By Khadija Stewart
EcoVybz Podcast May 22, 2023
Episode 26: Journey to a Global Plastics Treaty
Meet Saeed Hamid a Guyanese attorney-at-law with a keen interest in maritime law, environmental law, and human rights law. Driven by his experiences in the Caribbean region, he is constantly pursuing opportunities to contribute to the development of policies and legislation which target social and environmental issues. Saeed holds a Master of Laws from the University of Aberdeen, where he completed courses on international law, politics, environmental regulation, and human rights. Following private practice, Hamid served at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Guyana for two years, during which he participated in several national and international conferences and policy dialogues on numerous environmental matters, including Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ). He is currently the international plastics fellow at New York University's Guarini Center and Plastics Advisor to the Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States.
In this episode, we take a deep dive into the plastics pollution issues plaguing Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and discuss the upcoming sessions on the road to a global plastics treaty. For more on Saeed be sure to follow him on Instagram and check out the additional resources below. 1. Recording of SIDS Talk Plastics: Part 1: Remediation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9glU9E7-Cdo&t=1087s2. Guarini Center's research on SIDS and Plastic pollution: https://guarinicenter.org/issues/oceans/plastics/ 3. Paper on States Submissions ahead of INC-2: https://guarinicenter.org/document/survey-of-state-inc-2-submissions/
As always follow @ecovybz on all socials.
Episode 25: Protecting Coastal Ecosystems in Panama
Meet Javier Pardo Díaz is a thesis student at the Biology School with an orientation in Marine Biology and Limnology at the University of Panama. He is currently working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on long-term projects on water quality monitoring and mangrove restoration in the Bay of Panama. Since the beginning of his career, he has been part of different NGOs such as Sustainable Ocean Alliance Panama, Reef 2 Reef Foundation, and the Ghost Net Removal project with the Panama Aquatic Resources Authority, among others, and is an active volunteer for many other foundations that they seek a more sustainable future for all. Javier was one of the 77 young people selected to participate in the Youth Leadership Summit and the Our Ocean 2023 conference, he also participated as a delegate to CITES COP 19 in 2022, both held in the Republic of Panama. In addition to being part of research projects, he works as an underwater cameraman focused on environmental education, educating the civil community, young students, children, and adults.
In this Episode, Javier and I take a deep dive into the importance of coastal ecosystems in Panama and some of the issues the country faces when it comes to marine conservation. If you are interested in learning more about Javier be sure to follow him on Instagram.
Be sure to also follow @ecovybz on all platforms and if you would like to be featured on the podcast shoot me an email email@example.com and lets create some magic!
Episode 24: COP 27 Ocean and Climate Takeaways
Meet Bodhi Patil! Bodhi is a 19-year-old ocean climate solutionist passionate about the interconnection between Ocean Health and Human Health (OHHH). As the founder of Inner Light and co-creator of @oceanuprise, Bodhi believes in the power that young people have to create impact at scale. He is a second-year student in the Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Management program at the University of British Columbia studying oceans, environmental action, and business. He co-founded Sea Dragon Studios (SDS), creative arts and digital media platform supporting youth-led, ocean-climate action and launched One World Breath. With a team of 4 fellow young impact makers, he co-won the UN Oceans Conference Youth & Innovation Forum with project INVASEA - Innovating with Invasive Species. Along with the 130 other incredible delegates of the forum, he is especially recognized by the United Nations as an esteemed ocean activist. As an avid surfer, diver, kelp-lover, marine science nerd, ocean-climate solutionist, and hopeful realist, he loves mother nature deeply and truly believes that like the ocean, we are powerful creators that can make waves of positive impact.
In this episode, we dive into several thingsHis Marine Conservation Journey Key Ocean and Climate takeaways from COP27 The power of Kelp UN Ocean Conference Goals and Aspirations Advice
To learn more about Bodhi check out his linktree and be sure to connect with him!
As always be sure to follow @ecovybz on all platforms and I shall see you at the next one!
