IMO helps children speak out on marine environment at world summit

As a result of an initiative from the International Maritime Organization and a number of Marine Environment Protection Agencies (MEPAs), four IMO child ambassadors have presented messages on behalf of these organizations to the Children's World Summit for the Environment in Aichi, Japan. The Children's Summit was organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to run concurrently with the World Exposition 2005 (26 to 29 July 2005), the theme of which was "Nature's Wisdom."

The four children were Nikolaos Theofilidis from Greece, sponsored by HELMEPA Junior; Çagla Gamze Seten and Beril Esen from Turkey, sponsored by TURMEPA Junior and Nikolas Adami, sponsored by CYMEPA Junior.

At the Summit, the children read out a short message about MEPA Junior activities and the relationship between IMO's marine environment protection activities and the overall themes of the Summit. They also expanded on the practical ways that MEPAs are helping to protect the marine environment.

The participation of the four children in the Summit will help boost public awareness of IMO's role in protecting the marine environment from pollution by ships and, in particular, will help get the message across to younger generations.

Overall, the summit gave the children attending the conference, as well as all children around the world, an opportunity to consider environmental issues. Through the Internet and by other means, the children worked with the Japanese organizing committee in promoting discussion about the conference's themes and details in advance of the summit.

The goals of the Summit itself were to increase children's understanding of environmental issues through the sharing of experiences and opinions; to improve the environment by sharing best practices and encouraging new initiatives; to give the children of the world a chance to forge lifelong friendships; to provide opportunities for children to collectively voice their concerns for the environment and to inspire children to think globally and act locally.

It is expected that the four IMO child ambassadors will report the outcomes of the Summit to the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in the near future. The initiative has already generated much interest in the MEPA Junior concept and it is hoped that it will encourage the establishment of more Junior MEPAs in the future, in other regions of the world.

More details on the summit can be found at

Briefing 33/2005, 28 July 2005


IMO - the International Maritime Organization - is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.

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