Protecting and conserving the oceans that delight and inspire us.
Oceans are vast and deep. They’re full of life and have a life of their own. We dive in them, explore in them, sail on them. We surf, paddle and fish their waters. We admire them, are in awe of them, and tell stories about them.
And now, we must help protect them.
Featured Guest Speakers
Delve deeper into the issues affecting the world’s oceans and ecosystems with on board presentations by guest lecturers from WWF. Get informed and take part in engaging discussions that will help you appreciate the destinations you visit on a more meaningful level and learn about how you can support WWF and their efforts on global oceans conservation.
Nilanga will be aboard Azamara Journey for the 15-Night Spices, Teas & Rubber Tress Voyage, November 24 to December 9, 2017.
Nilanga Jayasinghe is a Wildlife Conservation Program Officer with World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Her primary focus is on Asian species conservation, particularly elephants, rhinos, tigers and snow leopards. She also has expertise in human-wildlife conflict issues across Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the Arctic. She is part of WWF’s core team working on wildlife conservation and brings a unique global perspective gained from having worked on both terrestrial and marine issues.
Nilanga volunteered for Ewaso Lions, a lion conservation organization in northern Kenya that addresses human-carnivore conflict through research and community engagement. She has also worked on Okapi Conservation in the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program.
Nilanga started her professional career as a journalist, but found her true calling in biodiversity conservation. Originally from Sri Lanka, Nilanga now lives in the US and is thrilled that her work helps to save the world’s wild elephants, especially in her home region.
Potential Lecture Topics
Doubling Wild Tigers: 100 years ago, around 100,000 tigers roamed Asia. Today, as few as 3,890 exist in the wild. Join WWF’s Nilanga Jayasinghe and become immersed in the world of tigers, as she explains how this iconic, endangered predator faces unrelenting pressure from poaching, retaliatory killings and habitat loss, and is competing for space with a growing human population. Learn about what WWF and its partners are doing to help ensure a future for this majestic species.
Recovering Rhinos: Today, we hear many stories about how rhinos across the world are at risk. But there is hope – successful conservation efforts by WWF and our partners have enabled the recovery of greater one-horned (or Indian) rhino populations in Asia. Theirs is one of Asia’s great conservation success stories. Join WWF’s Nilanga Jayasinghe to learn about this success, what led to it, and what partners are doing to protect and grow greater one-horned rhino populations.
Plight of the Asian Elephant: Elephants are a captivating species, one of the first we learn about as children and one that continues to engage us throughout our lives. Despite the early connection to elephants most people have, this species continues to face pressures. And while much of the world remains concerned about the plight of African elephants, Asian elephants, which are far fewer in number than their African cousins and in far greater trouble, are silently disappearing. They are threatened by habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and poaching, among others. Join WWF’s Nilanga Jayasinghe to learn more about these threats and what’s being done to help protect these incredible, gentle giants.
Human-Wildlife Conflict: Human-wildlife conflict exists everywhere. Across the world, people are encountering wildlife more often as populations expand into wild spaces, and these interactions are often negative. And each conflict situation, with each species and each community, is unique, and there are so many underlying issues that feed into how it plays out. How do you find lasting solutions to something that's difficult to understand in the first place? Join WWF’s Nilanga Jayasinghe to learn about strategies that are being used around the world to help people coexist with wildlife, including in places like Sri Lanka.
WWF Rountable Discussion: Join fellow voyagers and WWF conservation expert Nilanga Jayasinghe for a lively roundtable discussion around tigers, elephants and rhinos (oh my!).Show more
Past WWF Speaker
Alex MacLennan, Editorial Director of World Wildlife Fund, serves as Editor in Chief of World Wildlife Magazine, leads WWF’s institutional publications program, oversees the digital content and social media teams, and helps guide WWF’s overall editorial priorities. He served in a similar capacity at Conservation International, where he delivered web, program and event content; served as speechwriter to the CEO; and provided content leadership for an institution-wide rebranding. Prior to that, he was lead writer on the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Creative Services team.
Alex holds an MFA in Creative Writing from American University as well as a BA in English Literature from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Potential Lecture Topics
Whale Sharks, Royal Caribbean, and WWF: stories of conservation from a seaside village inthe philippines — See the bay where whale sharks swim and meet a community that includes local families and governments, WWF, Royal Caribbean Ltd (Azamara’s parent company), and more—all of whom are working together to make better lives for local people while protecting the whale sharks and other wildlife that call Donsol home.
Senses and Storytelling 1 — After spending the day on an excursion, we’ll retreat to share favorite moments, identify key details, scan our memories,and complete a few writing prompts to help you capture and share your stories in the most compelling ways. On the excursion, keep your senses open and camera ready. Back on ship? Pen, pencil, paper, or electronic writing pad required!
Stories from the Heart of Southern Africa — In July, 2015, a team of WWF storytellers traveled to KAZA (the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area), a vast African landscape that includes parts of Angola, Botswana, Namibia,Zambia, and Zimbabwe. In this talk, journey with Alex through the heart of KAZA—a place where five countries meet, where elephants roam in massive herds, where tribal groups share ideas across national borders, and where the boundaries that once obstructed wildlife migrations are being systematically removed.
Senses and Storytelling 2 — After spending the day on an excursion, we’ll retreat to share favorite moments, identify key details, scan our memories, and complete a few writing prompts to help you capture and share your stories in the most compelling ways. On the excursion, keep your senses open and camera ready. Back on ship? Pen, pencil, paper, or electronic writing pad required!Show more
Kathleen M. Pessolano
Past WWF Speaker
Kathleen Pessolano is Director of the Destinations Program of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), the world’s leading standard setting body for sustainable development through travel and tourism.
