Eurocean’s Youth Ambassadors step up to save the ocean

Eurocean’s Youth Ambassadors
Eurocean’s Youth Ambassadors offered recommendations to the French Minister of the Sea. Photo: Unsplash

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“The way we consume is one of the reasons why sea levels and temperatures rise. Therefore we should change our consumption. If we are well educated and we work together we can find solutions”, stated Jessica Antonisse from the Netherlands during a press conference from Eurocean’s Youth Ambassadors. In this program 106 young people are stepping up to save our oceans. After months of hard work they offered their recommendations to policy makers during the One Ocean Summit that took place from 9-11 February in Brest in France.

Last week France was hosting the One Ocean Summit. Heads of state and government representatives from all over the world came to Brest to discuss the crises affecting our oceans. As global temperatures rise and ocean plastics multiply, delegates were looking for solutions varying from anti-pollution measures to improved governance, in an effort to better protect our oceans and marine ecosystems. On the 9th of February, a delegation of 15 young ambassadors of the Eurocean’s Youth program, presented their recommendations to the French Minister of the Sea Annick Girardin in La Rochelle. The young ambassadors call for the implementation of an EU-wide Maritime Surveillance and Enforcement Programme. They also plea for investment in upskilling and reskilling people from disappearing sectors to emerging sustainable jobs.

Change is needed

According to Jessica Antonisse many aspects have impact on the ocean. “That is why we want to change transportation, packaging and improve European regulations. We also want to work with institutions because that will have a greater impact. By working on different levels we can solve several problems at the same time.” Ambassador Tiago da Cruz from Portugal added: “We believe that the next generation of experts and academics should be people dedicated to a technological and scientific approach.”

Recommendations

The recommendations of the ambassadors further focused on management, monitoring and technology. Implementation of an EU-wide Maritime Surveillance and Enforcement Programme, investment in upskilling and reskilling people from disappearing sectors to emerging sustainable jobs, creation of a Marine Erasmus program, and European platforms to advance ocean literacy were some of the first recommendations they began with. Followed up with improvements in the monitoring of water quality in the EU port, stricter implementations of dredging rules with an ambition for a dredging ban in the future to EU subsidies for training in autonomous vessels technology. 

Eurocean’s Youth 

The Eurocean’s Youth Ambassadors program is consisting of 106 young people between the age of 20 to 27, all coming from the EU countries. They have been selected by Surfrider Foundation Europe to create the first European network of maritime ambassadors, developed with the support of the French Ministry of the Sea. These young students and professionals, specialists in oceanography, marine biology, or political science worked together from November 2021 to January 2022 with experts to map out their priorities for the future of the European maritime world. 

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