First meeting of the Ocean and Climate Initiatives Alliance, UNESCO headquarters

How we intend to work with the Ocean and Climate Initiatives Alliance

By Julien Voyé

“Our membership is international and spread across Europe and North-America, at least for now. Not only are our locations diverse (Canada, Norway, California, France and even the Arctic …), but our disciplines vary as well (oceanography, biology, law, economics, agronomy, political science). We believe this diversity is our great strength.

Alone, we can do little. We share the same conviction as the Ocean & Climate Platform that force comes in numbers. There is no need to recall the story of the hummingbird, dropping water on a savannah fire, unable to stop it on its own. With the implication of all animals dropping water though, the fire stops. This is our philosophy.

© Guillaume Bounaud

Our generation is known for being ultra-connected. This is a gigantic advantage when it comes to creating links across oceans and borders. Harnessing this identity, we are willing to  create a digital network of young ambitions involved in ocean and climate projects. Gathering ambitions, sharing practices, knowledge and experiences, providing scientific or technical expertise: all these objectives are made possible through a digital interface that allows scaling up to the challenge we face.

The next step is: what should we do with this network. This network will be our base to raise the voice of this generation. We will work like a flower, working in symbiosis with the soil, exchanging nutrients and other inputs, working in common to grow and flourish. We take the opportunity to give a voice to people working on the field. A strong network will help identify common ideas, objectives and concerns with the aim of building a collective call for political action regarding the youth, ocean and climate. But we do not want only to talk for the youth, we want to talk to the youth.

What better way to engage with a young public but humor? If you complain that your children spend too much time on Youtube, maybe it’s time to think again. Youtubeurs have a wider audience than any conventional media today, especially for younger generations. We want to develop partnerships with Youtubers, in France and overseas, to disseminate scientific knowledge and raise awareness in a funny, attractive, efficient and adapted way.

Our generation is the one that will have to face the consequences of climate change. That’s why YO! takes a stand on these issues and pushes policy-makers and civil society alike to take action. We therefore warmly welcome the creation of this Alliance.”


The official photographer of this event was Guillaume Bounaud. You can check his website here.