Episode 23: Sargassum Solutions with SOS Carbon
Originally from the Dominican Republic, Andrés Bisonó León is a ClimateTech entrepreneur working at the intersection of social impact and Climate Action. Andres holds a dual major in Mechanical Engineering and Finance from Drexel University. Social and environmental impact has always been part of Andres' life endeavours. Since 2018, Andres has been leading SOS Carbon Inc. Sargassum Ocean Sequestration of Carbon (SOS Carbon) which is a spin-off company from the Mechanical Engineering department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). SOS Carbon is focused on scaling its unique patented technologies to turn the sargassum seaweed invasions problem into an economical natural ocean carbon sequestering opportunity. As a member of the MIT Sloan School of Management and Legatum Fellow, Andres’ motivation is his capacity to transform society and the environment for a better tomorrow. SOS Carbon is committed to solving one of the Caribbean's most threatening problems, generating employment and value chains to the region, and fight climate change for a global impact.
In this episode, we take a deep dive into the Sargassum invasion occurring in the Caribbean and its impacts in the region whilst also discussing the work of SOS Carbon in the Dominican Republic. Feel free to connect with SOS Carbon on Instagram or connect with Andres on Linkedin.
For more great content be sure to also following @EcoVybz on all platforms!
Episode 22: Understanding Climate Negotiations
In this episode I chat with Shreya K.C., a passionate climate justice activist from Nepal. Being an active member of YOUNGO and also the Contact Person for the NDCs working group, she has worked with a diverse group of young people across the world to champion the meaningful participation of young people in decision-making spaces. She is also the climate change champion of UNICEF South Asia and a Campaign Coordinator of Mock COP. Shreya has received numerous awards for her work including 'Youth of the Year' award. She was also a part of the national delegation of Nepal to COP26 and SB56. Her story has been featured in two books "Stone Soup for a Sustainable World" and "50 Girls Saving Our Planet".
Together we discuss the impacts of climate change in Nepal, meaningful youth engagement in the climate space and what it takes to be a youth leader on their country's delegation at climate change conferences. To learn more about Shreya connect with her on Instagram , Facebook Twitter and LinkedIn be sure to also follow @ecovybz on all socials!
Episode 21: Youth Advocacy and Climate Injustice
In this episode I chat with my colleague and friend Mark Haver! After graduating from Florida Southern College in May 2020, Mark became a policy and communications consultant for a start-up government and public affairs firm for ocean and environmental clients. Simultaneously, he launched Sustainable Ocean Alliance's inaugural Youth Policy Advisory Council. Mark has led youth engagement in national and international campaigns for ocean and climate issues, such as for the Global Blue New Deal, a youth-led, stakeholder-driven ocean and climate policy framework, and for a deep seabed mining moratorium. He has launched his own environmental action consulting firm, BlueGreen Generation. His clients include Sustainable Ocean Alliance as their North American Regional Representative and Global Policy Advisor and Global Fashion Exchange, as the founder and brand ambassador of Swap For Your Life to grow the sustainable fashion exchange movement in the global LGBTQ+ community.
Together we discuss the challenges of youth advocacy work, the climate crisis and his passion for sustainable fashion! To learn more about mark follow him on social media @oceanswarrior and be sure to also follow @ecovybz to keep up to date with all things podcast related!
Episode 20: An Urgent Cry to Save Our Ocean
Welcome to Season 3! In this episode, I chat with Carlos Perez Murcia aka Profe Tiburon, a marine biologist and scuba instructor from Bogotá, Colombia. He is a passionate shark scientist who focuses on ocean literacy and policy. These are his favorite tools to scale-up collective actions that allow us to live a healthy future. Profe Tiburón is now the new President of Sustainable Ocean Alliance hub for Colombia (SOA Colombia), and environmental educator for Fundación Mundo Azul, Guatemala, and the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), United States.
To kick off this season Carlos and I chat about the need to use the arts to save our ocean, the importance of spreading ocean literacy to children, and the need for countries to have an ocean ministry to allow for organised and centralised governance of our oceans. Feel free to follow Carlos on social media @profetiburon on Instagram and myself @ecovybz on all social media platforms!
Episode 19: Innovative Marine Mapping in the Caribbean
In this week's episode, I chat with Dr Kimberly Baldwin, a marine ecologist with specialized skills in geoinformatics, focusing on participatory research and the utility of information technologies to support stakeholder engagement and collaborative approaches to develop more holistic information for environmental planning and management. Presently her research includes the use of drone and information technology platforms to support mapping and modelling of the environment. Dr Kimberly also has extensive practical experience teaching and conducting: field surveys, mapping and monitoring applications; remote sensing, spatial data management, modelling and analysis; participatory mapping, marine spatial planning and stakeholder engagement techniques.
