ASB MAGAZINE: The 6th biennial Global Wave Conference held at the Gold Coast Campus, Southern Cross University in February 2020 has been awarded a STOKE certification for its sustainability management of the International Ocean Conservation event. Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve hosted Global Wave Conference 2020 for the first time in Australia on behalf of International partners Save the Waves, Surfrider Foundation, Wild Coast, Surfers Against Sewage, and the International Association of Surfing Researchers. Over 400 participants from 19 Countries attended with as many as 93 speakers presenting on a diverse range of topics.


This marks the first-ever STOKE Certified event to be awarded in Australia following seven previous STOKE events internationally.


“Our hats go off to Andrew, Megan, Nichelle Lyster, Larissa Rose, Greg Howell, Cameron Arnold, Nev Hyman and the whole GWC 2020 team for crafting a creative, collaborative, and sustainable space for the international surf conservation community.  We were blown away by the attention to detail in sourcing with vendors, zero waste practices, cultural heritage preservation, and support for the local community projects around the Gold Coast.


Many thanks to Sam Sproal of Refraction Sustainability for performing a thorough evaluation of the event and awarding the GWC with its second certification at the STOKE Sustainable level.” said Carl Kish, Co-Founder of STOKE.


GWC 2020 invested in the SeaTrees program, provided its own eco waste disposal, raised funds for the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and as a result of the Conference the Premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk offered to pursue legislation to protect surf breaks in World Surfing Reserve areas like the Gold Coast and Noosa.


“Needless to say, on behalf of the GWC Team, we are truly stoked to be awarded the STOKE certification. This a great honour for all involved.” said Andrew McKinnon Event Organiser, Chair of Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve and International member of the Vision Council for Save the Waves coalition.


GWC2020 has also been nominated in the annual Surfing Australia Hall of Fame National awards for the “Greater Good” category.


Established in 2013, STOKE (Sustainable Tourism and Outdoors Kit for Evaluation) is a California Social Purpose Corporation and the world’s first sustainability certification body with standards built specifically for surf and mountain tourism operators, destinations, and affiliated events. Through its network of independent evaluators, STOKE verifies the legitimacy of sustainability claims and provides transparency for the outdoor community through its certification programs.


STOKE’s mission is to inspire, educate, and empower consumers and organizations to transform the pursuit and purveyance of outdoor recreation and adventure tourism to support sustainable communities, cultures, and climate. STOKE achieves this by crafting and promoting sector-specific sustainability certification standards, resources, and storytelling.


GWC2020 was supported by TEQ (Tourism Events Qld), Destination Gold Coast, Qld Government Tourism, Sport & Environment, City of Gold Coast, Southern Cross University, Surfboard Warehouse, Griffith Uni, Robyn Walder, Surf Mud, Vissla, Glowing Green, Climate Wave.


For more on GWC2020