I have now arrived home to windy Wellington after an incredible adventure and it certainly feels surreal to be back. Before I left for New York I had a passion, but now I have a purpose to my passion, I have a focus. I know where I see myself working and how I want to use my passion and I feel privileged to have this focus so young in life. I am so grateful to AYLI and the incredible people I have met for giving me this opportunity and sharing in my experiences. I have learnt so much about how the UN and conferences like these work and I now feel that I understand so much more about the world and how I can effectively contribute how I want as a young leader. This has led to a few existential crises throughout the week where I have been re-evaluating my future and where I want to go in my career which is incredibly exciting as I have undergone so much personal and professional development through evaluating my experiences during this trip.
I have just realised now that I wrote an entire blog on the last day of the conference and I forgot to post it, so I will share it now. These are the thoughts I was having while leaving New York and I hope they motivate you and your community to educate yourselves or act to protect our wild places and our precious planet.
The oceans give us life, they give us 80% of the oxygen we breathe and this is quite literally our last chance as a species to save the oceans and save ourselves. Ecosystems are dying, wildlife is suffering across the world because of us, Small Island Developing States are drowning and we could soon by faced with the first climate change refugees.
We need to give a damn!!
This is about human survival but it is also about the survival of the pristine places of the world, preserving the beauty with no other motive than the fact that someplace or some species is beautiful. I personally believe that all species are equal and we all have equal importance in the world, so fight to save marine organisms because they collectively and individually have just as much value as us just because they are alive.
There are so many issues facing our world and they are so complex that we need all minds and all professions to think about sustainable development and think about what they do individually to reduce their single use plastic consumption. This is our last hope and these are not just words the I have strung together to just make this sound like a profound and passionate call for action. I really mean it. This is our last hope. So get engaged and stay engaged. Ignorance will be our downfall. Know your mind and don’t let the world superpowers sway what you believe. Research properly before you start to believe something as fact as there are so many scientists out there that would just love you to read their work, as this is what they spend their entire lives doing!! Then once you are engaged and educated use this momentum you have gained and do something. Educate others, work in your community, or think bigger to the global picture. I find that using platforms like Facebook is a great tool to find opportunities to help or take action. I mean that is where I first discovered the application form for this conference.
I am lucky enough to have a real passion for something, but just because you don’t know what yours is doesn’t give you the excuse to give up looking or caring. I have definitely doubted what I am doing extensively before and probably will in the future because that is human nature. Explore what is out there because for young people in particular there are so many amazing opportunities if you just look. And once you find a focus make sure you explore all aspects that might be involved in it to build up your experience and knowledge. As I am sure I have said before I think science should be multidisciplinary, as in order to tackle the issues we face we need to look at all sides of the issue with different perspectives. To sum this little speech up just remember that you, yes you, are connected to the ocean for everything, you owe her everything and we only get one life so make sure you do something with yours that truly makes an positive impact to whatever it is that you love.
Thank you for sharing my journey, enjoy the photo gallery below.
All posts by Institute delegates reflect their own thoughts, opinions and experiences.