World Oceans Day

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On June 08, world leaders and advocates met in New York to discuss not only the various ways that they are influencing the revitalization of our ocean, but also potential solutions and collaborations. A common theme discussed at the event was the irreplaceable role the ocean plays in global health and economy. Healthy ocean is a necessary part in meeting the sustainable development goals, as it is a source for food, wealth, and energy. Despite this, pollution has greatly affected the biodiversity and health of the ocean. Increasing levels of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is in turn making the ocean more acidic and killing the coral reefs, chemical waste and trash from careless producers liter the ocean, and plastics are choking marine life and slowly invading our table and poisoning us as well. These problems have been deemed as crises, which led to several calls for action from around the world.

The World Oceans Day event at the United Nations was a platform for those who are seeking solutions for these problems. Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy of the Youth, emphasized the youth’s role in finding creating solutions for cleaning the ocean. The youth have been making visible, active changes on all levels, but they have struggled to find a platform to share their ideas and gain support. The World Oceans Day sought to provide the means for the innovative ideas to be spotlighted. Leaders from the Permanent Mission of Barbados, Coral Vita, Oceanic Global, Alliance of Small Island States, Billion Oyster Project, and Parley for the Oceans all pitched their solutions and worked to find common grounds on issues such as acquiring adequate funding for projects, encouraging participation by getting people to believe in their mission, and tackling the infrastructural issues that are more resistant to change.

The ocean is a vastly important, but often neglected, part of the Earth. Overfishing, pollution, and carelessness has put marine life in jeopardy. In fact, few studies show that by 2050, the ocean may have more plastics than fish. Some even fear that the ocean may be headed towards a mass extinction of marine life. Unfortunately, the global community has not made adequate progress in protecting the ocean, as ocean health did not receive support and attention that it needed. There is no global institution dedicated to ocean health, and only a few non-profit organizations specialize in cleaning the ocean. After the meeting on World Oceans Day 2018, it is paramount that the world leaders seek to begin prioritizing this issue before it is too late.

 

Celebrating World Oceans Day – Youth for the SDGs!

 

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Peace Boat offers its ship as an around-the-world venue for advocacy action on the challenges faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS), as it sails the world on educational voyages for peace and sustainability.  In the Spring of 2018, Peace Boat invited youth from various countries to join the “Sailing for Sustainability” program,  visiting Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam as the ship sailed through Asia. One of the “Youth for the SDGs” scholarship recipients from Barbados, Sade Deane, is the National Coordinator of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) in her home country.  She is responsible for engagement and participation of youth in environmental and sustainable development issues on a global scale. She also serves as a regional representative in local foras focused on climate change, sustainable land management, disaster risk reduction, marine pollution and sustainable tourism. We look forward to continuing our work towards ocean conservation and climate action together!

To learn more about our youth programs coming up this summer in Latin America, visit our website here : http://bit.ly/peaceboat-us

Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassadors :

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The 97th Voyage delivered an experiential study program which allowed all of the participants to see various ongoing examples of sustainable development. Sade contacted Peace Boat for the opportunity to travel onboard as a youth scholar through the Caribbean Youth Environment Network, among which it had been shared to all of the youth. She states that the most rewarding parts of the trip were the new environment in which people value approaching different ways of learning, the chance she was given to learn more about the connection between peace and sustainability, and of course meeting inspirational young leaders and seeing their positive impact on society. Furthermore, traveling on a ship for the first time in her life contributed to make it all even more exciting. Although she finds herself unable to narrow the whole experience down to only one best part, everything that allowed her to be on the water was what she appreciated the most. Besides traveling on a cruise ship, one of her most memorable experiences on the water in Asia was a boat ride to a local community restaurant for dinner in Cambodia, and the lovely sunset that came along with it.

She considers World Oceans Day on June 8th every year, as a birthday in her career as a development practitioner. Her contribution is as simple as getting hundreds of people to divert up to 60,000 pieces of marine debris annually from the ocean to ensure the underwater world is left with healthy surroundings. When asked what she would do if she could go on the same Peace Boat trip again, she says she would visit more communities, engage them and make them aware of the SDGs in order to relate them back to their own environment. Let’s celebrate World Oceans Day by thinking about our ocean’s health and helping to make a positive difference in our daily environment.

