We have organizations such as Sea Scouts and such but they are not followed through in Sri Lanka. Thus, we will recreate it as the Young Mariners Association.
by Ayesh Ranawaka
( November 4, 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Last year, the President Maithripala Sirisena signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change along with 170 other countries. While job innovation is one branch of “Blue Economy”, protecting the environment is another aspect, and we are ready to take this challenge.
We have already taken the initiative to launch projects for the protection of the future of our country. Everyone is aware of the relationship between children and nature. In order to protect both of this, we must work to bring children closer to nature, and that is when our country will have a future. We cannot confine ourselves to politically motivated, narrow minded agendas. This is why the Ministry of Fisheries decided to commence the Young Mariners Association, with the assistance of Ministry of Education.
We have organizations such as Sea Scouts and such but they are not followed through in Sri Lanka. Thus, we will recreate it as the Young Mariners Association. This will enable children aged 5 to 18 to have better knowledge about “Blue Economy”and to be at one with nature. They will want to protect the oceans and they will learn how to.
Although there have been activities to protect our beaches, we have decided to go further out into the water. Instead of stopping just at the beach, we must teach children to protect our oceans. Because without water there is no life, and this fact is not stressed enough in the present generation. We cannot restrict ourselves to just the beach. Before the Tsunami disaster struck Sri Lanka, causing a great impact to many lives, we hardly knew what a Tsunami was. However, Tilly Smith, a 10-year-old British girl was able to help save 100 tourists from a Thai beach hit by the Tsunami simply because she learnt in school. This is why we stress the importance of Knowledge.
Exploring the Ocean will take these children to greater heights. For the first the Marine Environment Protection Authority, the Sri Lanka Navy, the Sri Lanka Coast Guard and the Sri Lanka Fisheries Ministry will commence this forum – the young Mariners Association.
( The writer is an ex-navy officer of Sri Lanka Navy)