A conversation with Elian Bangtor, a Pacific Early Career Ocean Professional from Vanuatu


Photo Credit: Matt Curnock / Ocean Image Bank


As part of the United Nations (UN) Ocean Decade, the Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs) Programme incorporates new ways of thinking into global ocean sustainability and stewardship challenges through diverse engagement. In the Pacific region, the Pacific Community Centre for Ocean Science (PCCOS), coordinated by the Pacific Community (SPC), gathered young professionals to contribute to this programme. Elian Bangtor, Communications Officer with the Vanuatu Ocean’s Office, is one of them. Read her testimony.

Please tell us about your background?

I have been working with the Vanuatu Ocean's Office and the Department of Foreign Affairs over the last two years, doing communication activities and also part of the Marine Special Planning Team, undertaking consultation throughout the different Islands in Vanuatu. I am currently doing a six-month internship as an early career ocean professional under PCCOS.

What is your role with PCCOS?

My role with the ECOPs Programme under PCCOS is to contribute and communicate about diverse topics such as ocean science and governance, marine ecosystems and many more, and make Pacific voices louder in ocean management.

I am a Communications Officer, and this internship enables me to use all existing media platforms such as social media, newspapers, and radio to disseminate very important information regarding the marine spatial plan for Vanuatu and other ocean-related issues.

What are your expectations with this programme?

I am very grateful to be part of this Pacific ECOPs programme because Vanuatu is one of the first country in the region that has a national ocean policy, and because the marine ecosystem is really important for the country.  90% of the area is ocean, and the communities’ livelihoods and food security very much depend on it.

Being a young communication officer working for the Ocean's Office is quite challenging sometimes. For example, disseminating the right information down to the community level is not always easy – but hopefully, SPC has a long experience in this area and I receive good guidance from my supervisor. I hope that SPC will continue this programme to provide support in terms of capacity building and expertise to young people. It will help to implement the national oceans policy in order to have a healthy ocean and sustainable resource for the future generations.

Would you like to give a special thank?

I am taking this opportunity to thank SPC’s Regional Director for Melanesia, Mia Rimon, who is always there to provide support in terms of capacity building to young people, not particularly in the field of ocean, but other fields as well. I also would like to say a special thank you to the PCCOS Coordinator, Katy Soapi and the team, for their time and constant support, it really means a lot to us.

For more information, please contact:
Mia Rimon, Regional Director for Melanesia, Pacific Community (SPC) | [email protected]
Camille Menaouer-Marteau, Communications Assistant – Digital Coordinator, Corporate Communications Office, Pacific Community (SPC) | [email protected]

Blog Category
A conversation with
Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability
Fisheries, Aquaculture & Marine Ecosystems
Geoscience, Energy and Maritime
Melanesia Regional Office
Pacific Community Centre for Ocean Science (PCCOS)