The Project Blue Next Generation is a youth-led initiative in Sri Lanka that aims to promote the important role the ocean plays in the world by bringing together different communities including Volunteer Organizations, Environmental Groups, researchers, activists, students, and more.

The project is a part of the British Council’s COP26 Challenge Fund and‘The Climate Connection’ Campaign. The Climate Connection bringspeople around the world together to meet the challenges of climate change.Through arts and culture, education and the English language, it is aboutideas, innovation and real change.

 

Climate change has been cited by many scholars and leaders as themost pressing issue facing humanity at present. To avert the adverse effectsbeing caused by climate change, it is important to protect the environment.Marine/ coastal environment is a huge part of this as many ecosystems andwildlife are highly dependent on it.

 

Project Blue Next Generations aimed to both educate and motivatethe younger generations to engage in marine environment protection, coastalconservation as well as climate change.

 

The Project had two major events, whichwere conducted through virtual platforms. The first workshop series ‘Let’sStart from Home to Protect the Ocean’, was attended by students fromuniversities across thecountry. The event was organised by Project Blue Next Generation in conjunctionwith the Department of Zoology and Environment Sciences of the University ofColombo.

 

It consisted of awareness sessions across a 3-day period as wellas a 14-day activity plan that the participants were encouraged to follow at home. The activityplan focused on switching from non-biodegradable products to recyclable orbiodegradable products at the participants homes, to help them adopt the habitof using biodegradable products in their day to day lives. This practice willalso minimize the damage being caused to the environment, especially to theoceans.

 

The second was a series ofwebinars titled ‘Ocean Sustainability”which was designed to create awareness on several key topics and their impactson marine life. The participants who attended these sessions were from avariety of backgrounds and were all very passionate about conservation as wellas volunteering for community-based projects. The webinars were conducted by apanel of guest lecturers from theDepartment of Oceanographyand Marine Geology of the University of Ruhuna.

 

The 3-day long webinar series addressed several topics includingSustainable Oceansand Innovation, Coastal Communities and Ocean Conservation which focused on thecontribution of cities and communities on creating sustainable coastalenvironments. The webinars‘Marine Education and Ocean Sustainability ‘focused on the importance ofresearch based marine education and the impacts of sustainable marineenvironments.

 

One of the participants from theworkshop stated “I am very thankful to Project Blue Next Generation fororganising such an amazing event. It gives me great pleasure to be a volunteerand contribute towards saving the ocean. It was also a great concept to elevatewaste management.  I am very glad to havebeen a part of this.

 

Sashreeka Senanayake, Coordinatorfor Project Blue Next Generation stated; "Overall, this timely Projectshowed how passionate young people are towards the mitigation of environmental issues and climatechange, as well as the importance of conserving the ocean and marineenvironment by changing small habits, resulting in a new generation of socially responsible leaders."

 

Project Blue Next Generationis highly content with what it has been able to achieve thus far. With theright support from organizations such as the British Council, they areconfident that they will be able to make a difference in the world andcontribute towards the preservation of the ocean for generations to come.

 

About Project Blue

The Project Blue Next Generation is a youth-led initiative in SriLanka that aims to promote the important role the ocean plays in the world bybringing together different communities including Volunteer Organizations,Environmental Groups, researchers, activists, students, and more. 

 

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