We celebrate today, June 8, World Oceans Day!
In today’s celebration, allow me to humbly invite you, especially our young readers and followers to attend, participate and join us in the International Conference on Youth, Oceanband SDG14 happening on July 1 to 5, 2019 in Melaka, Malaysia.
The International Conference on Youth, Ocean and SDG14 is organized by the World Youth Foundation led by its chief operations officer, Varsha Ajmera, in collaboration with the International Youth Council. It is supported by the Young Environmental Forum, Asean Youth Engagement Summit, Asean Youth Organization, Malaysia Nature Society and One Young World. Asean is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
A follow-up to the International Workshop on Youth Action on Climate Change organized in May 2015, this year’s program would provide opportunity for our young people around the globe to discuss, find solutions, share best practices, and develop innovative projects on ocean issues pertaining to marine pollution, climate-change related impacts on the oceans, sustainable blue economy, coral reefs, fisheries, among others. It aims to discuss how our young people can play a role in contributing to ocean and marine conservation and take action to maintain the sustainability of the maritime environment.
The five-day event would provide an opportunity for young people to come together to gain valuable experience on how to broaden their ocean network, lead projects and campaigns, inspire their friends and community about ocean sustainability, and push their skills and ambitions to the next level.
The ocean is vital for life on our planet. It is our source of income, nutritious food, and supports the livelihood of billions. Economic assets dependent on a healthy ocean — tourism, fisheries, shipping and offshore energy — are estimated at $24 trillion, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Despite their immense importance, marine ecosystems face dangers that put marine biodiversity at risk: climate change, ocean warming, increased acidification, oxygen depletion, pollution, over fishing and illegal fishing.
In “The Future We Want,” the United Nations (UN) member-states stressed the importance of “the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and seas and of their resources for sustainable development, including through their contributions to poverty eradication, sustained economic growth, food security and creation of sustainable livelihoods and decent work, while at the same time protecting biodiversity and the marine environment and addressing the impacts of climate change.”
YOUth are needed
Since our young people are directly affected, therefore actively engaging them is not only important but extremely necessary if we want to successfully implement the Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs), especially Goal 14 — conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
Despite being the largest demographic in the world and the most at risk, the youth commonly have the smallest voice when it comes to engagement. Yet young people need to actively start driving change because the world we would all inherit is shaped by the actions and decisions of today.
The international conference proposes to hear from the youth how they are overcoming the challenges they face on issues pertaining to ocean conservation and preservation, and how they are sustaining and improving the health of our oceans, among others.
Objectives, methodology and outcomes
The objectives include:
1. To discuss pressing issues regarding the ocean that are in need of immediate action, to ensure protection and sustainable use of oceans, seas and related ecosystems, such as those reflected in SDG14: marine pollution, ecosystems, climate change, and ocean acidification, and fisheries, marine protected areas, and sustainable livelihoods related to ocean activities
2. To raise awareness of the youth towards SDG 14 and other inter-related SDGs
3. To identify and demonstrate potential roles of the youth on ocean conservation and preservation, and discuss how the youth could contribute to these efforts
4. To educate and encourage the youth on their responsibility to play their vital part in conserving the ocean and ensuring a sustainable future for all
5. To empower youth action through capacity building and offering opportunities for networking and cooperation
6. To determine how the youth can take grassroots action on the ground to reduce marine litter.
The sixth is a special focus with the participants to be requested to come up with an awareness campaign on marine litter.
The methodology includes presentations by local and international speakers on the importance, threats and challenges to the oceans; interactive sessions and interventions by the youth; capacity building training workshops; outreach program like beach clean-up; and wrap-up and summary on outcomes and key messages of the conference.
The international conference is expected to generate the following outputs and follow-up measures:
1. The youth would be educated on the importance of the ocean and gain exposure on issues relating to ocean conservation and preservation. The ultimate expected result is to embed in the youth lifelong values on how to play an active role in conserving the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
2. Youth sustainable commitment for the ocean would be drafted.
3. Developing a campaign on marine litter, so that once the youth return home, they can educate their local community about ocean threats and promote solutions to protect our troubled seas.
This campaign has the potential to inspire others in the community to amplify our collective voice for environmental change.
About World Youth Foundation
The World Youth Foundation (WYF) is a “Non-Government Organization (NGO) in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations” and an “NGO Associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information.” It is an international NGO launched in 1994 that aims to promote research, development and documentation of youth programs beneficial to youth worldwide.
Further, it seeks to create opportunities for the youth to get involved and grow, regardless of where they are in the world. WYF’s activities include engagement in dialogues, conferences, training, seminars, exchange programs, consultative and knowledge-based research. Our activities support our program in knowledge sharing, capacity building, civic engagement, educational and cultural exchanges, local outreach programs, among others.
For inquiries, check this link: https://wyf.org.my/faq-youth-ocean-sdg14/
For registration, check this link: https://wyf.org.my/registration-youth-ocean-sdg14/.