Youth Policy Advisory Council

The Youth Policy Advisory Council (YPAC) is an international group of Young Ocean Leaders recognized for their policy acumen and dedication to furthering environmental regulation.

Applications are now open through December 31 to join YPAC in 2022.




YPAC is a group of Young Ocean Leaders who work together on a mandate to ensure global ocean policy initiatives reflect youth perspectives from around the world. 

YPAC's mandate includes three pillars of action:



Offer key input on SOA’s policy initiatives to ensure young leaders’ priorities are represented and integrated. 


Amplify SOA’s policy initiatives within global and regional networks, and with other exceptional young leaders. 

3. ACT

Translate SOA’s policy initiatives and recommendations into real-world action, including by representing SOA and the youth voice within policy forums.

Since its founding in 2020, the Youth Policy Advisory Council has activated a robust policy agenda. Currently, YPAC is working on their Global Blue New Deal campaign, and a Moratorium on Deep-Sea Mining. 
Quick Action Opportunity: Review the Global Blue New Deal draft here, and sign the GBND open letter.



The Youth Policy Advisory Council includes member representation from six global regions.

  • Mark Haver

    Mark Haver


    Mark is an SOA Young Ocean Leader that has participated in SOA Ocean Leadership activities for 3 years and has been instrumental in our work to develop a global framework for blue new deal policies. He is currently finishing his undergraduate degree remotely and is transitioning into working on Joe Biden's presidential campaign in Florida with the hope of being pulled into the White House to advise climate and ocean policy.

  • Marina Porto - Marina Porto-2

    Marina Porto


    Marina has engaged in several projects related to sustainable production and consumption, climate change and marine litter. She holds a masters degree in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics and is currently working as a sustainability consultant in London, UK.

  • Nicolas

    Nicolas P Florestal


    Nicolas has worked as an ecodiver in the main MPAs of Haiti since 2011 at different levels. He and his team were able to convince the Haitian government to declare the first MPAs network in the country. 

  • Diwigdi Valiente

    Diwigdi Valiente


    Diwi is a member of the indigenous Guna people of Central America. In his lifetime, the Guna islands will disappear under the rising sea, that is why he developed and leads different initiatives to raise awareness and inspire political action against climate change and plastic pollution in Panama.

  • Leonie Meier_UN Economic Committee

    Leonie Meier


    Leonie is passionate about the ocean, having researched microplastic pollution for her Master’s thesis. She has worked on a wide range of environmental and sustainability issues for various UN organizations and the public sector in Germany.

  • Lucie Guirkinger

    Lucie Guirkinger


    Lucie is half-French half-Colombian and lived in several countries while growing up, all with access to the oceans! She is a passionate marine conservationist who recently graduated from the University of Cambridge where she investigated fishers' non-compliance and how this can be fostered. I managed several projects on various species, going from corals to sharks, rays and turtles.

  • pauline owiti picture

    Pauline Owiti


    Pauline is a Kenyan citizen who is currently leading volunteering as a Program Lead for Marine Arctic Peace sanctuary (MAPS) - Kenya which is aimed at declaring the Arctic ocean an International Peace Park free from exploitation.



  • Jeremy Raguain

    Jeremy Raguain

    Seychelles (YPAC AFRICA)

    Jeremy is from the Seychelles and lives on the main island of Mahe. For him island living entails being close and dependent on our ocean, for food, livelihood, health, recreation and so much more. His studies in environmental sciences and international relations as well as experience working for the Seychelles Islands Foundation which manages Seychelles UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Aldabra Atoll in particular, has shown him that that experiences, good and bad, need to

  • Alanna

    Alanna Smith

    Cook Islands (YPAC OCEANIA)

    Alanna recently completed a Masters of Conservation. She is currently based in the Cook Islands working for an Environmental NGO 'Te Ipukarea Society'. Her experience includes working on small Marine Spatial Planning
    projects, biodiversity surveys from corals to invertebrates and seabirds, and raising awareness in plastic pollution. 

  • image_ Surangika (copy)

    Surangika Jayarathne

    Sri Lanka (YPAC ASIA)


    Surangika Jayarathne is from Colombo, Sri Lanka. She works as a Researcher in the areas of sustainable blue economy, climate change and maritime security in South Asia. 

  • Lu Fang

    Lu Fang

    China (YPAC ASIA)

    Lu fang leads the seafood sustainability assessment effort of NGO Qingdao Marine Conservation Society in China. She also provides scientific and analytical support to several sustainable fisheries and aquaculture projects. 

  • Roger Joseph (Rocky) Guzman

    Roger Joseph (Rocky) Guzman


    Rocky is an environmental lawyer and ocean policy specialist from the Philippines. He has held positions as policy campaigner and fellow for various environmental non-profits, where he handled campaigns from fisheries management and ending illegal fishing, to marine conservation and strengthening the rule of law.

  • Fidan

    Fidan Karimova


    Fidan works in the water industry to bridge the gap between water and wastewater utility subscriber needs and available technologies in the market. She has an extensive knowledge of the innovation industry, having previously worked on helping entrepreneurs from around the world transition from idea to implementation. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and a Master’s degree in Environmental Management. Fidan is an avid ocean supporter and artist. She enjoys creating artwork to support organizations working keeping our oceans clean for future generations.