Impact Updates from Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit Alumni


SOA Blog

Sustainable Ocean Alliance is accelerating ocean solutions around the world. Here are their stories.

Youth are at the core of Sustainable Ocean Alliance's mission: they are the guardians of our planet's future. Whenever world leaders gather to make critical decisions about restoring the planet, it's our job to ensure these inspiring young change-makers have a seat at every table and a voice in every discussion. 

This coming February, Sustainable Ocean Alliance is proud to co-organize the Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit in Panama to help do just that. This is the first time we've been able to host this special event since 2019!

As we prepare for a powerful gathering of youth visionaries from around the world, we're looking back on the 2018 and 2019 editions of the Summit—and to the impact our young leaders have had since then. Below, meet three of our past Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit participants, and learn about where their work has taken them since we last gathered. 

Janis Argeswara, 25 (Indonesia)

Janis attended the 2018 edition of OOYLS in Bali, where she worked on a project entitled "Sizing Up Nusa Penida's Manta Ray Reproductive Ecology." Working in tandem with the Marine Megafauna Foundation, this project studied population demographics and dynamics of reef manta rays in Nusa Penida, Indonesia.

Through her work on this project, Janis supported efforts to develop a thorough understanding of manta ray population demographics and dynamics, including habitat use. Ultimately, their goal was to help establish further conservation and sustainable tourism management to protect these gentle giants. The project has since provided hands-on internships four early-career Indonesian scientists, focusing on fieldwork, paperwork, and outreach, and has helped to establish Indonesia as the biggest manta ray sanctuary in the world.

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Mohammad Naufal, 24 (Indonesia)

Mohammad joined SOA at the 2018 edition of OOYLS in Bali, and worked on a project called Carbon Addons, a climate-tech startup offering voluntary public micro-climate financing through a plugin software app. Carbon Addons instantly calculates the travel, delivery, & packaging waste emissions of purchase and allows e-commerce, retail, shipping, & transportation customers to offset the carbon footprint of their purchase during checkout.

Profits go on to fund climate projects, including forest and mangrove conservation, waste management, and community-based renewable energy projects. Impacts of Carbon Addons since 2018 include 8.1 tonnes of CO2e emission reduction, 153 mangrove trees planted, and 3.65 million IDR funds disbursed.

Betty Jahateh, 24 (The Gambia)

Betty joined us in 2019 in Oslo, Norway, for Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit. There, she worked on a project with one of our favorite titles to date called "Salty Much?: Assessing Saltwater Intrusion in The Gambia." This project gathers data on the impacts of sea level rise along riverbeds in The Gambia by measuring soil and aquatic salinity along the country's longest tributary. To accomplish this, the team selected seven sites in seven different communities along the tributary to collect data and monitor the salinity. This project was a component of Betty's externship with the National Geographic Society and The Nature Conservancy!

A word from Betty, on her project's findings:

"The highest salinity recorded from this study was 59 ppt, which decreased during the rainy months of June and July to 53 ppt and shows the salt accumulation in these sites from the saltwater in the ocean. This is higher than the average salinity of the oceans. It raises an alarm about the impacts [sea level rise] has on biodiversity, food security and livelihoods of communities along the tributary."


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