Changing mindsets will change habits and changing habits will in time make way for a new generation of people who put our environment first before profit.
Natalei Ecolodge manager Josefa Bau made this comment as he thanked all those who participated in the Moon Reef Ocean Festival last Saturday.
Mr Bau said the purpose of the festival was to encourage and motivate students who live in coastal villages on how to preserve their oceans.
“The way forward is through awareness and challenging our youths to open up to the many new and wonderful ways we can preserve and sustain our environment,” he said.
He said they celebrated World Ocean Day 2023 at the Ecolodge in Dawasamu, Tailevu with students from the Australian National University (ANU)and students from Dawasamu Secondary School who came to discuss ways to preserve the marine environment.
Minister for Lands Filimoni Vosarogo officiated at the event and reminded the young undergraduates from ANU and the students of Dawasamu Secondary School that they were the future.
“The future for them isn’t 10 years from today. It is now. They have an opportunity to make their voices heard today and collaborate on issues that they feel is important for governments to consider,” Mr Vosarogo said.
“We shared our vision, goals and desires to maintain the ecological balance that the oceans provide humanity into the future,” he said.
“The plan of the Japanese government to dump treated wastewater into the Pacific Ocean has been resisted by many countries.
“The Fijian Parliament unanimously opposed the plan of action by the Japanese. Deep Sea Mining (DSM) looms to created diverse opinions in our Pacific Large Ocean States.”
Mr Bau said the day was fun-filled and youths enjoyed the various competition organised for them that was meant to introduce them to different cultures, food and more so, friendships.