Description/achievement of initiative
Seeing Blue was launched as an ongoing initiative to create a dialogue based and action driven caucus to protect the ocean and address the issue of marine debris and misuse. As a Small Island Developing State, Mauritius's identity and economy are inexorably tied up with the health of its oceans. However, as data shows, the oceans are on the brink of collapse due to human activities such as overfishing and pollution, the systemic impacts of which are felt worldwide, even in landlocked countries. With over 70% of fish stocks collapsed and 6.4 million tons of debris being dumped in the oceans yearly, there is an urgency to act to restore marine environments.
Key Milestones and Project Outcomes to Date:The first step was a competition targeting young people from 13 to 30, asking them to reflect on their impact on the ocean. The competition closed on 15 June 2014 and gathered over 50 entries in diverse formats (art/essays).On 28 June 2014 we organised an interactive dialogue with key stakeholders of the marine environment including the private sector to brainstorm solutions on ocean matters, and the way ahead for the Young Ocean Champions, the winners.The next step will be the dive initiation and a visit to Nauticaz, the marine lab, to introduce the Young Ocean Champions more intimately on 19 July 2014.
Expected Future Outcomes of the Project:- Increased awareness of ocean matters through the young ocean champions in their individual schools- Increased involvement of locals in addressing marine debris- Reduction of plastic packaging and waste- Enhanced understanding of what constitutes marine debris and how to avoid it- Skills building of locals to dive against debris whilst becoming part of the database of volunteers who support marine conservation
With multiple island livelihoods based on the ocean for food and income, it is clear that youth need to become active stakeholders for the protection of the ocean and its restoration. Seeing Blue will be in 5 stages:(1) Developing the ocean caucus, by finding a critical mass of youth and stakeholders to protect the ocean(2) Dialogue, to brainstorm solutions and consolidate the network(3) Capacity Building(4) Implementation, of the solutions(5) Expansion, of the key results achievedWe have already completed stages (1) and (2), through the competition which was launched on 7 May 2014 and whose winners committed to become Young Ocean Champions (YOC). They will now be introduced to the marine environment first-hand through a scuba-diving experience and a visit of the marine lab, Nauticaz. The next two stages of the project are the implementation of solutions such as tackling marine debris by working with locals and creating more ocean volunteers.This will involve conducting a marine debris audit, including how marine debris can be recycled, training local youth to dive against debris, and offering alternatives to packaging and other disposables which end up in the Ocean.
Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer
As part of phase 3 of the project, stakeholders will be taken to the marine lab. furthermore they will benefit from a dive initiation, leadership training, and curation of information on ocean protection measures.
Coordination mechanisms/governance structure
The partnership will be coordinated by SYAH and Shapers, who will liaise with, and keep expanding the ocean caucus in a non-hierarchical, non-political and knowledge-based manner. Furthermore, two phases of the project have already been completed, resulting in the selection of "Young Ocean Champions" tasked with continuing the advocacy for the ocean in their schools.
Co-organisers: Port Louis Hub of the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers Community and the SIDS Youth AIMS Hub (SYAH).
Supported by: ENL Foundation, Indian Ocean Commission, Reef Conservation Society (Mauritius)
Other stakeholders: local schools, private sector, young ocean champions
Global Shapers Community