On 24 October, in connection with United Nations (UN) Day 2022, a team from the World Maritime University’s WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute hosted an interactive workshop for students from Malmö Latinskola, an upper secondary school in Malmö, Sweden. The workshop was delivered in collaboration with UNICEF Sweden’s Volunteer Group Malmö and focused on United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities and Goal 14 – Life Below Water.
Over 30 students participated in the creative activity as Youth Ambassadors for the Ocean and Coastal Communities. The workshop included an introduction to WMU and a presentation on the importance of the oceans with relation to working towards sustainable coastal cities and communities. Discussion focused on the students’ role & impact on sustainability issues along with solutions they can work towards, including in Malmö, to meet the targets of Goals 11 and 14. The UNICEF Malmö Volunteer Group presented UNICEF Sweden’s role and activities relating to the rights of children, interacting with the students on how youth could contribute to sustainable and resilient coastal communities.
Guidance for the workshop was provided by the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute and UNICEF, as well as WMU staff and topic experts from WMU’s Land-to-Ocean Leadership , Closing the Circle, and Empowering Women programmes. The students worked in groups to “interview” the experts and learn more about the challenges and solutions relating to the following topics: Climate Change & Sustainability, Urbanization & Infrastructure in Coastal Cities, Sustainable use of Marine Resources & Equality in Coastal Communities, the Impact of Marine Debris & Pollutants on Coastal Cities and Communities, as well as how youth can engage and contribute to building sustainable coastal cities and communities. Based on the interviews and workshop material, the students created Ocean and Coastal Cities Research Posters in groups and successively presented their work to the class summarizing key challenges, potential solutions and tangible actions that can be achieved, including what they can do as youth in Malmö.
The students appreciated the emphasis that everyone can make a difference. In reflecting on what they learned and could do to make a difference, one student said, “what we do to the ocean has a great impact on our lives.” Another remarked, “We should speak up about these issues, and make sure that our voices are heard to make a change.” Overall, the workshop sparked great interest and creativity among the students and convinced them that youth absolutely can make a difference in tackling the challenges faced by communities in coastal areas, taking action within their own school, in Malmö, and even worldwide.
This was the fourth annual workshop conducted by WMU for Malmö Latinskola in recognition of UN Day. WMU is grateful for this collaboration with Malmö Latin as well as the City of Malmö and UNICEF, and welcomes further collaboration with local schools to engage and empower youth, give back to the community, and build capacity locally in Malmö.
About the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean institute
The WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute was inaugurated in May 2018 and made possible through generous support from The Nippon Foundation of Japan, the Governments of Sweden, Canada, and Germany, as well as the City of Malmö. The vision of the Institute is to act as an independent focal point for the ocean science-policy-law-industry-society interface where policy makers, the scientific community, regulators, industry actors, academics, and representatives of civil society meet to discuss how best to manage and use ocean spaces and their resources in accordance with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
About the UNICEF National Committee in Sweden and UNICEF Volunteer Group in Malmö
As one of 32 national committees around the world, UNICEF National Committee in Sweden aims to mobilize resources, influence Swedish decision-making in relation to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as inform and educate on children’s rights. The UNICEF Malmö Volunteer Group is one of the 11 local volunteer groups in Sweden. The volunteers are dedicated to raising awareness and knowledge about children’s rights and UNICEF’s work for children, as well as mobilizing resources for UNICEF’s projects. There are many ways to contribute to UNICEF’s mission for the rights of every child, every day, across the globe. For information about becoming a volunteer, visit: https://unicef.se/bli-frivillig.
About Malmö Latinskola
Malmö Latinskola is an upper secondary school in the City of Malmö. It offers seven different programmes including social and natural science as well as art, theater and music in a creative and engaging environment. Every year Malmö Latinskola arranges a UN Day for its students and focuses on the UN 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals.