International confab taps the power of Asia’s youth to care for the world’s oceans

OFTEN tagged as creative, optimistic, and passionate, the youth play a critical role in shaping the future of the world.

Indeed, their role in local and global efforts addressing pressing issues, especially regarding environmental concerns, is becoming more widely appreciated.

PEMSEA (Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia) puts great importance on youth engagement in facilitating change for the sustainability of the environment.

“They are the future generation, they are our future leaders. They have to be part of the solution. They have to feel ownership. They have to be consulted and be engaged in the setting of the policy and the implementation of policy and programs that involve them,” Aimee Gonzales, PEMSEA executive director said.

The Asia Pacific region has the highest number of youths around the world, according to the World Bank Atlas 2017. Given their potential and capacity to become agents of change, PEMSEA aims to provide an opportunity for them to be exposed, to learn, and to be advocates of the environment, especially of our shared oceans.

Asia’s young people will be part of the upcoming East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress 2018 that will be held from November 27 to 29 at the Iloilo Convention Center in Iloilo City, Philippines.

The conference will coincide with the holding of the 5th EAS Youth Forum, which aims to enhance the youth’s understanding of the environment’s current situation and highlight the role they can play in sustainable development and the global ocean agenda.

The forum will gather some 52 youth delegates from 8 countries in the East Asian region. They will be given the opportunity to learn from and interact with a roster of high-profile speakers and leaders in ocean and coastal management.

Speakers include Mr. Titon Mitra, country director of UNDP Philippines; Dr. Antonio La Viña, EAS Partnership Council chair; Dr. Jenna Jambeck, University of Georgia College of Engineering associate professor; Dr. Sulan Chen, GEF Small Grants Programme programme advisor; Ms. Anna Oposa, Co-founder and Chief Mermaid of Save Philippine Seas (SPS); Mr. Hari Mahardika, Pesisir Mengajar coordinator; Mr. Kaisar Akhir, Indonesian Maritime Youth Association (APMI) deputy secretary-general; and Mr. Pocholo Miguel Espina, Sip PH chief executive officer.

Themed “Moving as One with the Global Ocean Agenda: Active and Engaged Youth”, the event will also feature peer-to-peer learning discussions, team-building and creative sessions designed to empower the next generation of young champions for oceans and coasts.

To aid in their own environmental initiatives, the youth delegates will have the chance to enhance their skills in terms of project development and management.  Topics dealing with sustainable ocean and coastal management such as marine plastics, climate change, and the state, issues, threats and solutions to marine biodiversity will be also discussed.

For more information and updates about the Congress, visit

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