Earth Hour founder Andy Ridley has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
Foundation Chair Alex de Waal welcomed Mr Ridley to the role in preparation for the global launch of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef in 2017.
“Andy is moving to Cairns after pioneering sustainability innovations across Europe through his position as CEO at Circle Economy in Amsterdam,” he said.
“His ground-breaking approach to sustainability and skills in engaging mass participation and action will be critical to the success of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, the global movement for people around the world to engage in positive action that preserves the Great Barrier Reef.
“As founder and CEO of Earth Hour, Andy engaged hundreds of millions of people in more than 7000 cities on every continent to participate in the ‘lights off hour’ and he delivered significant environmental outcomes beyond the hour in multiple countries around the world.
“His unique experience at Earth Hour and Circle Economy makes Andy the perfect person to take Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef to the world.
“He is adept at building extremely effective collaborations between industry sectors, non-profit organisations, the entertainment industry, government bodies and cities and making them act.”
Mr Ridley, an Australian who has long considered himself a Citizen of the Great Barrier Reef, said he loved the idea behind the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef movement.
“The Great Barrier Reef captures the imagination of people across our planet as it holds an iconic status around the world as one of the most complex natural systems on Earth.
“Our hope is that we can harness this passion and enrol the support and energy of millions of people in the protection of the Reef.
“We must do more than let the Great Barrier Reef be a victim of climate change.
“Our challenge will be to engage and combine the power of local and global communities in practical projects to make a significant difference and prove we all have a part to play in the future of, not just the Great Barrier Reef, but the very planet we all share.
“Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef will engage people across the globe in both the beauty and magnificence of, as well as the considerable threats to, the Great Barrier Reef and involve them in helping to deliver practical support in addressing these risks.”
Find out more about Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef and register your interest at citizensgbr.org