Hi! My name is Nikita Rennie and I am one of the 14 Blue Economy ambassadors in Mauritius for the second part of the ”Prosperity and Environment: Promoting sustainable development opportunities for youth in the Blue Economy.” The 7th January was the third day of our stay in Mauritius and we spent it at the Indian Ocean Commission at Ebene where we attended some fascinating presentations by members of SYAH Mauritius.
It’s really amazing learning about a country similar to the Seychelles yet still be able to draw comparison between Mauritius’ Ocean Economy and Seychelles’ Blue Economy in terms of the different ways in which each exploits their ocean and how far they are in its protection. However, the main focus of my blog is a project which was presented to us on Thursday titled “#SeeingBlue.” Only just introduced two years ago in 2014, Seeing Blue is a competition aimed at raising awareness, involving young people in the ocean economy, encouraging youth to speak up about the issues facing the ocean, engaging stakeholders to break down key challenges faced by the ocean and giving a voice to young people, fishermen and coastal communities to discuss the future of our oceans.
#SeeingBlue is a competition whereby participants are given a specific problem faced by the ocean. From there they must come up with an innovative idea to solve the problem. The winners are given the title “Young Ocean Champions” and presented with funding, coaching and mentoring in order to turn their projects into a reality. The project is such a brilliant idea as it allows different people a say in the future of the our ocean and benefits the Ocean Economy as so many people have truly great ideas but just don’t have the means or encouragement to voice them out. A boot camp is also organised so that the participants can interact with each other and share points of view.
It was very exciting to hear that the project is also looking to partner up with Seychelles this year so that the Seychelles’ population can get in on the opportunity thus expanding #SeeingBlue further across the Indian Ocean.
My fellow interns and I were quite impressed with the project and I personally find it comforting knowing that there are other people and organisations who share the same vision as us and who are actually taking initiative by working towards their vision. I also believe that the youth play a major role in the development and future of our country and that they should not be excluded from ocean matters. For this reason I think #SeeingBlue will continue to succeed and grow.