On December 5, Peace Boat hosted an event at the MOANA Blue Pacific Pavilion at COP25 in Madrid. The event highlighted the testimonies of youth from Small Island Developing States, who are on the frontlines of climate change, along with youth leaders from our nonprofit partner’s Global Kids and the Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA).
During the event, Peace Boat introduced Ecoship, the organization’s long-term commitment to ocean and climate action.
Emilie McGlone, Director of Peace Boat US, introduced the organization and some of the main programmes related to climate action and the oceans.
“As we’re on the boat, we’re not just enjoying the journey, but we are actually learning. You can think of it as having a COP on the ocean, and we provide education onboard. In doing this, we invite guest educators who come on board and share their knowledge with us on climate change, oceans, sustainability, human rights and other important global issues,” said McGlone.
McGlone also introduced Ecoship as an example of innovation for sustainable ocean transportation. “Ecoship is a transformative solution to protect the oceans, promote higher engagement and trigger creative actions through sustainable tourism and education. It will sail four times around the world yearly, visiting communities on the front line of climate change and ocean degradation, and provide a platform for partnership between civil society, the scientific community, the private sector and governments, including cities and regions”, she explained.
The ship will lead the way in sustainable maritime transport, mitigating climate-change-related impacts on the ocean, including ocean acidification, through a 40% CO2 reduction and a zero-emission target in ports.
One of the main parts of the event was dedicated to Peace Boat’s Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassadors programme, an initiative that brings together young people from Small Island Developing States, where they are given a platform to share their experiences as a youth on the frontlines of climate change.
Genevieve Jiva, Pacific Island Climate Action Network Coordinator and Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassador alum, shared her experiences on the 3-week programme in 2018.
“I was honoured to join the programme with fellow young leaders from Barbados, Palau, Seychelles, Singapore and Timor Leste,” said Ms Jiva.
“Stepping out onto the deck once we reached open ocean was an incredible experience, because the beauty of the ocean is magical, but also incredibly terrifying. Because, if the current rate of climate change continues, the ocean may be the only thing left of the Pacific islands I call home,” she added.
“This is part of the message I took with me on this programme: that climate change is real, vulnerable communities are already facing devastating impacts, and we need a safe and just transition to renewable energy as soon as possible.”
This was the main event that Peace Boat organized at the United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP 25 that takes place in Madrid.
On December 3, Peace Boat also presented at a side event on ‘Ecological Protection and Renewable Energy Transition in the Belt & Road’. In that event, Peace Boat introduced our Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassadors program and Ecoship.
You can watch the main event here online: