Part 2: Our Fight for One Planet, One Ocean, One Voice by Luciana, Alfredo, Shriya, and Cathy
Part 2: Our Fight for One Planet, One Ocean, One Voice by Luciana Verástegui, Alfredo Lorenzo Sablay, Shriya Mohanty, and Cathy Yitong Li
Ocean’s Voice gathering at COP26
Our ocean is connected by upstream sources and downstream waters, joining us with all life on Earth.
Furthering to our last article, we, as YOUNGO’s Ocean’s Voice Working Group, wish to share with you projects carried out by our dedicated regional teams throughout the year in the lead up to COP26.
Our America and the Caribbean team consists of passionate youth from North America, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, and South America. Given the number of people participating, we carried out four projects, including an educational project on ocean conservation by giving a voice to young people and experts to exchange views through Spotify.
Two sub-regional research were carried out alongside this dissemination and education tool. “Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Region Essay: Water Care” aims to engage members of the region in thinking more deeply about water use, to make young people aware of the effort involved for us to have easy access to drinking water in comparison with a large number of youth and children around the world who struggle to access clean water due to wars, abuses or social discrimination.
It was concluded that it is our task, as young people, to begin to become aware of the current scarcity and to guide those around us to take the lead in caring for the water.
The other research is our declaration - “Illegal Fishing and Overfishing: The Current Situation and Solutions from the Territories in Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil”, which aims to raise awareness from the public and governments of the most affected countries, and within the framework of the youth agenda at COP26. As such, we draw attention to illegal fishing and the overexploitation of fish and shellfish as this region has experienced increasing illegal fishing along its coastline in recent years, especially the destruction of marine biodiversity and the impact on national economies and activities carried out by artisanal fishermen and end customers
The Asia Pacific region raised the voices and stories of young people and their testimonies were shared on our social media, followed by talks given to our working group and on “Instagram Lives”. Our Africa and the Gulf of Guinea team carried out multiple beach cleanups in different communities together with other local organizations. In Mar Menor, we established a project to defense the lagoon Mar Menor of Cartagena in Spain. To this end, we conducted a position document, together with Spanish civil society organisations and lawyers of international standing, followed by a campaign.
The Blue Academy Participants
The Blue Academy (TBA) has been a stellar capacity building program for the Ocean’s Voice working group members and advocates. Envisioning an empowered working group of leaders and advocates for the ocean and sea, TBA is based on how the color blue conjures images of the ocean and at the same time represents dedication, wisdom, bravery, enthusiasm, and compassion - the qualities and values of young leader-advocates we need today. There is a need to establish the foundation as well as continuously enhance one’s skills, attributes, and values through learning by capacity-building to increase experience and resilience in saving and protecting our ocean.
In its first semester, The Blue Academy received 300 participants across 5 capacity-building training sessions held during the weekends in September. We are thankful to have partnered with the Movers Programme, Yestech IT Solutions, and more. The working group is in the works to host the 2nd semester in the coming year with more topics in ocean advocacy for all who wish to join, thus contributing to capacity building of our members and anyone enthusiastic about the global ocean crises and conservation efforts.
About the Authors
This article was written by Luciana Verástegui, Alfredo Lorenzo Sablay, Shriya Mohanty, and Cathy Yitong Li from YOUNGO’s Ocean’s Voice Working Group.
We welcome passionate youth volunteers and advocates to help with the final review of the document. Kindly email email@example.com for more information.