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Atlantic Pacific Launches Sustainability Competition for Young People
Written by Sterling Content
September 30, 2022
BCCJ member Atlantic Pacific, an international lifeboat charity, is building its presence in Japan with the launch of its Ocean Revival Competition, hot on the heels of hosting a highly successful Summer Camp in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture.
Funded by The Nippon Foundation as part of the Umi to Nihon Project, Atlantic Pacific’s efforts are designed to help equip children and young people with the knowledge and awareness to respect and protect the ocean, as well as to enjoy time in and around it safely. Underlying all Atlantic Pacific’s activities, which include the Ocean Revival Competition and residential camps in the spring and summer, is a focus on sustainability, driven by a commitment to help deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Ocean Revival Competition
Atlantic Pacific is inviting all children and young people up to 25 years of age to share their ideas to reduce ocean plastic pollution. Imaginative ideas that could become real workable solutions to the plastic pollution crisis in Kamaishi and other coastal towns around the world are welcome.
All entrants will receive a certificate and feedback on their ideas from a panel of experts, as well as a chance to win great prizes, including places on the Kamaishi Summer Camp. The deadline for entries is December 19, 2022, with final judging in Tokyo on March 19, 2023.
In launching the contest, Atlantic Pacific builds on a successful Summer Camp delivered to junior and senior high school students from all over Japan in the NPO’s Japan base, Kamaishi.
Participants developed essential life skills including swimming, lifeguarding and sailing as well as specialist skills from the world of search and rescue. They learned about the history of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and how search and rescue and sea-safety awareness can prepare and protect them, should any similar events occur in future. Leadership skill development was also embedded in the course, with participants gaining a broader global outlook and increased awareness of the SDGs—all in a bilingual environment. And, to bring the sustainability aspects of the course to life, participants attended a design workshop event focused on generating creative ideas to tackle ocean plastic in Kamaishi.
The camp marks the return of Atlantic Pacific’s in-person activities in Japan since the outset of the pandemic in 2020.
“It was great to be back in Japan teaching young people the importance of sea safety and ocean pollution, while learning about communication, teamwork and leadership skills in a fun setting,” says Kate Sedwell, founder and chief operating officer of Atlantic Pacific. “We were especially pleased to receive so many applications that our course was over-subscribed, showing that there is growing demand for young people to learn the essential skills we teach at our Summer Camp.”
Lin Nishitani, project manager of Atlantic Pacific, says participants were energetic, enthusiastic and engaged, providing lots of positive feedback about the programme.
One participant said: “I was able to learn new things about SDGs and problems in the ocean and on the earth. It was also a great opportunity to learn how to do CPR and rescue which you can rarely learn anywhere else.”
Another thanked Atlantic Pacific for the “many valuable experiences” they had enjoyed, adding: “I was glad that I was able to learn more about the sea and disaster prevention at the camp. The Summer Camp has made me love the sea more and I want to join it again!”
And many were keen to talk about the Summer Camp with friends on returning home. One participant said: “I want to recommend the Summer Camp to my friends because I felt that through interacting with various people in the camp, I was able to develop my communication skills, become able to voice my opinions and take actions.”
Sea Safety Centre and Spring Camps
With such a positive reaction to the long-awaited camp, Robin Jenkins, founder and chief executive officer of Atlantic Pacific, hopes to provide greater support to Japan in sea safety and sustainability.
“We have bold ambitions to expand the positive impact we are having in Japan. We are working on plans to develop a dedicated Sea Safety Centre in Kamaishi, which can form the base for our summer camp in future, as well as other educational programmes we plan to deliver,” he says. “The centre will help us develop a sustainable presence in Japan, where we can run year-round activities to expand our educational work with young people, while encouraging the regeneration of the beach, the ocean and the local area.”
Dates have also been set for Atlantic Pacific’s two Spring Camps: March 21–25 and March 26–29. Both will be centred around ocean awareness and the problem of ocean plastic pollution, empowering young people to create design solutions for a sustainable future.
Atlantic Pacific is inviting potential participants, supporters, collaborators and other interested parties to get in touch. They are especially keen to hear from more schools, colleges and universities who are interested in exploring how their courses could expand existing curricular activities. You can contact Lin Nishitani, AP’s project manager, at [email protected] or visit www.atlanticpacific.org.uk