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Age 14, H2OO Bahia Brazil Chapter Member


Inspiring Next Gen Advocates at 2022 Reef Futures Conference

On the 25th of September, together with 3 other youths from around the world, I had the opportunity to speak on the Reef Futures panel hosted by International Coral Reef Initiative. There we shared our different experiences of climate change and what led us to become climate activists.

For me, participating was very special as I had the opportunity to hear my friend’s stories and how climate change has impacted them. I observed how our stories can inspire others to start advocating for climate protection.

Some advice I would give youth who want to get involved in climate and ocean advocacy is to look for support. There are a lot of people who can help you. Reach out to an organization, another climate activist, or even a friend who also wants to start taking action. Sometimes starting is actually the hardest part, so don’t be afraid. Instead, make a plan and then jump into it! Whether it is by joining an organization, starting your own organization, or by planning actions in your community — there are many ways to do it!

It is very important for youth to get involved and speak up on stages because our generation is inheriting this blue planet. Therefore, we are going to inherit all of its beauty, but also the problems that have been caused by humans. We are at a crucial moment where decisions need to be made immediately so that effective action can be taken. Change has to occur now because when it’s our time to be the decision-makers, it will be too late to create the necessary change. Thus, young people should be involved because OUR future and OUR lives are at stake. I believe we should advocate for the life we youth and the planet deserve.

Catarina and fellow H2OO youth leaders present to Girl Scouts at the Reef Futures Conference 2022.