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One of the most important lessons for ocean conservation and preserving the livlihood of the communities along the coast was learned in Cambodia. During Sade’s voyage on the Peace Boat, she participated in a mangrove reforestation program in Kampto, Cambodia with a local nonprofit organization.  Mangrove swamps are an important part of an ocean’s ecosystem. They are nestled between the land and the ocean, creating shorelines and offering a barrier for the environment against tsunamis and hurricanes. Furthermore, mangroves allow the surrounding region to flourish, coral reefs find greater protection within them, and the area may serve as nurseries for ocean creatures. Endangered species may also find a home there.


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Mangroves do not simply serve the interests of their animal inhabitants, however. Local populace in the area may develop a fishing industry as a result of them, finding shrimp and fish to sell to others and improve their own livelihood. This also allows the community to diversify their own income. Furthermore, mangroves may serve as a source of ecotourism, allowing others to visit and learn more about them such as in the case of the visit to Cambodia with the local nonprofit in Kampot.


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The youth scholars had a fantastic day filled with adventure and learning beginning with an opportunity to visit a mangrove community center in the city of Kampot, where global citizens conduct mangrove reforestation projects. The youth were able to paddleboard through the mangrove forest, learning a new skill while also enjoying the beautiful nature that surrounded them.  They were shown how local groups would utilize them both for economic means and as a source of migration. Peace Boat assisted in planting new seedlings, learning all the while their importance in promoting multiple SDGs, among them, Education, Life below Water, Life on Land, and Climate Action. When the youth reached their destination by paddleboard, they planted 20 mangrove trees and over 300 seedling bags as part of the reforestation project organized with local community members.

This project was initiated as a response to multinational corporations that entered the region with unsustainable development designs. The potential construction would have proved disastrous for the environment, devastating the community. Kampot is a fishing village, but its natural resources have been depleted due to the deforestation of mangrove trees. The youth scholars had the opportunity to talk to the community leader, Mr. Sim Him, and his son, Rosat, who explained the history of the mangrove restoration projects, as well as the challenges the project has faced. Because of the restoration efforts, fisheries are being replenished and mangroves are growing in abundance.


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This post was written by Peace Boat US interns : Vittorio, Christian, Vivienne and John.

 

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Sailing for Sustainability in Asia : Introducing the Youth for the SDG’s Program on Peace Boat

 

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Emilie McGlone, Director of Peace Boat US

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Emilie McGlone has been working with Peace Boat since 2004 and currently is the United Nations liaison and Director of the New York-based office of Peace Boat US. As an International Organization, Peace Boat holds Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and works in partnership with UN representatives, Nobel Peace Laureates and community leaders from around the world to create opportunities for international cooperation focused on environmental sustainability, cultural awareness and peace education. Emilie works to foster youth education and develops specific programs to learn about important global issues onboard the Peace Boat. She is the coordinator for internships, university partnerships and initiatives to promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr. Richard O’Meara, Director of the Division of Global Affairs

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Dr. Richard M. O’Meara presently serves as the Director of the Division of Global Affairs, Rutgers University and as a Professor of law and Global Security Issues. He is a retired Army General Officer and trial attorney and received his PhD in Global Affairs from Rutgers University and his JD from Fordham University. His research interest include the application of ethics to the used of military technologies, the intersection of ethnicity and violence in conflict zones, security and foreign policy issues in Sub-Saharan Africa and the North Pacific, and Conflict Resolution. He has traveled widely in Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and Latin America working with stakeholders to create dialogue and solutions regarding the cessation of conflict.

Sonam Tashi, Global Program Manager

IMG_2952Sonam Tashi is the Global Program Manager at the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers-Newark. His research interests include social capital, voting behavior, and democratization. His work examines voter turnout in violent elections across Sub-Sahara Africa. Previously, Sonam was the Principal Sovereign Risk Analyst for a consultancy firm advising hedge funds and other large institutional investors on political and economic risk in the emerging markets.

Sabrina Oliveto, Peace Boat US Intern

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Sabrina Oliveto is a sophomore at Pace University double majoring in Peace and Justice studies and Modern Languages. She has been interning with Peace Boat US since August 2017. Peace Boat’s ideology of promoting a culture of peace and sustainability through global voyages appeals to her the most. Sabrina is excited join Peace Boat’s 97th voyage in southeast Asia and work to promote SDG 13, Climate Action, and SDG 14, Life Below Water. Sabrina is looking forward to learning more about sustainable tourism while working with local NGOs to produce a positive environmental impact.

