The magnificent seascapes are one of the first things that come to mind when someone thinks about the Asia-Pacific region, along with the colorful cultures that have been thriving in the area for centuries. The Pacific Ocean has been supporting the livelihoods, well-being and sense of identity of millions of people in the region for generations. However, in the last decades, the impact of the climate crisis, unsustainable landscape and resource management, and plastic pollution – including both domestic plastic waste and waste exported to the region by the U.S. and E.U. – are threatening the ecosystems and the lives they sustain.
In this youth-led GLF live, two young environmental activists from the region shared their hopes and ambitions for protecting, restoring and sustaining the ocean’s health.
Listen back to the conversation, or re-watch the live stream on Instagram:
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Hidayah Halid is a girl who grew up a daughter of a farmer in the small village of Nibong Tebal in Penang, her upbringing has been spoiled by daily golden sunset which profoundly gives her tranquillity within nature. Following her naturalist quest, she discovered a new whole world below the surface and the journey has led her to pursue her career in protecting the marine ecosystem. Exploring nature has shown her the interconnectivity and complexity of each existing organism within nature and the marine ecosystem are intrinsically connected to the coastal community. Her passion is to preserve the ecosystem while protecting the well-being of the coastal community. Hidayah has been involved in marine conservation in the Perhentian Islands since 2019 when she was selected as an awardee of a Marine Scholarship at Perhentian Marine Research Station (PMRS). She is also the 2022 GLF Restoration Steward for Oceans.
Andhyta Firselly Utami (Afu) is the initiator of Think Policy Indonesia, a community of young professionals with a mission to encourage cross-sector collaboration for more data-driven and empathetic public policies. Afu also makes various video essays through Frame & Sentences, a YouTube channel that aims to encourage critical thinking skills through discussing social and political issues. As an Environmental Economist, Afu has conducted various research and analysis of public policies to promote sustainable development in Indonesia, particularly related to the management of low-carbon natural resources for the welfare of society. Afu’s educational background is a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from the University of Indonesia. At Harvard, Afu had represented the campus in the Shaping Future Governments: Global University Challenge competition and with his team won first place. Afu’s passion for writing also won him the 3rd Prize International UNESCO Essay Contest for Young People when he was 20 years old, where Afu wrote about the ideals of a peaceful and sustainable world.
Frances Camille Rivera is the Co-Founder and Program Director of Oceanus Conservation, an environmental NGO based in the Philippines, focusing on the restoration and conservation of mangrove habitats around the country through working with local government environmental officers and grassroots communities. She has worked in ocean conservation for about 7 years with a focus on coastal management and conservation. Her previous work includes developing community-based mangrove conservation programs and ecotourism with the local municipal authorities. She is also the Wetland Restoration Steward from the Global Landscapes Forum and Youth in Landscapes Initiative (YIL) and a member of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network.
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