Pacific Youth call for mentoring program for Ocean Science
By Vishaal Kumar
It’s important to understand indigenous knowledge and Pacific youth representatives have called for a mentoring program to support their engagement and ultimate delivery of the upcoming UN Decade for Ocean Science.
This was highlighted by Pacific Youth Council representative, Tyler Rae Chung while speaking at the Pacific Community (SPC) Workshop on the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 in Nouméa, New Caledonia last week.
Ms Chung said a mentoring program would ensure agencies were walking the talk of providing a space for young voices to come through and matter.
She said it should be clear that the responsibility for this rested with both young people as well as educators and policy makers.
"A recommendation under this program would be where young scientists are mentored and nurtured to understand policy mechanisms already set in place, to appreciate history, indigenous knowledge such as traditional navigation and wisdom passed down and have a good background in terms of monitoring & statistics," Ms Chung said.
"In addition to this, I envision a science-based ministry where policy makers can be better informed on development through science to achieve sustainable development goals, monitoring and implementation with a strong emphasis of the inclusion of young scientists of today and the future.
"In terms of building their capacity as it is important because decisions and outcomes made today will set the foundation for the next generation leaders.
"In the revised roadmap for the Ocean Decade talks a lot of about why the decade is needed and an aspect of it is to encourage science, public and policy makers to think beyond businesses and just a blue economy but to aspire for real change."
"I believe real change start with the education system and building it's capacity."
Taylor is a young scientist, and part of the Pacific Youth Council.
The council is a regional youth non-government organisation based in Fiji and acts as an umbrella body for National Youth Council across the Pacific.
Vishaal Kumar’s story has been developed as part of the Pacific Community Workshop on the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030. This was made possible through SPC’s Australian funded Climate and Ocean Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac). COSPPac works to help translate ocean science that is critical and relevant to the Pacific region to better inform evidence based decision making for our climate and oceans.