Keneth De Gracia, Youth Scholar

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Keneth Caoile De Gracia is the co-founder of Costales Nature Farms in the Philippines. Keneth joined Peace Boat’s 97th Global Voyage and participated in the “Sailing for Sustainability” program which included workshops related to the SDGs, study programs about organic agriculture, climate action and life below water. When Keneth started his career in the agriculture industry, he saw the many plights of farmers and fishermen in his country. Climate change in particular has adversely affected their production cycle and yield, thus threatening food security. As SDG 13 for Climate Action and SDG 14 for Life Below Water are related to food production, he believes that the mobilization of these two goals will pave a way in enhancing the resilience of the agricultural food value chains. He believes that SDG 13 can strengthen the resiliance of the agriculture industry to climate-related hazards thus making farming more productive. On the other hand, SDG 14 can promote the prevention and reduction of marine pollution, nutrient pollution in particular, making way for more sustainable fishing practices. As the farmers and fishermen still have a lot to learn from each other in his country, Keneth is ultimately aspiring for their advancement by way of promoting sustainable approaches that will maximize their resources. He believes that joining the Peace Boat Voyage was a great platform for him to learn new methods and approaches in promoting sustainability which he could use in upgrading his teaching modules eventually cascading it to his community.

Maria Mejia, Youth Scholar

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As the European Climate Foundation stresses, “Tackling climate change effectively is a prerequisite for peaceful, prosperous societies, as climate change ignores national and sectoral boundaries, climate protection strategies need to build bridges across those divides. Concerted action is vital”. Maria worked as representative for Guatemala´s municipality in the USAID project called “Estrategia para el desarrollo de Bajas Emisiones” that aims to implement public policies related to climate change. In that project, she was able to learn more about the conflict her country is facing in regard to climate change. Previously, Maria won a scholarship to study in a Masters program titled “Economic Policies in the Age of Globalization” with the specialization in finance and development from Sorbonne Paris Cité (Paris 13, 7 and Maison Sciences de l´Homme). Living in Paris got Maria more immersed into the climate change debate, she perceived the dramatic consequences of the Seine overflow but more important Maria got to know interesting theories and policies to approach climate change, such as the green employer of last resort proposal for the transition to a low carbon economy. Maria believes that she will get the most out of this encounter and take it in advantage to later apply all the knowledge and contacts towards fruitful projects. Maria wants to share her experiences on working in that area but more important she wants to learn from experts in the topic in order to take action!

Avinash Singh, Youth Scholar

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Avinash has been working with Waste Warriors since 2013 and currently is the Chief Operations Officer at its headquarters. Waste Warriors, a voluntary non-profit in India, has three projects in northern India where it is trying to implement sustainable and affordable waste management systems in diverse socio-economic set ups. As the organisation completes its five years, Avinash works to streamline operations, lead outreach initiatives, build and mentor the team, preparing for the scaled up impact in the community.

Climate change is real and it’s time to act! The youth of this world have a chance to contribute to reducing climate degradation. In his mountaineering expeditions, Avinash has seen fragile ecologies being destroyed due to climate change and as a waste management professional, he is always conscious about the pollution and disturbance of ocean’s ecosystem, especially those caused by plastic waste. Avinash continuously tries to educate the local communities within which he works about sanitation, its negative impacts and how by taking care of sanitation problems the community can directly contribute towards achieving our SDG 13 and 14 goals. By joining the Peace Boat program, Avinash wishes to join hands with global communities to learn more and to contribute towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. He is excited to meet youth from all across the globe to discuss the world’s most pressing issues and reflect upon possible solutions which can be adapted from each other. Avinash believes in youth leadership and if we want to achieve our Global Goals, it has to be a global collaborative approach.”

Sade Deane, Youth Scholar

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Sade Deane is the National Coordinator of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) in Barbados. She is responsible for engagement and participation of youth in environmental and sustainable development issues across Barbados which she has done for the last five years. She represents the body on national committees such as the Cleanliness Committee (Barbados Tourism Product Authority) and the Climate Change Steering Committee (Ministry of Environment and Drainage); also within international, regional and local foras on disaster risk reduction, climate change, sustainable land management, marine pollution and sustainable tourism. Sade coordinates the annual Barbados International Coastal Clean-up (BICC), which is the first and largest island-wide monitoring mechanism for marine debris in Barbados. This allows for the participation and engagement of youth and the wider Barbados populace which we refer to as citizen scientist in order to gather primary data on marine debris to identify trending issues. She has facilitated the latest youth engagement and participatory activity which looked at introducing the sustainable development goals and examined the green economy approach in achieving them. The event was called the 2017 National Youth Consultation, whose theme was “Youth in Sustainable Development”.She has been formally trained in Tourism and Project Management at the University of the West Indies-Cave Hill Campus and certified in Sustainable Consumption and Production Approaches and Practical Tools by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.Sade hopes this experiential opportunity will help influence new ideas for advancing the sustainable development goals in the area of youth, environment, sustainable development and tourism.