Together we discuss the role of information technology and marine spatial planning tools for marine conservation in the Caribbean and the importance of developing a participatory approach to ensure all stakeholders are involved in marine initiatives from idea to execution. We also touch on the importance of drone technology in the region and its use as a tool to empower local communities to engage with the ocean and provide data to the necessary parties.
To learn more about Dr Kimberly and to connect with her check her information below. Be sure to note that you came from the EcoVybz Podcast!
Business website: www.marsis.us
PhD Research website: www.grenadinesmarsis.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/grenadinesmarsis
Episode 18: Aquaculture in Jamaica
In this week's episode, I chat with Dr Juli-Anne Russo! An Aquaculture Scientist specialising in aquaculture biosecurity and nutrition for
aquatic animals. She was an aquaculture Consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organisation of United Nations (FAO) in the Aquaculture branch, and has also consulted for USAID, IDB and Compete the Caribbean. She volunteers with USAID, Farmer to Farmer and Winrock International to
provide technical services to fish farmers in developing countries. Her interests are capacity building for fish farmers, women in aquaculture, aquaculture biosecurity, environmental sustainability and rural development. She is currently developing and delivering presentations on
aquaculture production, fish health, biosecurity and disease prevention of cultured aquatic species to farmers in the Caribbean. Together we take a deep dive into Aquaculture in the Jamaica and the potential it has to grow as a sector across the region. To learn more about Dr Juli-Ann be sure to visit her website.
Episode 17: Representation in Marine Conservation
Katie Storr is a Bahamian Ocean Entrepreneur. Though she is a woman of many talents and passions, she is widely known for private Scuba Diving Instruction onboard luxury yachts cruising throughout The Bahamas. Also specializing in Media and Content Curation, she creates specialized content for a variety of tour operators and maritime-related businesses in The Bahamas. With 12 PADI Distinctive Specialities, 200+ PADI Certified Students, and 5000+ Scuba Dives under her belt, Katie is a Bahamian ocean icon willing to venture where most wouldn't underwater in the Bahamas.
PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, Reef Rescue Network Instructor and VIP AYI Chief Yacht Stewardess Katie Storr, was introduced to the ocean at a very young age. She has had an undeniable love for the ocean and its marine life since the first time her eyes ventured below the surface. Mermaid Katie, as she is affectionately called by many, is one of the few professional black women in the world to teach Underwater Photography as a Professional Instructor and loves curating memories and sharing them with others to spread her love and devotion for Ocean Education and Photography & Film.
She is Co-Founder of “The Ocean of Colour” an online community showcasing the importance of People of Colour within the ocean space and blue economy. They have successfully created the first black-owned ocean publication in the world - written, designed and published by Zandi Ndhlovu and Katie Storr. Melanin Yachties, a community formed to be a support system for People of Colour working in the Maritime and Yachting industry, is also the brainchild of Katie. Her strong belief in representation within the ocean space brought about this community that focuses primarily on bringing ocean awareness, education, jobs and training opportunities, and events featuring people of colour locally and internationally.
Adding to her portfolio as a Shark4Kids Ambassador, Shark Advocate and Shark Awareness Instructor, Katie has partnered with Shark Education to create innovative ways for young Bahamians – and potentially youth around the world - to grasp shark education in the classroom through online webinars and short films she creates using voice-overs, film and shark curriculum created by Shark4Kids founder Jillian Morris-Brake.
In this episode, we have a great chat about the importance of representation in marine conservation especially in the Caribbean, the art of storytelling as a powerful tool to drive ocean literacy and the importance of opening youth access to the ocean so that they can be the next generation of ocean stewards and blue entrepreneurs. To learn more about Katie be sure to visit her website and follow her on all socials.
To keep up to date with the podcast you can follow @ecovybz on all socials as well!
Episode 16: Sea Turtle Conservation in Trinidad and Tobago
“We know that when we protect our oceans we’re protecting our future.”- President Bill Clinton
It’s the final episode of 2021! For this conversation, we head to Trinidad and Tobago to chat with Dr Michelle Cazabon Mannette, a local expert on sea turtle biology and conservation in Trinidad and Tobago, with a PhD in Environmental Biology from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine (2016). Her Ph.D. research on sea turtles offshore Tobago was the first study of its kind locally, where research and conservation efforts have previously focused on nesting beaches. She investigated issues critical for management and conservation through the application of diverse disciplines such as ecology, population genetics and environmental economics. Michelle began her professional career as a research officer at Turtle Village Trust from 2008-2010 where she coordinated research and monitoring at sea turtle nesting and foraging sites around Trinidad and Tobago and worked closely with several CBOs.
