18 April 2017- a group of young scientists convened the first “WESTPAC Youth Forum” in Qingdao, China during their participation into the 10th WESTPAC International Scientific Conference “Advancing Ocean Knowledge, Fostering Sustainable Development”.
“Through this Forum, we have engaged into a consensus on how to best use this opportunity to promote solidarity and actively connect scientists throughout the region.” Said Mikhael Tañedo from University of the Philippines at the closing ceremony of the 10th WESTPAC Conference.
The “WESTPAC Youth Forum” initially offered a platform to the young generation of marine scientists in the region for discussing about their perspectives on marine science development and collaboration. Several WESTPAC senior experts were also invited to join in the discussion, sharing their long years of working experience in the region and interacting with these young scientists about the importance of marine science cooperation.
“Our young generation should be always passionate to learn a broad arrange of knowledge, and be committed to assisting people in the region towards the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources”- said Wenxi ZHU, the Head of WESTPAC Office. “Building up individual capacities, proactively engaging in international communities, continuously seeking solutions and opportunities, and effectively communicating within and outside WESTPAC community are among key factors for developing sustainable partnerships with experts from other countries”- added other senior experts.
From the lively discussion and exchange during the forum, the young scientists were inspired and impressed by the contribution and leadership of these senior experts in promoting ocean knowledge and fostering WESTPAC to address the region’s socio-economic challenges in a globalizing world.
Young Scientists at the Form expressed their commitments to advancing ocean knowledge toward sustainable development and marine conservation. To further network young scientist community after this forum, the Forum decided to set up “WESTPAC Young Generation Scientist Network” as an initial attempt to encourage and facilitate collaborations among young scientists in the region. This Network will bring to the WESTPAC Community, a particular set of skills and strengths for effective communications between scientific communities, general public and decision makers. This “WESTPAC Next Generation Scientist Network” is not only open to scientists below 35 years old, but also welcomes senior scientists who would like to be part of strengthening and nurturing the WESTPAC future marine science leaders.