Ivonne Daniela Izquierdo Rodriguez, Youth Scholar

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As someone who works in the development and humanitarian sector Daniela has had first hand experience on how climate change has already affected millions of people. Daniela has worked on resilience, and adaptation and mitigation for the most vulnerable and truly believes that something has to be done to prevent future catastrophes. Life below water–SDG 14, is one of the most important for the work she has undergone in recent years, not only to preserve all the life that comes from there but also how one minor change in the ecosystem is able to affect millions of people. Daniela has experience with mangrove projects that look into the proliferation of life below water and at the same time prevention of humanitarian disasters all within the tourism sector in South East Asia. SDG 13 encompasses all the challenges that we must face in order to mitigate all the damage that has been done and that are affecting the most vulnerable populations all over the world. This is why Daniela is so excited to participate in the 97th voyage¨to learn more about the subject¨, to see different points of view¨ and to participate in this very much needed dialogue on how to keep on helping tourism and sustainability in this region of the world.

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This post was written and edited by the Peace Boat US intern team.

 

Setting Sail for the SDGs: Introducing Our Summer 2018 Interns!

Peace Boat US welcomes its new 2018 summer interns. Coming from a variety of backgrounds, they are committed to ensuring that Peace Boat is ready to set sail for the SDGs in Latin America! Peace Boat US will also be taking part in a variety of events this summer, ranging from UN Environment Day,  World Oceans Day, the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development to hosting the Partnership Expo on the ship! Learn more about our talented team of interns below :


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Vittorio Argeri is an international student at LIU Post, majoring in Political Science. He will be graduating in December. Before transferring to Post, he had attended two years of University in Italy, working towards a Bachelor of International and Diplomatic Sciences. His passion and interest for international relations and human rights related issues brought him to study in the United States and to intern at Peace Boat US. He received the chance to travel across Asia and Europe and get in touch with different cultures as well as languages. Peace Boat US’ structure and goals are focused on diversity and intercultural projects. He is excited to experience and get a better understanding of how international organizations, states and NGOs interact. Furthermore, he is curious as to how international law is implemented and ensures respect for human rights worldwide–this in particular being a subject he plans to study in graduate school.

IMG_0984Emile Christory is a student at the Lycée Français de New York. He fluently speaks French and English since he has lived his whole life in New York City, and has family from both France and Switzerland. This year, he was taught about sustainable development in his geography class, prompting him to become interested in the SDGs and how they aim to achieve different goals for the 2030 agenda. Emile believes that Peace Boat US helps the planet and protects its future by educating individuals on sustainable development. Emile is excited for his internship at Peace Boat US as he thinks he will achieve a better understanding how sustainable development can be promoted and put in to action within this generation’s lifetimes.

IMG_0982Christian Hess is a doctoral student in the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers University. His current research focuses on hate crimes committed against the LGBTQ+ community in Northern Europe. Prior to this, he obtained his bachelor’s in Political Science and History at Rutgers University, and is currently finishing his Master’s with a focus on genocide and how to bring perpetrators to justice. Passionate about the environment, he is eager to assist Peace Boat US in furthering its goals in promoting SDGs. He hopes to further learn how to advocate for sustainable development and how to ensure that the 2030 Agenda becomes a reality.

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Lassana Diaby
is a polyglot and long-time resident of New York who moved here from Cote D’Ivoire, West Africa nearly 23 years ago. His journey as a student has taken him to various interesting paths and cross-roads of learning. He is extremely excited to be part of the beginning of his time at Peace Boat US, finding that their mission and philosophy mirror his own passion for sustainable development.
As a naturalized American citizen and African, he believes that his country’s need for sustainable development has never been greater due to challenges related in containing fast urbanization and more specifically, some other urban malaise in planning and development. As a graduate student in Political Science with a background in Media arts and Urban Studies and Film, he firmly believes that change and transformation start from within and then grows outwards into the world and beyond. He fully embraces his opportunity as an intern at Peace Boat US as a stepping stone to discover not only more about the real world of work and future opportunities it has to offer, but also as a path to explore and develop his own interests regarding people, culture, climate and the environment. To Lassana, sustainable development goes hand in hand with ‘renewal of the self’. As a result, one should work hard to improve their own personal development. Doing so allows them to understand the care put into such actions and how essential it is to do so for others.