Michelle currently works at Coastal Dynamics Limited (an environmental consultancy) as a Project Manager where she has gained significant experience conducting Environmental Impact Assessments and ecological studies in a variety of habitats. She continues to be actively involved in sea turtle conservation through her voluntary role as Technical Advisor to Save Our Sea turtles (SOS) Tobago. While Michelle’s research has largely focused on sea turtles, she is driven by a broader interest in marine ecology and is passionate about closing the gap between research and management of our natural resources. She is also a founding member and Director of SpeSeas, a local NGO working towards improved management of our marine ecosystems through research, education and advocacy (established in 2017).
In this episode, Michelle and I have a lovely chat about Sea Turtle Conservation in Trinidad and Tobago. We take a deep dive into the types of species found on the islands, the threats they face, climate change, the opportunities for research and all the amazing work being done to protect these species. To learn more or connect with Michelle check out the links below.
Michelle Cazabon Mannette -Twitter
Speseas TT- Website, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
SOS Tobago- Facebook
Episode 15: Regional Shark Conservation
Sharks are beautiful animals, and if you're lucky enough to see lots of them, that means that you're in a healthy ocean. You should be afraid if you are in the ocean and don't see sharks- Sylvia Earle
Welcome to another great episode of the Caribbean Ocean Perspectives Series featuring Tadzio Bervoets, Director of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, a Network Organization that supports nature conservation on all six islands of the Dutch Caribbean and is involved in ensuring that some of the region’s well-known MPAs such as the Bonaire National Marine Park and the Saba National Marine Park receive the necessary capacity and financial support.
Tadzio recently co-founded the Caribbean Shark Coalition (CSC) in 2020 in response to international calls for enhanced, collaborative conservation efforts for sharks and rays in the Greater Caribbean region. The CSC is a collection of member experts from NGOs, local communities, intergovernmental organizations and governments, academia, and policy institutes working together to advance the study and conservation of sharks and rays found in the waters of the Greater Caribbean. The CSC has as its major goals and mission: To foster collaboration in shark and ray research, policy, and capacity building for conservation among stakeholders in the region, and to provide opportunities for knowledge transfer and data synthesis; To safeguard the long-term health of shark and ray populations in the region, and to promote the protection of critical habitat; To promote a sustainable future for these species as well as human livelihoods who depend on them. To effectively address ongoing and future areas of conservation and species management plans for countries and territories in the Greater Caribbean region; Greater collaboration and capacity building is fostered among and between actors and stakeholders in the Greater Caribbean region. Working with local scientists, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), intergovernmental organizations and governments, we target capacity building for filling critical knowledge gaps through science, as well as the advancement of specific conservation actions.
Tadzio is the first Dutch Caribbean Member of the Explorers Club for his contribution to Science in the Wider Caribbean Region and he is an experienced dive instructor who has recently started to use closed-circuit rebreathers to enhance his coral reef monitoring activities.
In this episode, we discuss the importance of sharks in the Caribbean, the threats they face, data collection on shark populations and the role of the Caribbean Shark Coalition and the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance in protecting these species. To learn more follow the social media accounts linked below and be sure to give the EcoVybz Podcast some love.
Instagram: Caribbean Shark Coalition, Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance
Website: https://caribbeansharks.co/ https://dcnanature.org/
Episode 14: Biodiversidad Marina en República Dominicana
En este episodio, la bióloga de la Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo Andreina Valdez, nos cuenta a detalle todo lo que debemos saber sobre las amenazas que enfrentan los arrecifes de coral y los mamíferos marinos en República Dominicana y las múltiples acciones que podemos tomar para protegerlos. Ella es Coordinadora del Departamento de Biodiversidad Marina de la Fundación Dominicana de Estudios Marinos (FUNDEMAR) y también es miembro de la Asociación Hispaniolana, que fue creada por estudiantes de biología de su universidad. Andreina es una joven apasionada por el océano que ha contribuido desde temprana edad a la conservación de los arrecifes de coral como parte de una nueva generación de científicos marinos en República Dominicana. Su pasatiempo favorito es el freediving con sus amigos #dominicanfreedivers.
In this episode, a biologist from the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo Andreina Valdez, tells us all about the threats faced by coral reefs and marine mammals in the Dominican Republic and the many actions we can take in order to protect them. She is the Coordinator of the Marine Biodiversity Department of the Dominican Foundation for Marine Studies (FUNDEMAR) and is also a member of the Hispaniolana Association, which was created by biology students from her university. Andreina is a young woman passionate about the ocean who has contributed from an early age to the conservation of coral reefs as part of a new generation of marine scientists in the Dominican Republic. Her favorite hobby is freediving with her #dominicanfreedivers friends.
To learn more follow:
FUNDEMAR: @fundemardr on instagram and FUNDEMAR on fb.
Andreina: @oceandreina on instagram and Andreina Valdez Trinidad on facebook
Hispaniolana: @4.dunes on instagram and 4 dunes on facebook
Website - https://www.fundemardr.org/
Episode 13: Protecting our Dolphins and Whales
“We need to respect the oceans and take care of them as if our lives depended on it. Because they do.” – Sylvia Earle
Welcome to another great episode of the Caribbean Ocean Perspectives Series featuring Jeffrey Bernus, a marine scientist from Martinique. At the age of 10, he started diving, loving the ocean and observing anthropogenic pressures deteriorate Martinique’s marine environment. This led to him studying marine biology having travelled to Canada and France to obtain a Masters degree in Biodiversity Management as well as the Bahamas (Cape Eleuthera Institute) and in Australia (Australian Institute of Marine Science) to gain more experience on sharks, rays and turtles. His studies were focused on diversity distribution and assemblages of deepwater sharks, Hidden Markov Models for megafauna tracking, predators role related to risk effects and the importance of environmental variables on fish assemblages and distribution.
Then he decided to go back to his native region and work for the government at the national park of Guadeloupe. This experience led him to be the scientific coordinator of the Caribbean Marine Mammal Preservation Network (CARI'MAM) project for the Agoa Sanctuary (Office Français pour la Biodiversité, European funded project). Wanting to go beyond the governments’ limitations and objectives for marine mammal conservation, he decided to co-create the Caribbean Cetacean Society to ensure the sustainability of this new community created with this network. His dream in the long term is to create an MPA at the Caribbean scale dedicated to megafauna conservation in order to better protect these fragile species who can't understand our frontiers.
In this episode, we dive into the Cetaceans in the Caribbean, discussing the threats they face, the work the Caribbean Cetacean Society is doing to protect these species and the role Caribbean Nationals can take to protect them. To learn more about Jeffrey and the Cetacean Society you can visit their website or follow them on Instagram and Facebook. If you are interested be sure to reach and let them know that EcoVybz sent you.
Be sure to also follow me EcoVybz on Instagram to keep up to date with the Caribbean Ocean Perspectives Project,
Episode 12: Restoring Bonaire's Coral Reefs
Coral reefs represent some of the world's most spectacular beauty spots, but they are also the foundation of marine life: without them, many of the sea's most exquisite species will not survive.- Sheherazade Goldsmith
In this week’s episode, we chat with Sanne Tuijten, the assistant coordinator at Reef Renewal Bonaire. Sanne has been visiting the Netherlands Antilles since she was 12 years old and from a young age, she knew she wanted to become a marine biologist. She obtained her scuba certification in Curaçao and when she found out that the Dutch University system did not offer a marine biology bachelor program, she moved to the UK to study marine biology at the University of Southampton. There she focused on subjects related to tropical ecosystems and coral reef ecology. She became president of the Student Dive Club and got used to diving in the cold and murky waters of the North Sea.
After receiving her MSc in 2020 she joined Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire and was eager to put her scientific knowledge to use for protecting and restoring coral reefs. She is “a fish in the water”, as one says in Dutch, and enjoys the everyday activities of preserving Bonaire’s reefs. Together we discuss the importance of Coral Reefs, the threats they face, coral restoration techniques and the role we can play in protecting the world corals. To learn more follow Reef Renewal Bonaire on Instagram or check out their website to get involved.
Episode 11: Understanding Mangrove Ecosystems
In this episode, I have a lovely chat with Dr Rahanna Juman, acting Director at the Institute of Marine Affairs, a government-funded marine research institute in Trinidad and Tobago. She holds a PhD in Zoology (2004) from the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and a Bachelor of Law (2015) from the University of London. Dr Juman has been conducting research on the coastal environment for the past 25 years and has published in international peer-review journals. Currently, she is leading efforts to develop and implement an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Policy Framework for Trinidad and Tobago and to implement Marine Spatial Planning.
Together we discuss the importance of Mangrove Ecosystems in Trinidad and Tobago, the threats they face and the role each of us can play in preserving our mangroves to help fight against climate change. To learn more about Mangroves and the Institute of Marine Affairs be sure to follow them on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube and you can visit their website or library to access more information on the Marine Environments in T&T.
Episode 10: Youth Ocean Activism
“I thought I was the only one worried about the planet and then, suddenly, there are other kids taking the chance to change things -- and I am sure it will empower other kids to do the same.” -Anna Taylor, organizer, "Youth for Climate" movement UK
This week is all about youth and ocean protection! For this episode, I have a lovely chat with 18-year-old Summer Benjamin, an Antiguan-American student, ocean leader, pilot, and climate activist, based in the US Virgin Island of St Thomas. Summer has participated in several initiatives related to youth climate work, founding the Earth Warriors at Tahoe Expedition Academy and has participated in several international events including speaking at the POP International Conference and Festival in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, COY 15, the World Sustainable Development Forum in Durango, Mexico, the POP Ocean Virtual Summit, WAAS Global Leadership in the 21st Century e-conference and POP Ocean Youth-Led Action and Advocacy Workshop. Recently, she has started the Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) Virgin Islands Hub and continues her activism through beach clean-ups and ocean awareness initiatives.
Our conversation focuses on the role that young people can play in protecting the Caribbean Sea as well as overcoming challenges youth face when it comes to being an effective agent of change. To learn more about Summer you can check out her Instagram and SOA’s US Virgin Island Hub Instagram!
Be sure to also follow me on all socials @ecovybz!
Episode 9: Sargassum Invasion and Innovation
“Out of adversity comes opportunity.” ~ Ben Franklin
This week is all about Sargassum in the Caribbean, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the opportunities! In this episode, I chat with Dr. Shelly-Ann Cox, an experienced ocean professional, fisheries management specialist, oceanpreneur, and mother of a 2-year old aqua-toddler. Shelly-Ann has ten years of experience in applied interdisciplinary climate-related research and fisheries management research. She holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Natural Resource Management from the UWI Cave Hill Campus and a BSc (Hons) in Environmental and Natural Resource Management with Marine Biology from the UWI St. Augustine Campus.
Shelly-Ann is adept at stakeholder engagement and is well known for building, supporting and sustaining positive and productive relationships with stakeholders in the Caribbean fishing industry. She is currently engaged as Co-editor of the Subregional Sargassum Outlook Bulletin for the eastern Caribbean and has co-authored an article in the Journal Gulf and Caribbean Research entitled ‘Pelagic sargassum prediction and marine connectivity in the Tropical Atlantic’ which documents the methodology used for the forecast presented in the bulletins. Additionally, she has co-authored several sargassum related publications and technical reports including a recently published article entitled ‘Challenges of Turning the Sargassum Crisis into Gold: Current Constraints and Implications for the Caribbean’, the UNEP-CEP Sargassum White Paper 2021, the ‘Sargassum uses guide’, ‘Best practice guide for fishers coping with sargassum’ and a report on the ‘Relationships between Sargassum Events, Oceanic Variables, and Dolphinfish and Flyingfish Fisheries.
Together we have a lovely chat about the causes of the Sargassum invasion in the region, the socio-economic and environmental impacts, the challenges we as a region face in adapting to the influxes, and the opportunities for us to turn sargassum into a fruitful resource. The learn more about Dr Shelly-Ann visit her Instagram Blue Shell Pro or her website.
Be sure to follow me on Instagram to keep up to date with the podcast and all other environmental projects.
Episode 8: Swimming with Plastics!
