I am Catarina Lorenzo, 14 years old and from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. I am a surfer, climate activist, and an Heir of Heirs To Our Ocean (H2OO). On June 8, 2021, I had the incredible opportunity to speak at the United Nations World Ocean Day event! Heir Kalina from Taiwan and I were the two H2OO youth leaders who participated in “A Brave New Ocean” event where I shared about my connection with the ocean and my perspective of how the ocean impacts everyone’s life each day.
My generation and the generations to come are going pay the biggest price for the actions and inactions of the present. The climate crisis, pollution, destruction, and human greed is destroying the biodiversity of the ocean and planet including harming humans. I pointed out that we have very little time for action, but there IS still time.
If we act NOW, without empty promises and meaningless words but instead with effective action, we can still protect the life we have and restore and reverse the damage done.
The Ocean is calling, and we need to listen to that call.
I believe engagement in youth leadership summits, especially virtual ones, is crucial to developing close-knit connections with other like-minded, passionate youth. This summer, I, along with fellow youth of Heirs To Our Ocean (H2OO) — Charley (California), Lois (Guam), and Carlos (Palau) — spoke at the Taiwan International Ocean Youth Leadership Camp. Although the deadlines to submit recordings were tight, my team managed to pull through, effectively rehearsing our parts in a short period of time.
During our recorded presentation, it was clear that many attendees were interested in H2OO’s work, values, and accomplishments, as they raised many questions for us to answer. I was glad to meet more Taiwanese youth who had competent knowledge in how organizations work and was excited to imagine them applying this to future endeavors for our futures.
One of the Taiwanese youth joined Heirs to Our Ocean, and we both partook in the organizing committee for H2OO’s Operation Global Sweep!
I can proudly say that H2OO’s values reflected positively onto the attendees, and I hope that we can continue to uphold these principles of empathetic leadership instilled in youth-led initiatives while working toward better policy through our advocacy efforts!