This post was written and edited by the Peace Boat US intern team

 

Students Seeking Solutions for the SDGs

 

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The Students Seeking Solutions for the SDGs was the first conference in a series, held by young, bright-minded students proposing implementable solutions to issues highlighted by a specific SDG. This year, Peace Boat US youth delegates from Lehigh University along with students from across the country came in with projects and engaged in dialogue concerning the issue of SDG 6–Access to Clean Water and sanitation around the world. By 2030, we hope to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all. The SDGs also aim to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.

Science cannot operate in a vacuum—it must advance alongside the social, economic and political realms.  Deepika Kurup, a young scientist from Harvard University, spoke passionately about the accelerating demand for clean water, as 2.1 billion people lack access to sanitation. Clean water and sanitation are linked to poverty and economic development concerns, as many developing areas are dependent on agriculture for livelihood. A lack of water disproportionately affects children and women, as women and children are the ones that have to travel long distances to the nearest clean water source. Therefore, having clean water is key to safeguarding educational opportunities for children and ensuring economic empowerment for women in rural communities. The need for government and financial support alongside technological solutions is crucial, as there is no single way to resolve the water issue.

Antonella Vagliente, who directs Young Water Solutions, emphasized the obligation to make sure that whichever solutions are presented are aligned with the community. It is imperative to always first understand the context of the community and its cultural norms while respecting its process of government and local action. Ganesh Muren, a propagator of cost efficient green technology, highlighted how water issues vary across from region to region, from village to village, even within the same country. Thus, each solution must take into account a range of environments and outside influences for success.

Distinguished student presenters from accredited Universities across the country proposed their insightful and informative solutions for the clean water and sanitation issue. Not only were a variety of innovative projects developed, but the students also gave great hope to the future of making tremendous progress on this issue by understanding the wide scope and urgency of it. Ideas such as Reverse Osmosis Water Purification by Armar Bhardwaj from Columbia University and Allison Arsenault from the University of Minnesota, Land Desalination Plants by Kate Hartman from Northwestern University, Moringa seeds filtration process by the Penn State Moringa Team of the Schreyers Honors College and 3-D Printed filter attachments by Jenny Olmsted from the University of Florida were introduced at the conference.

It was noted that in 80% of the population that go without drinking water sources and 90% that practice open defecation without proper toilets and running water live in rural areas. Elliot Harris, the Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development and Chief Economist in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, underlined how water is intrinsically linked to issues of climate change, and how governments must come together to approach this issue from a financial standpoint and think long term of its effects. Progress made on water will help make progress on all other goals, as water is at the heart many issues related to the SDGs.

In addressing problems of urbanization, increasing pollution and equality, the next generation of eager students will provide a basis for how to establish access and management of clean water and sanitation for communities around the world, and thus ensure the protection of livelihood and health of all.

Can we only be equal in our common restriction? Does it take a restriction of access to a basic human right such as water to bring together the will of our generation? This comprehensive conference demanded action along all sectors of science, policy-makers, government, social and non-governmental areas. Peace Boat’s focus on sustainable solutions that impact communities around the world strives to emphasize not only implementing progress in such communities along with the SDG initiatives, but also promoting the education and progress of youth leaders.

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Keynote speaker Deepika Kurup (left) with Conference Organizer and Lehigh University Student Veronica McKinny (right)

 

Taken by Event Photographer: Daniel Beadle

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Students with their University Poster Presentations: (From left to right):

Sneha Iyer and Sofia Bisogno from Princeton University, Audrey Caprio and Paige LeMaster from Purdue University, Poster of Hunterdon Central Regional High School, and Poster of University of Brawijaya

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Morning Panelists, with Antonella Vagilienta (remotely), Ioana Belu, and Ganesh Muren (remotely)


This post was written by Reesha Patel  and John Lim, DPI Youth Representatives for Peace Boat US


 

