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Ocean training programme to debut next summer

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Hamilton Rotary Club: Noelle Young, left, and Ela Gökcigdem (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A pilot training programme is being launched to help Bermudians learn more about ocean policy and finance.

The Young Leaders in Ocean Governance Programme will start next summer and introduce Bermudians aged 18 to 26 to the career fields.

Cofounders Ela Gökcigdem and Noelle Young discussed the programme at the Hamilton Rotary Club yesterday.

Ms Gökcigdem, Turkey’s representative to the Sustainable Ocean Alliance’s youth policy advisory council, was inspired by Bermuda’s natural beauty and dynamic financial industry when she participated in the island’s Youth Climate Summit last year.

She told Rotarians: “Based on the inspiration I received after my time in Bermuda, I wanted to create a programme to develop the first scalable youth talent pipeline into the emerging blue economy and law of the seas.

“This creates a local capacity, allowing Bermudians to take control of international developments.”

She said they included areas such as the United Nations “High Seas” Treaty and carbon credits, which aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Ms Gökcigdem added: “These issues and capacity-building opportunities are very personal to me and I am so honoured to be able to create this in Bermuda alongside Ms Young and hopefully change the lives of people on the island and provide them with more opportunities to enter into career fields within the ocean space.”

Ms Young, an associate for the Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme and a consultant for Greenpeace UK, represented Bermuda at the Younga youth environmental delegation and the 2023 Conference of the Parties summit on Climate Change in Dubai.

Hamilton Rotary Club: Noelle Young gave a talk to the Hamilton Rotary (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

She said the ten-week training would consist of “curriculum that we have developed, as well as curriculum from the UN, the World Bank and other organisations”.

Timeline for the Young Leaders for Ocean Governance programme

The YLOG curriculum will be finalised by August 31.

Programme applications will open on December 15.

It will begin after the United Nations Ocean Conference in France on June 16, 2025 and will conclude on August 25.

Young Leaders in Ocean Governance has ​been recognised at United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ​conferences and acknowledged as one of the ​first training programmes for youth ​on ocean affairs. As a case ​study, It will be featured at COP29 in ​Baku, Azerbaijan.

Topics will include law, corporate social responsibility investments and ecosystem services.

The YLOG team is currently in the process of signing Memorandums of Understanding with partner organisations, including permission to use their logos in promotional materials.

They are therefore unable to disclose the full list of partners, but are hoping to work with local and international organisations and fiscal sponsors.

Ms Young added: “We want our partners to host the interns and, in many cases, be involved with the internship programmes that these companies already have.”

The internship will require between ten and 15 hours of weekly commitment and participants will receive a stipend of about $5,000 at the end of the programme.

Ms Young explained: “We plan to start with ten interns … we want people that are passionate about marine and coastal environments, but also about things like policy and law.”

The programme will only be open to Bermudian applicants for the first two years.

Ms Young added: “There is a big misconception among most small-island nations that if people are interested in marine environment, they have to go into something scientific.

“We are trying to change that narrative by using Bermuda as an example that you can still be an advocate and support ocean conservation and innovation by using other industries.”

Visityoungoceanleaders.orgto learn more about the programme and interested partners can contact info@youngoceanleaders.org.

UPDATE: This article has been updated to include information about the MoU and a timeline for the programme.

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Published July 10, 2024 at 7:51 am (Updated July 10, 2024 at 1:12 pm)

Ocean training programme to debut next summer

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