GSTC standards–the GSTC Criteria for Industry and the GSTC Criteria for Destinations–help organizations conduct tourism responsibly to maximize local benefits and minimize negative impacts on destination communities. The GSTC’s Destinations Program provides capacity building resources, including Training and Sustainability Evaluations, for destinations to organize their tourism sector as a driver of sustainable and smart community development.
In addition to her work for GSTC, Kathleen consults for public and private sector clients at the intersection of tourism and economic development. She especially enjoys facilitating public-private sector partnerships to achieve shared value and positive development outcomes.
Kathleen previously served as an attorney for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP, and the Center for International Private Enterprise. Kathleen earned her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and her B.A. from Holy Cross. She is based in Washington, D.C.
Potential Lecture Topics
5 Tips for responsible travel — How can I travel with a lighter touch that helps, not hurts, destinations and communities? 5 tips to guide you on a more responsible trip, time after time.
Can tourism end poverty? — The travel and tourism industry creates 1 in 10 jobs in the global economy, and is widely hailed as a driver of economic opportunity. Find out how the global community is harnessing tourism to achieve sustainable development goals, particularly in impoverished communities.
Overcrowding the destinations we love — A record-breaking 1.2 billion tourists traveled internationally in 2015. And these numbers are only going up. But are we loving our favorite places, to death? A look at how destination and site managers are addressing the very real challenges of overcrowding and degradation.
The Truth Behind Greenwashing — “Sustainability” is all the rage these days. But what does “sustainability” really mean? How to spot greenwashing, and get to the truth behind sustainability claims in advertising.
Erin will be aboard Azamara Journey for the 14 Night Thailand & Vietnam Voyage, December 9-23, 2017.
Erin Simon, Deputy Director for Sustainability Research & Development at World Wildlife Fund (WWF-US), spends her days using scientific research to solve real-world problems. Erin leads a team that assesses and distils the latest knowledge on packaging, material science, and efficiency technologies, and then works with companies to make changes throughout their supply chains. Her goal: finding and implementing Earth-friendly technologies that substitute or improve upon existing practices.
Prior to WWF, Erin spent a decade as a packaging engineer at Hewlett Packard, in a series of leadership positions. Erin was responsible for the design and implementation of laser jet printer and media packaging. Her expertise is in systems thinking, material science, design innovation, procurement, manufacturing, logistical and point of purchase aspects of packaging. Erin transitioned to WWF to drive positive change across industries and help WWF lead that momentum in the packaging sector.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Packaging Engineering from Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI. Erin frequently speaks at events globally about the opportunities available to industry through sustainability.
Potential Lecture Topics
From your trash to the sea: Why is marine debris such an important issue? — Our oceans are filled with items that do not belong there. Huge amounts of consumer plastics, metals, rubber, paper, textile and other lost or discarded items enter the marine environment every day, making marine debris one of the most widespread pollution problems facing the world's ocean and waterways. Join WWF’s Erin Simon on an exploration of our oceans’ unwanted guests and how best we can protect these precious ecosystems.
Plastic wrap and the planet: What role does food packaging play in conservation — While recycling is important to reducing our impact, alone, it’s not enough. Despite well-intentioned efforts to preserve the planet, we are depleting the world’s natural resources at an alarming rate, threatening the health of our planet and global commerce. Join WWF’s Erin Simon for a presentation and discussion on the concept of packaging as a tool for preserving resources and helping provide access to safe food.
The power of partnerships — What do food, plastics and tourism have to do with conservation? As global populations increase, corporations are increasing their global resource use to meet demand -- this presents a big risk to a company’s bottom line and to the world’s ecosystems. Wwf works with many different types of businesses and industries, including royal caribbean to help reduce risk and increase sustainable sourcing, around the world. Join WWF’s Erin Simon for an overview of how wwf engages with big businesses to drive more sustainable practices in order to preserve the world’s precious resources.
WWF roundtable discussion — Join fellow voyagers and wwf conservation expert erin simon for a lively roundtable discussion around marine debris and waste management. How can all of us participate in solutions for complex global challenges? Did you learn something new that changes the way you think? What could be done better?
THE OCEAN. MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE.
Oceans are more than stunning vistas, beautiful coastlines, and incredible marine wildlife. From the food we eat to the air we breathe, oceans sustain life. Oceans cover 71% of our planet’s surface, make up 95% of all the space available to life, and produce 70% of our oxygen. Oceans absorb heat and re-distribute it around the world, dominate the world's weather systems, and regulate global climate.
Oceans are home to a vast array of incredible ocean species, such as sharks, turtles, whales and polar bears. From icy polar regions to warm tropical waters, oceans contain the greatest diversity of life on Earth.
Oceans support people as a source of food, culture, and history. One billion people rely on fish as an important part of their diet and more than 520 million base their livelihoods on fishing and fishing-related activities for income and food.
WORLD WILDLIFE FUND
For 50 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.4 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally.
WWF's unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.
CREATURES AND PLACES TO LOVE. AND PROTECT.
WWF works to protect key ocean species, work that influences and supports the survival of other species or offers the opportunity to conserve entire landscapes and marine areas.
Polar bears depend on sea ice to hunt seals, rest and breed. But because of the ongoing loss of sea ice habitat from climate change, polar bears are now a threatened species. Sea turtles suffer from poaching, over-exploitation, habitat destruction and accidental capture in fishing gear, and climate change has also an impact on turtle nesting sites. Oil and gas development, entanglement in fishing gear, and collisions with ships threaten gray whales.
WWF also works to conserve priority ecosystems such as the Coral Triangle in the western Pacific Ocean, the Galápagos off the coast of Ecuador, the Mesoamerican Reef region in the Caribbean Sea, and the Arctic Circle, which covers eight countries, including the United States.