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Seychelles president urges protection of oceans in underwater speech

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Seychelles President Danny Faure on Sunday issued a powerful plea for global conservation of our seas from 400 feet below the ocean’s surface.

In his speech, broadcast live from an underwater submersible on a British-led expedition of the Indian Ocean, Faure called on the world to better protect “the beating blue heart of our planet.”

“At this depth I can see not only the incredible beauty of our ocean, but the care that it urgently needs to stay this way,” Faure said from the watercraft located 124 meters (400 feet) below the sea.

“It is not just because I am from paradise [on] Earth that I have a special relationship with the sea — the sea has a special relationship with all of us. It keeps the planet alive, it keeps us alive, and it is clear to me that it is under threat like never before.”

Faure’s live underwater broadcast was the first of its kind in history, according to Associated Press. Seychelles, an Indian Ocean island nation located off the coast of East Africa, is home to a sizable collection of the world’s coral reefs and vulnerable animals such as the giant Aldabra tortoises, one of the largest species of tortoise on Earth. Small island nations are among the most vulnerable to rising sea levels caused by climate change.

“This issue is bigger than all of us, and we cannot wait for the next generation to solve it. We are running out of excuses to not take action, and running out of time,” Faure said.

At the UN Convention on Biological Diversity last year, officials announced that around 5.7% of the world’s oceans are currently protected, and pledges were made to grow the protected area to 10% by 2020. Still,experts are skeptical that goals can be met, unless global calls to action are heeded.

Watch Faure’s underwater speech below:

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