DBYS Panjim Holds Webinar on Conserving the Coast

Avira Barretto
16 Sep 2020

Poster of Coastal Conservation webinar

The webinar was a ride along the Konkan coast. Knowing how sand dunes and mangroves save us from nature's fury, understanding why plastics end up in our food pyramid and the role of coastal biodiversity said, Zeeshan Fernandes, participant of the webinar on Coastal Conservation held as part of the ongoing month long environmental event, Celebrate Earth 2020 by Don Bosco Youth Services (DBYS) of Panjim Salesian province on September 5, 2020.

The webinar on coastal conservation was conceptualised by DBYS-Panjim team as the three states of Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka fall along the scenic Konkan coastline. Two individuals who have made a mark in this field, Sarita Fernandes and Nehara Pandey, took to the stage to share their experiences with the 60 plus young participants over Google Meet.

Sarita Fernandes, a coastal and marine policy researcher, marine biodiversity and habitat advocate, serving as the Managing Trustee-Founder and Principal Programme Co-ordinator for Morjim Sea Turtle, imparted information about the coastal communities of Goa. How the Konkan coast gets its identity from the Western Ghats and how the Oliver Ridley species of turtle, found in Goa help maintain a balance in marine ecology. She also spoke on temperature changes and how this phenomenon affects the lives of the marine animals such as whales and dolphins.

Sarita ended her session appealing to the participants a simple idea that is, next time they visit a beach, to look not at what we as humans enjoy while visiting a beach but consider how marine life is affected by our actions and how we can give back to the ocean.

Don Bosco Higher Secondary School, Panjim, Alumnus, Nehara Pandey, recipient of Open Water Diver certification at age 11 and awardee of Sanctuary Nature Foundation’s Young Naturalist 2019, a scuba diver, marine activist, conservation communicator and the youngest correspondent for, Youth Ki Awaaz platform.

With a PowerPoint presentation, she explained the importance of oceans, how humans are dependent on the ocean for oxygen, food, jobs and medicines to cure diseases such as arthritis, cancer and Alzheimer. Addressing the issue of plastic waste in the ocean, she explained how the accumulation of waste affected marine life and ecosystem. She ended her session calling on the participants to use the recycle, reuse and reduce method to help prevent the increasing plastic debris in the ocean.

In the Q and A session, the resource persons clarified pertinent issues such as controlling the use of plastic, importance of sand dunes etc.

It really was an amazing session. Coming to the end I would just come to the point through the quote, We had fought on behalf of man against sea, but I realized that it had become more urgent to fight on behalf of the sea, said participant, Aditi Malvankar.

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