25th March 2007 marks the 100th day since we created and signed a Youth Agenda for the Seas of East Asia. You may not be aware but we do have shared seas across the region and it is very obvious, even for non-‘environmentalists’ to see the threatening effects of climate change, pollution and other abuses to Mother Earth’s generosity.
Last December 11 to 15, 2006, I was one of the fortunate delegates who were able to participate in the first East Asian Seas Youth Forum held in Haikou City, PR China and I did learned a lot of valuable lessons (aside of course from having fun with 44 other young people from 10 Asian countries). I really wished more young people could have participated, including you. Maybe in 2009 in the Philippines, you could also participate in the next Youth Forum, who knows?
Photo taken at Haikou, Hainan, by Monkey on Dec 15, 2006
But for now, I’d like to share our story to let you experience even in this way our journey and share the important lessons we’ve had. Most especially, I would like to encourage you to be more responsible towards our environment even in simple ways. By our small deeds, we can make big impacts and start some change.
May I invite you, even if just for today, to refrain from using plastic straw in drinking your favorite cola or juice and also to pick up just a few rubbish/garbage you can see scattered irresponsibly on any place they shouldn’t be, would that be okay? I have also attached the Youth Agenda [pdf, 215kb] which contains other simple ways we can save the environment. I hope you could take a minute to read through it, and if you can forward this to any of your young relatives or colleagues, much better. There’s also a simple inspiring story below that hopefully would inspire you. There are more at www.pemsea.org/ye if you would like to visit.
To read more about our experience at the East Asian Seas Youth Forum in Haikou, Hainan in December 2006, see our Youth Story [pdf, 786kb]
That’s it for now!
November aka The Rambling Leaf Monkey
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The Wise Man
Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing.
He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer.
He smiled to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean. As he got closer he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?" The young man paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish in the ocean." "I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?" "The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die."
"But, young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!" The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves and said, "It made a difference for that one."
There is something very special in each and every one of us. We have all been gifted with the ability to make a difference. And if we can become aware of that gift, we gain through the strength of our visions the power to shape the future. We must each find our starfish. And if we throw our stars wisely and well, the world will be blessed.
Above Photos of Knobby Seastar at Cyrene Reef by Budak, taken on 22 March 2007
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