Chris Long is best known as the founder and organiser of Sport Aid and Run the World. Over a period of 3 years from 1986 to 1988 he raised over US$50m and caused governments to cancel US$150m of debt to poor African countries. He organised two global events – the first for the African famine victims of Ethiopia and Sudan and the second for UNICEF’s silent emergency. In total mobilising more than 50 million people in 110 countries and proving that both individually and collectively, ordinary people can affect the world in which we live.
Chris also founded earthdive following a dive trip to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsular in 2003. Working with marine scientists from all over the world and the United Nations Environment Programme – World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), he soon realised that climate change was having a significant impact on our planet and people lives. The amount of CO2 absorbed by the upper layer of the oceans was increasing by around two billion tons per year and our oceans could no longer process it. Fish stocks were being harvested well beyond sustainable limits and climate change was threatening rising sea levels, increased salinity and the loss of the beautiful coral reefs he had been so privileged to see.
So, earthdive was born. Chris designed the website – earthdive.com – to provide an online platform for divers to share their logbooks and observational data, so that overtime, we could see an ever-evolving snapshot of our ocean’s health.
UNEP executive director said at the time, “the conservation of marine biodiversity is a vital issue of our age. By collecting valuable scientific data, Earthdive’s citizen scientists will actually take part in a massive global effort to monitor and help conserve life on this planet.”
Very soon after, earthdive attracted citizen scientists in more than 100 countries.
Chris believes that the famine in Africa – where his journey first started – was probably caused in part or in total by climate change.
“It is the biggest single threat to mankind and we need to deal with it now! Not in 10 years or 20 years – but NOW!
He has an idea where billions of people can take their message to the policymakers at COP28 in Dubai and this time, demand real action now.
“It worked before and it can work again”
. . . and he really wants to do it . . .
Chris Long was honoured with an MBE in the King’s New Years Honours List