Sustainable Cooking: An interview with Chef Madhi from the Patagonia Tour 2018

28577221_10156013375693820_5331951436966133760_nMichael Connors, known as Madhi by his colleagues, is a vegetarian chef who shares our enthusiasm for adventure travel and international cuisine. During his first time on the Peace Boat, he joined the “Sailing for Sustainability” program in Latin America on the 88th Global Voyage, visiting Mexico, Panama and Belize. He participated in a project to help build a sidewalk for the Kuna indigenous community and raise funds for school supplies and materials for the local school.  As a vegetarian Chef in New York, he shared his expertise in cooking onboard through workshops and lectures, with a specific focus on the importance of sustainable cuisine and the positive environmental aspects of eating low on the food chain.  Madhi has continued to support Peace Boat and the Music & Art Peace Academy project through cooking for fundraising events in New York and decided to join the 10 Year Anniversary trip to Patagonia in Feb 2018.   During his trip, he was able to experience the natural wonders of Chile and host vegan BBQs in Patagonia and the capital city of Santiago, Chile. Below is a short interview about his experience traveling in South America.

What inspired you to join the trip to Patagonia?

When I met Emilie five years ago she told me about the Patagonica project for climate action and environmental awareness.  Then our dear friend Brian Park went last year as a photographer for the project.  I think the fact that Holmar and Philipp Jung were the main artists this year – and because we are such good friends and I love their music so much – is what put me over the edge to want to join this year.  I always knew I would go at some point and this was the perfect opportunity.

How do the culinary arts in Chile relate to the places you have been?

As a lifelong vegetarian, most places in central and South America are challenging.  Chile definitely has some delicious things to eat.  Chilean cuisine reminded me a bit of Italian food in the way that the food is based on fresh ingredients, that are cooked simply and meant to shine on their own.

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Madhi – hiking in the mountains of Patagonia

 

Did you learn any new recipes during the trip to Chile?

I did some research about Chilean food for Holmar’s live broadcast from the Log Cabin Studios before the trip.  My favorite dish (which I made again when I got home) was a casserole, where you blend fresh corn with milk and basil, and then layer it with raisins, nuts, caramelized onions and cheese… YUM!!!!      * known as Pastel de Choclo in Chile *

What were some of your best memories from the trip?

Educating people in Chile (as well as ourselves) about the issues we were highlighting along our journey.  Conservation, environmental awareness, and sustainability were the main themes of the program.  Getting out in the world and meeting people, talking about issues, and having a great time while we were doing it.
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The local DJ’s from Chile also blew my mind, but for sure the people I met on this journey were the most interesting part of the trip.  Learning about their culture through their eyes and sharing this experience together.

Do you feel you had an impact on the goal of trip?

Yes for sure, personally my goals were to educate people in my own way (through food and the stories of my experience); that you don’t need meat in every meal, and that a meal can be satisfying with out it.  I believe many people got hip to this fact. I also wanted to meet tons of new people, learn from them, and learn as much about Chile as possible.  I think I accomplished all of these goals and much more.
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This is a Vegan Barbacue done by Madhi

What was your impression from the trip ?

I felt like we were a group of artists touring the country. We were all putting our best foot forward, encouraging each other and bringing out the best in each other.  Musically, seeing the new direction that Holmar is taking and watching him and Philipp Jung play so many events so perfectly together I also found truly inspiring.
I felt that to sum the trip up in one word, quite simply it was magical.  Chilean people are very warm, welcoming and friendly.  The group of 12 core people we were traveling with all had unique, special personalities and we got along famously.  I’d say by the end of the trip we were all quite bonded and I now hold a special place in my heart for the country of Chile, its beautiful people, and our friends from the trip.  It felt great to be having fun and helping make the world a better place at the same time.
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This is a vegetarian soup made my Madhi himself!

Blog Post written by Vivienne Hólmarsdottir

Climate Action in Patagonia – Interview with Stephanie Dawn Hawkins

The Director of Peace Boat US, Emilie McGlone, recently coordinated a trip to Patagonia, Chile in February 2018 with an aim to make the Chilean side of Patagonia a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO. Peace Boat has been working alongside Chile’s most venerable environmental organization–the National Committee to Protect the Fauna and  of Chile (CODEFF)—on a campaign to declare 7,500,000 hectares of Chilean Patagonia territory a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In recent years the Chilean Patagonia has faced an uphill battle against private interests. The Aysen region, which houses diverse wildlife and other biological and geographical features, is continually endangered by development and resource exploitation.  By becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site–like its Argentinean neighbor, the Patagonia will enjoy the benefits of global funding for conservation initiatives, ecologically responsible tourism, and recognition of its autonomy from the private sector. Peace Boat US recently ventured on a trip to the Patagonia region for the purpose of the aforementioned initiatives. Below is an interview conducted with Stephanie Hawkins, a participant on the trip led by the Music & Art Peace Academy to raise awareness about environmental issues through creative means. For the interview about the Patagonia trip with the guest artists Holmar Filipsson and Philipp Jung (M.A.N.D.Y.), visit this link : PATAGONICA VOL 10 in Chile 