“We know that when we protect our oceans we’re protecting our future.”- President Bill Clinton
Welcome to season 2, The Caribbean Ocean Perspectives Series! In this episode, I have a great chat with Christopher Corbin, Senior Programme Officer with the Ecosystems Division of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). He is based at the UNEP Cartagena Convention Secretariat & Caribbean Environment Programme in Kingston, Jamaica, which covers all the countries of the Wider Caribbean Region. Christopher is responsible for the Secretariat’s Marine Pollution and Communications Sub-Programmes and oversees activities on marine litter.
As a Saint Lucian national, with over 30 years of programme and project management experience, his technical training is in Environmental Monitoring and Assessment and he has been involved in the development and implementation of multi-country projects on wastewater management, solid waste management and integrated coastal zone and watershed management. Christopher is also responsible for the development of the “Regional Action Plan for Marine Litter Management in the Caribbean” and is currently leading the preparation of a Regional Caribbean Marine Litter Strategy.
In this episode, we take a deep dive into the Caribbean’s Marine Pollution Problems. We focus our conversation on the sources and types of pollution as well as the impacts our seas are facing due to this issue. We also discuss the strategies the region can take to curb plastic pollution and the role of youth in protecting the Caribbean Sea. For more information on Christopher, you can contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with him on Linkedin. Feel free to also follow UNEP Caribbean on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to keep up to date with all the work they are doing in the region.
Episode 7: Unsustainable Shark Traditions in T&T
“The reality is this - a shark snatch out of the waters of T&T affects fisheries in the US, and a shark snatched out of the waters in Indonesia affects fisheries in South Korea because sharks are migratory species and the entire ocean is their home.”
In this conversation I chat with my friend and fellow activist La Tisha Parkinson from Trinidad and Tobago. She has a passion for people and this passion has driven all her efforts in life as she simply wants to ensure everyone can live their best lives. This has led to her working with various organizations over the years and supporting many causes. As an island girl however, the oceans have always been close to her heart, and she has chosen to work her magic at the intersection of education and ocean conservation.
In this episode we discuss her Action for the Oceans campaign developed for this year’s World Oceans Day with Peace Boat US and Pendulum. Her campaign is centered around changing unsustainable shark consumption patterns in Trinidad and Tobago. We dive into T&T’s popular beach food (bake and shark) and explore the current status of the country's shark populations. Feel free to check out La Tisha’s campaign and follow her on Instagram!
Episode 6: Open Your Sails
"The risks are big, the opportunities are huge. We are all in the same boat, and it’s time to make the change, it’s time to move in harmony with nature around"- Eyal Kapulnik
In this weeks episode, I chat with Eyal Kapulnik from Israel. Growing up he was active in various youth movements and learned about the therapeutic side of the ocean through sailing with special needs groups. In the Pacific islands, he was part of an Oceans Watch ecology research & humanitarian aid expedition and experienced first-hand environmental issues that are apparent in our oceans. Eyal pursued a BSc in Marine Biology and gained a deeper science-based understanding of key global sustainability topics. Over the past few years, Eyal has worked in marine conservation with youth and adults in order to raise awareness and connect to the oceans and the water around us. Today, he is an Emergency oil pollution volunteer Coordinator with Ecoocean as well as a freediving instructor. We chat about his journey and work as an emergency oil pollution coordinator as well as his campaign developed for Peace Boat US and Pendulum's World Oceans Day celebrations called " Open Your Sail". To learn more about the campaign check out Pendulum's website and be sure to follow Eyal on Instagram to keep up to date with all his work!
Episode 5: Educating Fishing Communities in Timor-Leste
"We as activists need to help fishing communities to deeply understand the marine ecosystem while also remembering that this very ecosystem is their daily bread."-Jake Lasi
In this week's episode, I chat with Jake Lasi from Timor Leste! He is a divemaster, swim and snorkelling teacher, and an activist for the oceans with a huge passion for environmental protection both in theory and practice. The ocean is Jake’s church, school and love and his main goal is to promote marine tourism as an alternative revenue for the country. As a Peace Boat Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassador, Jake had the opportunity of participating in a storytelling training developed by Peace Boat Us and Pendulum called Actions for the Oceans whereby youth from across the world developed ocean campaigns for World Ocean Day. In this episode, Jake and I have an in-depth conversation about his campaign which is focused on educating the fishing community in his country and changing cultural behaviours to save the turtles and marine life in Timor Leste! To keep up to date with Jake's work be sure to follow him on Instagram and check out more information on the campaign on Pendulum's Website!
