30 Aug Pejuang Laut Profile: Youth Leaders Lead the Way in Protecting Maluku’s Marine Resources

Youth leaders, they say, are the hope of tomorrow. In the case of Moluccas Coastal Care (MCC), youth leaders are also leading the change now.

MCC is one of CTC’s partners in leading information campaigns on sustainable fisheries in Maluku Province and are the youngest members of the Pejuang Laut (Champions of the Sea) program under the USAID Sustainable Ecosystem Advanced (SEA) Project.

MCC was established in early 2017 by marine science and fishery students of the University of Pattimura in Ambon as a campus-based organization.  The main idea is to create a platform for the students to apply their knowledge by educating the coastal community, while building network with local government institutions and other related stakeholders in Ambon.

“Eventually we started receiving many positive feedbacks from our peers, colleagues and general community members. Some of the governmental institutions even provided full supports for us to implement more public education activities,” said Stefani Teria Salhuteru, the Chair of MCC.

The mission of MCC to educate the public about marine conservation, which is in line with CTC’s, has brought the newly formed organization into many collaborative events with CTC under the support of USAID SEA Project.

Together, CTC and MCC have conducted two movie screenings in October 2017 and July 2018 that aimed to spread the message of coral reefs protection and reducing the impact of plastic waste to the ocean. MCC also took part in the  socioeconomic baseline survey in Lease Islands, Maluku, in April 2018 which aimed to gather data for marine protected area establishment.

Based on the consistent goodwill and strong commitment showed, CTC has selected several MCC active members to be part of the “Pejuang Laut” program. As the youth champions, MCC will work hand-in-hand with CTC for community mobilization to achieve the expected behaviors through upcoming public awareness and advocacy activities.

According to Teria, the “Pejuang Laut” title has motivated her and other MCC members to work harder in influencing the young people in in Maluku to protect the sea. “We believe that by educating young people, we will be able to maintain the existence of marine biodiversity and the sustainability of livelihood and food security of future generations who rely their lives to the sea,” she said.

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