 

 

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Tell us about your experience traveling to Patagonia:

I can’t imagine a more perfect team of people. The trip as a whole was ideal because of the people I was with! As a team we were together almost every moment of the tour and before that the majority of us had never met. The fact that we were able to not only tolerate but enjoy each other’s company throughout the whole trip is really impressive. I think it speaks directly to the wisdom of our organizer and leader Emilie McGlone!

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The team on the way to the isla Magdalena

What left the most impact on you from the trip ?

The real answer to this question is “everything”. Chile is such a beautiful place, even the 6-hour-long bus rides were fulfilling! It was really hard to rest on those long bus rides because the changing views out the window were so beautiful you didn’t want to sleep and miss anything.  

There were so many moments on the trip where the landscape reminded me of my home state, California. But in many ways the Chilean landscape is more wild and naturally

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The glacial waters of Chilé, taken by the Patagonica  team.

beautiful. This was especially true at the beach we visited near Valparaiso. The beach itself was filled with big boulders that formed small tidal pools. The seaweed and kelp all looked vibrant and overgrown on the rocks. In less than 5 minutes I spotted 4 of the coolest looking starfish I’ve ever seen in the wild. A few feet from all of this there were children playing and a crowded cafe and lots of beach goers in general. Regardless, the beach was pristine. I didn’t see one piece of litter.

What did you learn about Climate Change and the Penguins ? 

I’ve always identified with penguins. They’re kind of clumsy but they have amazing endurance. Also, they’re black and white. Like penguins, I keep a pescatarian diet and can be very loud. The fact that I get to exist in the same time and space as these flightless

unnamed-2creatures gives me joy. Visiting an island filled with them was overwhelming and something I’ll cherish forever.

On the boat ride to Isla Magdalena the captain and crew of the boat provided clear instructions on how to limit our disturbance of the penguins. There was a roped off circular path that led up to the lighthouse at the hilltop and back down to the waiting boat. By the time we exited onto the island, most of the tour group had already made it halfway to the lighthouse. We were given a full hour to make the loop so I lingered at the beginning of the trail until I was almost alone.

The Magellanic Penguins chose this island as a nesting site long ago because of its proximity to abundant food resources. At the time of our visit in early February most of the babies had lost their fluffy down feathers and looked more like slightly smaller versions of their parents.

On the trail I witnessed different stages of the penguins nesting. Hundreds of different little groups and couplings of penguin communities nestled in their little burrows and

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Here is a close up image of the Penguins of Magdalena.

waddling their way to the shore. I wasn’t on the trail long before I was surrounded by the sounds sights and smells of the penguins; flapping, preening, cooing, squawking honking and calling to one another in the cool wind. These birds have a healthy lifespan of 25 years in nature and they mate for life. Traveling thousands of miles each year to return to the exact same burrow to nest each spring. It’s not hard to imagine stories like the ones narrated by Morgan Freeman in March of the Penguins.

The lighthouse keeper shared the real narrative. During the summer of 2014 Magdalena Island had a population of over 60,000 penguins. This year the population was just 23,000. The Magellanic penguins were first named after the explorer Ferdinand Magellan when they were spotted in 1520. Their conservation status is “near threatened” and rapidly declining. Because environmental changes have displaced the fish populations that serve as their main food source. They now swim an average 50 miles further to find food, which delays the time away from their hungry penguin families.

I’ve seen documentaries and television specials about penguins. It was a privilege to witness this precious environment and I plan to share the experience with everyone I can now that I have first-hand information and experience.

Do you feel you have made a positive impact on the purpose of this trip?

I hope so! It was a privilege to join a team full of so many inspiring individuals. Being

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Vegan BBQ at the DJ School Chile

surrounded by them for nearly 2 weeks has certainly left an impact on me. As we moved from town to town the general buzz created by the tour was palpable. I think the true impact of this tour is still building up now.  At the very least, I helped prepare a plant-based barbecue for a crowd of hungry carnivores and introduced the concept of biodegradable glitter to some new friends on the dance floor.

