Inside Our Ocean: Day 2

SYSTEMIQ’s associates Dian Limbong and Alexandre Kremer have been selected to attend the “Our Ocean, Our Legacy Youth Leadership Summit”. Dian and Alexandre are championing a holistic and circular vision to address the challenge of ocean plastic pollution in Indonesia. In the “Inside Our Ocean” blog posts, the two will share their impressions of the day.

“We are the last generation that can reverse ‘ocean change'“ Daniella Fernandez, CEO of the Sustainable Ocean Alliance rightly pointed out today.

Ocean change is real: the ocean’s resilience as come to a tipping edge, acidification, warming waters, sea level rising, biodiversity loss is growing at alarming rates. We have a great responsibility in our hand. It’s a huge challenge, but it is also the biggest opportunity of our generation.

The reality lies in front of us and we need to acknowledge that:

  1. Oceans are being over-fished due to the lack of science-based quotas and the increasing amount of illegal fishing;

  2. Ocean governance on high seas is inexistence;

  3. The amount of marine protected areas is lagging behind compare to land-based and the enforcement of such protected areas is a growing challenge;

  4. Marine pollution from plastic to eutrophication is irreversibly affecting ecosystems and yet is not controlled nor regulated;

  5. Ecosystem restoration of coral reefs and mangroves is developing but the scale of it is negligible compare to the ecosystem services losses the ocean has endured;

  6. Regulation of sea-based industry from mining to transport is a controversial topic as our reliance on strategic resources and international trade is at its highest every year.

However, sitting here at the Our Ocean Our Legacy Youth Leadership Summit, we feel inspired. 200 young minds made 200 commitments to protect the ocean. The solutions are available as well as the skills to address ocean change. But these solutions are also incredibly complex and interconnected and it would be unfair to believe young entrepreneurs can solve this problem alone. Ocean tech accelerators, dedicated venture capitalists and impact-driven investors are all crucial pieces we need to ensure this fertile ground is not wasted away. If we want to be serious about saving the ocean, it is time to empower our youth with real support and resources to unleash the next wave of innovation.