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ABOUT

World Youth Foundation (WYF) is “an 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. World Youth Foundation is an international non-governmental organisation which was launched in 1994 with the aim to promote research, development and documentation of youth programmes beneficial to youth worldwide.

World Youth Foundation seeks to create opportunities for youth to get involved and grow, regardless of where they are in the world. Our activities include engagement in dialogues, conferences, training, seminars, exchange programmes, consultative and knowledge based research. Our activities support our programmes in knowledge sharing, capacity building, civic engagement, educational and cultural exchanges, local outreach programmes among others.

The International Conference on “Youth, Ocean and SDG14”is a follow up to the International Workshop on Climate Change “Youth Action on Climate Change” organized in May 2015. The International Conference is a joint effort with various agencies. This year’s programme will provide an opportunity for young people from 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. The aim is to discuss how young people can play a role in contributing to ocean and marine conservation and take action to maintain the sustainability of the maritime environment

This five (5) day event will provide an opportunity for young people from around the globe 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.

Oceans play a key role in sustainable development of not only the littoral and island countries but also the land-locked countries. The impacts of human activities in land-locked countries also affect the health of the Oceans. In “The Future We Want”, 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”.

The ocean is in crisis because of our own doings.  Across the world, marine ecosystem degradation is accelerating due to development, coastal modification, over-exploitation of living resources, impacts of climate change, and pollution from land-based and sea-based activities. We know for sure that our current course is unsustainable. Balancing human activity with the long-term health of the ocean is essential because the ocean provides us with the most important basic necessities such as air, water, food-products that are essential to our livelihood which can come from or be transported by the ocean.

Ocean and land are tightly interconnected. Everything that we do on land has a direct, global, and cascading impact on the ocean. What happens in the oceans affects the entire planet. If the ecosystems do collapse, the earth will no longer be inhabitable. Humanity will have led itself to extinction.

Involving youth

Young people are directly affected on these subjects and therefore, actively engaging young people is imperative if we want to successfully implement the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 14 (SDG 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, youth commonly have the smallest voice when it comes to engagement. Yet young people need to actively start driving change because the world we will all inherit is shaped by the actions and decisions of today.

This 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 youth are sustaining and improving the health of our oceans among others.

Objectives

  • To discuss about pressing issues regarding the ocean which 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, fisheries, marine protected areas and sustainable livelihoods related to ocean activities;
  • To raise awareness of youths towards SDG 14 and other linked SDGs ;
  • To identify and demonstrate potential roles of youth on ocean conservation and preservation and discuss how youth can contribute to these efforts;
  • To educate and encourage youths on their responsibility to play their part in conserving the ocean and ensuring a sustainable future; for all;
  • To empower youth action through capacity building and offering opportunities for networking and cooperation;
  • A special focus will be on how youth can take grass-root action on the ground to reduce marine litter. Participants will be requested to come up with an Awareness Campaign on Marine Litter.

Methodology

  • Presentations by local and international speakers on the importance, threats and challenges to the oceans
  • Interactive sessions and interventions by youth
  • Capacity building training workshops
  • Outreach programme/ Beach Clean Up
  • Wrap up and summary on outcomes and key messages of the Conference.

Expected outcomes

The International Conference is expected to generate the following outputs and follow up measures:

  • Youths will 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 youth lifelong values to play an active role in conserving the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development;
  • Youth Sustainable Commitment for the Ocean;
  • Developing a Campaign on Marine Litter so that once they return home they can educate their local community about ocean threats and promote solutions to protect our troubled seas. This Campaign have the potential to inspire others in the community to amplify our collective voice for environmental change.

Follow-up

  • The output of the International Conference will be a written report that reflects the conference’s discussions and conclusions for follow up activities
  • Follow up programs by participants for their respective organizations or communities;

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