The All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors took part in the All-Atlantic R&I for a Sustainable Ocean: Ministerial High-level & Stakeholders Conference, on June 2nd - 4th.
They have organised their own side event for the conference, a workshop which took place on June 2nd. The event, entitled “Opening Door for Early-Career Ocean Professionals”, identified and discussed barriers facing youth in ocean professions and brainstormed possible solutions. The Youth Ambassadors gathered 5 panelists and 1 moderator ranging from early- to mid-career ocean professionals from different marine sectors, for a diverse and open discussion on topics such as “Challenging the linear career path”, “What mid- and late-career professionals can do to be allies to early-career professionals”, and “Youth empowerment, Diversity, and Inclusion in marine science”. The virtual event had more than 50 attendees from 15 different countries. The event gathered a lot of positive feedback from attendees who found it very useful and expressed their interest in attending similar events in the future. Having still many topics to cover, this is definitely something they are keeping in mind to do again! The entire side event was recorded and is available on the All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Youtube channel.
On June 3rd, the Youth Ambassadors participated in a number of events such as the All-Atlantic R&I solutions workshops, which focussed on the following topics: Climate variability and ecosystems approaches; Ocean observation, forecasting and monitoring; Food security, ocean resources, and biodiversity; Ocean technology; Marine pollution; and Polar research. Some of the Youth Ambassadors also participate in a debate surrounding the topic “Rethinking our stewardship of the ocean and waters”, with the key question being “How can we overcome the ‘emotional gap’ that exists between citizens and the ocean, and what actions do we need to rethink and propose to achieve this?”.
Finally on June 4th, the Portuguese Youth Ambassador Raquel Gaião was able to attend the conference in person in the Azores and moderate the event “Plastic Pirates Azores Campaign - Connecting Atlantic Ministers & Youth”. Youth Ambassadors were also invited to speak about their programme in the event “AANChOR Joint Pilot Actions as a collaborative R&I effort”.
Overall, it was a very busy week, but it was amazing to see the involvement of the All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors throughout the event! The Youth Ambassadors presence was also great in terms of sharing a "youth" perspective and highlighting with stakeholders the importance of including youth at all levels of discussion when it comes to decision making and project development. We are also excited to see the work to be done by the Youth Ambassadors as they get involved in the All-Atlantic Pilot Joint Actions!
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Authors: Eloïse Savineau and Othman Cherkaoui Dekkaki
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