Episode 4: Speaking up for the Ocean
“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”-Ryunosuke Satoro
In this episode, I have a great chat with Eve Isambourg Peace Boat Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassador. Eve was born on the French coast and grew up on Mauritius Island. In 2016 she moved to Paris to study International Relations at the University of Sciences of Paris, where she specialized in Global Environmental Governance, Ocean and Climate Change issues and Sustainable entrepreneurship. In 2018 Eve had the pleasure of participating in the Peace Boat’s Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassadors program which inspired her to launch the first edition of the #IspeakBlueToo campaign to support the UN World Oceans Day. At the moment she is finishing her Masters in Environmental Policy at The Paris Institute of Political Science and is passionately interested in “Environmental communication. She is now dedicating her professional career to environmental issues raising awareness to protect our planet using her skills as an artist, photographer and writer. In this episode, we dive into Eve's Peace Boat experience and discuss her #Ispeakbluetoo Instagram campaign which was developed in 2018 and modified in 2021 as part of the Action for the Oceans Storytelling Program developed by Pendulum and Peace Boat US. To learn more about the campaign click here and be sure to follow Eve on Instagram!
Episode 3: Increasing Access to Marine Knowledge & Communities
"Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow." – Anthony J. D’Angelo
Continuing with the Action for the Oceans Series in this episode I have a really great chat with Silvia Cantu Bautista from Monterrey Mexico. Silvia is an Advanced PADI certified scuba diver and professional underwater photographer with a strong passion for marine conservation, youth education and storytelling for climate justice.
In this episode, we dive into Silvia's Action for the Oceans campaign which is heavily focused on two main issues: community building and increasing ocean literacy across her country. In Mexico, 17 out of 32 states have a coast, which altogether comprises 57% of the country’s land territory. Despite this, there are many communities that still live far away from the coast or which haven’t had access to inclusive ocean literacy projects. For this reason, she wanted to help co-create virtual and physical spaces as well as networks that allows people who do not live near the oceans to learn more about marine environments and systems and support grassroots initiatives aimed at protecting marine environments and coastal communities.
Feel free to check out Silvia's campaign and if you're interested in connecting with Silvia follow her on Instagram!
Episode 2: A world of opportunities with Peace Boat
“It's through curiosity and looking at opportunities in new ways that we've always mapped our path.” -Michael Dell
Continuing with the Action for the Oceans Series, in episode two I have a lovely chat with the director of Peace Boat US Emilie McGlone. We take a deep dive into this year's Ocean Week celebrations, her Peace Boat journey, and all the amazing opportunities she has had thus far volunteering in Japan, Central America and South America. We also touch on her environmental work in Japan with Bicycles for Everyone's Earth where she volunteered her time to help organize a 3-month environmental tour by bicycle to increase awareness about important issues such as climate change, recycling and sustainability as well as her NGO Parties 4 Peace which is a non-profit production team that organizes creative events to promote peace through dance and music.
If you're interested in learning more about the Peace Boat or Parties 4 Peace check out the websites below and be sure to follow me on Instagram!
https://www.peaceboat-us.org/ https://peaceboat.org/ https://www.parties4peace.com/
Episode 1:Storytelling for Ocean Action
“The facts are not enough to make people aware of climate change. People don’t believe in figures, data and graphics. You need more to get their full attention and make them understand you. You need to create a story.” Dan Fagin
Welcome to the first episode of the Ecovybz Podcast where we chat with Rom Barnea and Noa Urbach founders of Pendulum- a creative changency focused on equipping people with the tools needed to develop impactful storytelling initiatives. Together we discuss the origin of their organisation and the "Action for the Oceans" Youth Program developed with Peace Boat US for the 2021 World Oceans Week celebrations.
To learn more about Pendulum and the campaigns created but the youth leaders visit https://www.pendulum.site/afto and follow them on Instagram @we_are_pendulum and be sure to follow me @ecovybz to keep updated with all the amazing episodes and work we have going on!
EcoVybz Podcast Promo
Coming June 11th is the Ecovybz Podcast where we have interactive conversations on environmental conversations with people from across the world. I am the host Khadija Stewart, from Trinidad and Tobago and this season is the Action for Oceans Series inspired by Pendulum and Peace Boat US.