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Jon Bowermaster

Turning Ideas Into Action at the Slow Life Symposium

The Slow Life Symposium brought together notable scientists, activists, philanthropists, and conservation leaders to lay out actionable plans for a sustainable future.

Sailing to Antarctica, Summer 2012

Drake Passage — Ever since sailing men first proved the world was not flat they have been cursing the weather conditions at Cape Horn and the Drake Passage that lies below, separating South America from Antarctica. Everyone from Sir Francis Drake, for whom the windy passage is named, to Captain Bligh, who fought into the…

“Wild Antarctica 3D” Begins Production

We are once again off for the Antarctic Peninsula, this time armed with 3D cameras. Production of “Wild Antarctica 3D” begins when we sail away from Ushuaia, Argentina, on New Year’s Day aboard the 74-foot sailboat “Pelagic Australis.” This new film, slated for museum and theatrical release in spring 2013, will focus on the big…

Sea Levels Rise in the Maldives, and Drinking Water Diminishes

Kunahadhoo Island — On a very hot, very typical, mid-morning in the Maldives, I walked the streets of this tiny island just north of the equator. Most of its 800 residents had gathered at the shoreline to greet visitors from a nearby island. While they focused on a first-of-a-kind beach cleanup along the rocky coast,…

Surfers and Ocean Conservationists Gather in Maldives

LAAMU, Maldives — A fast-moving rainstorm blew over the small atoll late in the afternoon, briefly cooling a typically humid day just 100 miles north of the equator. But within 20 minutes the sun was back, hot and bright, the air even thicker. Aaaaaah, paradise! I was desperate for some cooling off, having spent the…

Baa Atoll Marine Reserve in Maldives Expands

Laamu, Maldives — The recent four-day, ocean-focused conference—dubbed WaterWoMen by its sponsors, Six Senses Resorts and +H2O—was a first-of-a-kind blend of water sport activities and intellectual athleticism. In attendance were not just some of the world’s top water athletes (surfers, windsurfers, free divers, kite boarders) but also some of the planet’s more thoughtful thinkers on…

The Real Impacts of Climate Change, Maalhos, Maldives

Late on a Sunday afternoon, hardly a day of rest in this part of the world, the small island of Maalhos is quiet. The men, most of who go to sea each day to fish or work at one of six nearby tourist resorts, are absent. School is out for a week’s holiday so kids…

Edward Norton On Wastewater, Eco-Tourism and His Day Job

There was no b.s. in actor Edward Norton’s introduction of himself at the recent SLOWLIFE Symposium in the Maldives: “Films are now my sideline,” he said. “Waste is my business.” He admitted of course that what he referred to as his “day job” had provided him with the “storytelling skills” that aid him in his…

Daryl Hannah Dives Into Ocean Issues

Given her decades of success in the movie business, environmental activist and actress Daryl Hannah could be lounging on any beach in the world today, drinking rum punches, working on her tan or perfecting her mermaid’s kick. That she recently spent a week in the Maldives, much of it indoors participating in a pair of…

Richard Branson on Climate Change: ‘If We Don’t Change, Mother Nature Will Force Us To’

I’ve bumped into Richard Branson a couple times now, in vastly different settings. The first was in the high Arctic village of Clyde River, on assignment for National Geographic Adventure, where he’d come to join his son Sam for a weeklong dogsled expedition. He introduced himself with what he admitted was a weakish pinky-tap, blaming…

Warming Seas Continue to Plague Coral Reefs in Maldives

There are few places on the planet as remote as the Maldives. Landfall is a thousand miles away from much of the long string of 1,200 islands, most of which are little more than thin, uninhabited strips of sand. Diving into the heart of a Maldivian lagoon it is easy to imagine you are alone…

The “Green President” Worries About His Home, the World … and Re-election

The office of Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed, near the edge of the capitol island of Male’, sits less than six feet above sea level, one reason he, like many of his countrymen, is concerned about rising sea levels. During nearly three years in office Nasheed has shown a backbone far stronger than his small frame…

Maldives, Ground Zero for Climate Change Impacts

If there is a ground zero for observing the impacts of a changing global climate the Maldives are definitely a front-runner. It is a place many have heard of but few could easily pick out on a map. Comprised of twelve hundred islands and atolls, most pancake flat, the highest reaches no more than five…