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Here Is How Your Innovation Can Help Conserve Ocean Ecosystem And Slow Climate Change!

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WhyOnEarth logo mobEditor’s Note: Are you bothered by the drastic changes in our climate, causing extreme weather events and calamities such as the Kerala Floods? #WhyOnEarth aims to take the truth to the people with stories, experiences, opinions and revelations about the climate change reality that you should know, and act on. Have a story to share? Click here and publish.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 is to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.”

70% of the earth is Blue, i.e. the oceans, and most of us are finding climate change solutions only on land. The ocean is the origin of all life on planet Earth. It is the largest ecosystem on the planet. Three out of every seven people in the world depend on seafood as their main source of protein. 44 per cent of the world’s population lives within 150 kilometres of the ocean. We need oceans for a lot of things. We need them to survive, and for that oceans need to be healthy

American Express x Parley: Back Our Oceans — PARLEY

What Are The Major Concerns?

With habitat destruction, overfishing and pollution, the ocean is deteriorating, the species are going extinct. Everything is rapidly changing climate and leading to acidification of seawater, which is reducing the ability of the ocean to absorb carbon and to regulate global temperatures and local weather patterns. 

How Are Innovators Working Towards The Goal?

Governments, businesses, communities, and youth are working towards the goal of healthy oceans. 

Fish farming done responsibly – Aquaculture Magazine
Representative image.
  • Transforming fish farming

Seafood is the most traded food product globally, and 3 billion people rely on seafood as their primary source of protein. In Hawaii, Conservation International is partnering with local communities, the state government and the private sector to integrate local and indigenous knowledge with science and technology to help people develop aquaculture ponds locally and sustainably.

  • Plastic Alternatives and bioplastics 

Plastic alternatives and bioplastics can help solve plastic pollution in the oceans. In India, A company named Bakey’s is making edible spoons of different flavours like sweet, salty, savoury, and plain. 

WIND ON THE WAVES: FLOATING WIND POWER IS BECOMING A REALITY ...
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  • Floating offshore wind farms

Scotland recently approved of the world’s largest floating offshore wind farm. They use fewer materials than traditional offshore windmills that are stabilized in the seabed. Developing offshore wind can revitalize port communities and reduce ocean acidification and climate-related threats to marine life. 

  • Preventing harmful fertilizer runoff pollution

California’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation launched a breakthrough healthy soils initiative to reform how farm soil is managed to reduce fertilizer use, retain water, boost crops, and store more carbon. This effort could help reduce the harmful runoff pollution to the ocean from farms that cause massive ocean ‘dead zones.’

World's First 4K Omni-directional Consumer Underwater Drone - 2018 ...
Representative image.
  • Underwater Drones 

We can explore underwater environments with autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) Researchers can use them to collect water and sediment samples, and use that data to analyze the impacts of climate change. This is way better than sending human divers to collect samples by risking their lives.

Technology in Focus: Bathymetric Lidar | GIM International
Representative image.
  • Drone technology to map the oceans and protect ecosystems

Drones are being used to access the impacts of climate change in the oceans. Using technologies like Bathymetric LiDAR, fluid lensing, multispectral imagery, and thermal sensors, photogrammetry, and more can be used to make 3D models of the ocean beds and coastlines. The 3D models can be used to study underwater life, beach erosion, They can also monitor aquatic life.

Using artificial intelligence and machine learning drones can also help us identify plastic pollution and plan efforts.  

Do you care about the environment? Wish to make a change? Have an idea to resolve issues? ELP is your chance.

We are excited to launch our first edition of the Ecochirp Launchpad program 2020 (ELP2020). ELP is the game-changer for all the budding enviropreneurs. It is a 12 weeks launchpad program for youth-led environmental solutions. This virtual launchpad program with weekly learning modules that include webinars, mentoring sessions, and weekly tasks that will support you to launch your idea into a validated business plan.

Apply at: https://lnkd.in/g_GUPCx

About the author: Palak Kumar is an insatiably curious Mechanical Engineering student, passionate about flying, clouds, literature, and plants. 

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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