Asian Diver (English) - - Post Report - Text by Hast­ings For­man Im­ages by Un­der­wa­ter360

With a his­tory span­ning 22 years, ADEX is the big­gest and long­est-run­ning dive expo in Asia. En­dorsed by ma­jor or­gan­i­sa­tions such as DEMA (USA) and the Sin­ga­pore Tourism Board (STB), it is con­sid­ered to be one of the in­dus­try’s “mus­tat­tend” events. ADEX 2017, held from 7–9 April, lived up to that rep­u­ta­tion with a record-break­ing 60,296 vis­i­tors!

ADEX brings to­gether dis­tin­guished VIPs and speak­ers from across the globe, and pro­vides a plat­form for var­i­ous ex­hibitors such as dive op­er­a­tors, equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers, and na­tional tourism boards.

Ul­ti­mately, ADEX serves as a cre­ative plat­form for the div­ing com­mu­nity, giv­ing them a voice and pro­vid­ing a venue where they can meet, ex­change ideas, and be recog­nised for their achieve­ments.

In pre­vi­ous years, each show has been ded­i­cated to an iconic marine species, but the press­ing threats posed by our rapidly chang­ing cli­mate – in­clud­ing ris­ing sea levels, the run­away loss of bio­di­ver­sity, col­lapse of co­ral reef sys­tems and more – prompted Un­der­wa­ter360 to ded­i­cate ADEX 2017 to con­fronting cli­mate change.

The div­ing and wa­ter sports com­mu­ni­ties are the am­bas­sadors of our oceans – we see the dam­age that has been done first­hand. ADEX 2017 fea­tured nu­mer­ous talks from sci­en­tists and con­ser­va­tion­ists, de­signed to raise aware­ness about what we can do to help make pos­i­tive change.


The expo was kicked off by stir­ring pre­sen­ta­tions from world-renowned speak­ers lead­ing the charge against cli­mate change, such as Dr. Sylvia Earle (ADEX Guest of Hon­our In­ter­na­tional), Dr. Clive Wilkin­son (ADEX Key­note Speaker), and Mr. José Ramos-Horta (ADEX Guest of Hon­our Asia).

Fol­low­ing their in­spi­ra­tional mes­sages and calls to ac­tion, awards were pre­sented. The BlueGreen360 awards, in­tro­duced for the first time at ADEX, hon­ours busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als in the marine tourism in­dus­try – pi­o­neers who are ded­i­cated to in­spir­ing and cham­pi­oning sus­tain­able solutions in their day-to-day oper­a­tions. Three busi­nesses and one in­di­vid­ual were se­lected from more than a dozen nom­i­nees by marine con­ser­va­tion tech­ni­cal ex­perts from the Co­ral Tri­an­gle Cen­ter (CTC), United Na­tions En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­gramme, and Reef-World Foun­da­tion.

The Hae-Nyeo divers from Korea were also con­veyed a spe­cial award by the His­tor­i­cal Div­ing Society, fol­low­ing their place­ment on the UNESCO list­ing of In­tan­gi­ble Cul­tural Her­itage. In turn, Mr. Ha Jeong Min, Chair­man of the Korean Pub­lic Art Association, pre­sented John Thet with an award on be­half of the Hae-Nyeo in ap­pre­ci­a­tion of his ef­forts to pro­vide a plat­form for them at ADEX 2016. This was in­stru­men­tal in their UNESCO recog­ni­tion.

The day also saw the con­ven­ing of the Scuba360 Busi­ness Fo­rum, which pro­vides an un­prece­dented op­por­tu­nity to openly dis­cuss sus­tain­abil­ity within the div­ing in­dus­try. This year was no ex­cep­tion: Co-or­gan­ised by the Co­ral Tri­an­gle Cen­ter, all seg­ments of the div­ing in­dus­try gath­ered to dis­cuss the fu­ture re­silience of the div­ing busi­ness.

On the first day – and through­out ADEX – a mul­ti­tude of speak­ers de­liv­ered their pre­sen­ta­tions to ea­ger and at­ten­tive crowds. They ranged from un­der­wa­ter pho­tog­ra­phers, videog­ra­phers, con­ser­va­tion­ists, scuba divers, tek divers, free­d­ivers, trade speak­ers, kitesurfers – and even mer­maids, who per­formed for vis­i­tors!

There was also a fair share of en­ter­tain­ment, such as the Kids’ Zone led by Shark Guardian: With its “shark drone” bal­loons that peo­ple could race along the expo’s cor­ri­dors, this place was well vis­ited by peo­ple of all ages!

At the end of the day, there was time for peo­ple to kick their feet up. ADEX or­gan­ised a gala event – The Big Blue Evening – in cel­e­bra­tion of the launch of the ADEX Ocean17 Fes­ti­val (a series of fes­ti­val cel­e­bra­tions that took place in the week lead­ing up to ADEX, cov­er­ing films, im­ages, books, mu­sic, art and sci­ence).

The Big Blue Evening was em­ceed by Mr. Les­lie Leaney from the His­tor­i­cal Div­ing Society Asia. Speak­ers in­cluded A.G. Saño, who talked about how he uses art to raise aware­ness about cli­mate change, and Lau­rent Ballesta, who uses his amaz­ing im­ages of his ex­pe­di­tion to the Arc­tic to il­lus­trate the im­pact of cli­mate change in the most re­mote places. The evening ended with the pre­miere screen­ing (for the first time in Asia) of Dr. Sylvia Earle’s new­est work, Sea of Hope, as well as a lucky prize draw, which saw win­ners walk­ing away with amaz­ing prizes such as free dive trips!

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