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Carbon-Neutral Pearls

Pearl growing oysters are sensitive creatures.  We refer to them as ‘canaries of the ocean’, because like the birds taken down mines in years gone by – they’re the first to falter it the environment changes.  They struggle if the water isn’t the right temperature or if it’s polluted and when oysters are unhealthy, they don’t grow good pearls.

Pearl farmers therefore go to great lengths to protect the water that their oysters grow in.  For example, it’s not unusual for a pearl farmer to buy the land surrounding their farm and leaving it to to run wild.  Thus ensuring that harmful materials don’t find their way into the water around the oysters from agricultural, industrial or residential development.

Pearl farmers also protect their oyster stock from cyanide and dynamite fishing which can be seen all too often in the waters near to where many saltwater pearls grow.  Cyanide fishing is the practise of emptying bags of the chemical into the sea which stuns the native tropical fish.  They’re then scooped out and put into tanks of clean water where they can recover and are sold to go into fish tanks.  Sadly, the remaining marine life doesn’t recover as the cyanide stays in the water, doing untold damage to the natural ecosystem.  Dynamite fishing is when sticks of dynamite are let off in the water to catch fish for consumption, this again has a catastrophic, long term impact on wildlife in the sea.

As you would expect, pearl farmers are keen to stop these activities from happening anywhere near their oyster stock – which contains their valuable pearls.  They therefore patrol their farms in boats to protect the oysters and the surrounding environment.

This protection of the environment creates beautiful oases of biodiversity around pearl farms. They act like sanctuaries, a place for wildlife to flourish and all this means that a positive side effect of pearl farming can be the sustainable protection of the natural world.

CarbonNeutral® Pearl Jewellery

Whilst pearl farming brings many environmental benefits, the oysters that grow our pearls are under threat from climate change, because rising sea temperatures threaten their survival

In 2009 we made the decision to communicate this incredible link between pearls and the environment – and do something about it.  Ever since, we’ve worked with Natural Capital Partners to offset the carbon footprint of our pearls, jewellery, and packaging by helping fund green energy projects around the world.  We’re the one and only CarbonNeutral® pearl jewellery brand and we love the way that every piece of jewellery we create helps to fund these wonderful projects.

Each year we vote on which carbon offsetting project we should support and below you’ll find a little more detail on a couple of recent choices – a hydroelectric facility in China and a deforestation protection project in Borneo.

Our World of Wonderful

When Jersey Pearl began in 1985, we set out to create a world of wonderful, where people can treasure life affirming experiences and beautiful jewellery.  In the years that followed, trips to countless pearl farms around the world have shown us how growing pearls is intrinsically linked to the environment.  And this introduction only scratches the surface of the issue, with micro-plastics affecting molluscs, eutrophication from Freshwater pearl fertilisation and rising sea levels threatening pearl farms in the Pacific.

We’re reaching out to the ever-growing list of people and companies who recognise the importance of all this and welcome anyone who wants to learn more or get involved, to reach out to us.

In them meantime, we’re committed to sharing what we learn and offering CarbonNeutral® pearl jewellery.  So that by wearing our pearls, you can help protect the wonderful world of pearl farming.

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Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve, Indonesia

This carbon neutral programme contributes to UN sustainable development goals in the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. This country has the largest number of threatened mammal species in the world, including the endangered Borneo Orangutan, making biodiversity conservation a key aim. With GPS-linked mobile phones, data is collected during field surveys for biodiversity monitoring. By minimising land use change, the project also helps prevent downstream flooding. It trains communities to make and sell inexpensive water filters so that clean drinking water is accessible to all. Community centres have also been established to supply news, radio communication facilities, libraries, and social and agricultural training programmes – affecting more than 2,000 households within the project area.

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Longwangtan Hydro Power Project, China

This project creates clean energy in the Guizhou Province in south west China, with the construction of a hydro power station to replace the traditional and unreliable fossil-fuel alternatives. The development of renewable energy supplies in China has local and global benefits. Most electricity in China is generated using coal, so this hydro power facility helps to directly reduce local atmospheric pollution. The reliability of this new power supply benefits local communities, bringing a better quality of life to people.