today. The reefs at Raja Ampat show remarkable resistance to global marine threats such as climate change, coral bleaching, and disease. Larvae produced here are swept across the oceans to replenish other reefs which support healthy ecosystems globally and sustainable subsistence fishing for poor local villagers. What happens in Raja Ampat will have a direct impact on the world’s marine ecosystem. It is vital we understand and protect it.” – Barefoot Conservation.
Don’t litter the sea or disturb the mantas
Messages such as ‘Don’t stand on the coral’ and ‘Do not disturb the mantas’ have been written by the Papuan girls to help raise awareness to man’s destruction of our eco-systems.
Don’t throw litter in the sea
The process of throwing the message in a bottle into the sea is reversed, through documentation of the messages via photos and video to spread the message via the internet and other means of communication: then sending the bottles for recycling.
Please don’t throw batteries in the sea
So far we have traveled from Moscow to Beijing on the Trans-Siberian train, lived with nomad families in Mongolia, traveled through Russia, Siberia, China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macau, The Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and West Papua.
Don’t eat turtles
We have worked with kids of all ages and abilities, including Special Needs in almost every country; teaching them photography, Art, English, and Film-making.
Don’t throw plastic in the sea
Our next stops will be Myanmar, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Africa where we will continue to develop and spread the kids’ Marine Messages!
Do not thow tin cans in the ocean
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