What was the most inspiring portion of this trip?

On a professional level it was really inspiring to watch Holmar Filipsson and Philipp Jung  perform with great music night after night. Their energy was consistent and it kept me smiling on and off the dance floor. It was a privilege to watch these two collaborate, they were clearly having fun and that kind of joy is infectious!

What was your personal goal for this trip?

Whenever I travel I try to manage my expectations and keep an open mind and heart. For me, this trip was the farthest South anyone in my entire family has ever traveled. I had no other expectation than to have accomplished that and what I truly accomplished was much more than that. To be honest I’m still processing my goals for this trip.

I decided to go to Patagonia with the MAPA project because of the group of amazing people that were going. In my wildest travel dreams I would never be able to see this much of Chile with so many people that I love and respect. The more I learned about the itinerary the easier it was to make the decision!

 

 

Blog post written by PB US Intern, Vivienne Hólmarsdottir

 

Rutgers University Division of Global Affairs partners with Peace Boat US

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PB97-Spring-Flyer-1-980x400Peace Boat US is pleased to collaborate with the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers University to promote a culture of peace and sustainability through education. Along with special invitations on upcoming global voyages, Peace Boat US is housing a number of interns specifically from the Global Affairs program at the United Nations-based office in New York. This is the first year Rutgers and Peace Boat US have partnered together to give graduate students an in-depth look at their current projects and initiatives to promote peace and sustainability around the world. The Division of Global Affairs will collaborate with Peace Boat US in various events and lectures, as well as craft innovative programs together. This April, both Dr. Richard O’Meara, Director of the Division of Global Affairs, and Sonam Tashi, Global Program Manager within the program boarded the Peace Boat as part of its 97th Global Voyage.

Rutgers University-Newark is a Top 25 research university and the only institution in the United States to offer both Master of Science and Doctoral degrees in Global Affairs. The main goal of the Division of Global Affairs (DGA) is to provide intellectual and practical training in eight Areas of Inquiry: Ethics, Security, and Global Affairs; Global Governance; Human Security; Global Political Economy; International Law; History of International Business; Global Development; Human Rights and Mass Atrocities. The program offers its ethnically and internationally diverse student population an interdisciplinary and multicultural perspective on global issues.

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Onboard the ship, youth working to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) traveled with the Peace Boat and learned about local sustainable development in the program “Sailing for Sustainability in Asia”. From April 2-20 during Peace Boat’s 97th Voyage, the group visited Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Among these young people were students, activists, and lifelong learners of all ages, backgrounds, and nationalities who are currently or previously involved in SDG-related activities or have a strong desire to learn about sustainable development. Participants from the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, India, Barbados and the Philippines joined the Peace Boat voyage to attend presentations, seminars, and workshops addressing the SDGs.  In the ports of call, youth had the opportunity to visit local NGOs working on issues related to climate change, youth engagement, ocean conservation, mangrove restoration, and policy-making. With the goal to promote the SDGs and socially and environmentally responsible tourism, these youth scholars have strong leadership skills and a passion for sustainability.

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Dr. O'Meara

Dr. Richard M. O’Meara presently serves as the Director of the Division of Global Affairs, Rutgers University and as a Professor of Law and Global Security Issues. He is a retired Army General Officer and trial attorney and received his PhD in Global Affairs from Rutgers University and his JD from Fordham University. His research interests include the application of ethics to the use of military technologies, the intersection of ethnicity and violence in conflict zones, security and foreign policy issues in Sub-Saharan Africa and the North Pacific, and conflict resolution. He has travelled widely in Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and Latin America working with stakeholders to create dialogue and solutions regarding the cessation of conflict. His recent work includes Going Home For Apples and Other Short Stories (Amazon), amongst many other written works that allow for further reflections on peace and conflict resolution.

SonamSonam Tashi is the Global Program Manager at the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers-Newark. His research interests include social capital, voting behavior, and democratization. His work examines voter turnout in violent elections across Sub-Sahara Africa. Previously, Sonam was the Principal Sovereign Risk Analyst for a consultancy firm advising hedge funds and other large institutional investors on political and economic risk in the emerging markets.

 

 

 

For more information about the Rutgers Division of Global Affairs, visit their website at dga.rutgers.edu.

 

Blog written by Shelby Moulton, Rutgers Division of Global Affairs
Peace Boat US Intern