What is your job?
Chief Executive Director, Oceano Azul Foundation. I strive to lead and inspire my colleagues to do our utmost to help save the ocean. We build coalitions with other foundations, NGOs, citizens’ movements, and academia to advance programs for ocean literacy; to push for new marine protected areas; and to foster a new blue bio, sustainable economy to help restore the ocean and prevent its demise.
How are you helping cool the planet through your work?
Over the last five years, the Foundation has successfully launched concrete processes that have helped establish marine protected areas south of mainland Portugal (Algarve), in the Selvagens archipelago (part of the Madeira archipelago in the northeast Atlantic), and in the Azores. Marine Protected Areas help keep sea ecosystems healthier. Thus, they absorb more greenhouse gasses, including carbon emissions, and reduce their concentration in the water.
What most surprised you about your job?
How knowledgeable younger generations are, and how much they are willing to fight for the cause of ocean sustainability. That gives me great optimism and hope.
What can we do to get more young people into public service?
They are ready to join public service. But they also seek to be heard and to have a degree of autonomy in their job.