Zahra Latheef, age 11
In early March, Shaama Sandooyea took a deep breath and plunged into the western Indian Ocean in the first-ever underwater youth climate protest. Holding a “Youth Strike for Climate” placard right above the world’s largest seagrass meadow, the 24-year-old Mauritian activist hoped to raise awareness about the importance of preserving seagrass. Sandooyea wants to bring attention to the United Nations’ goal to persuade countries to protect at least 30% of the planet’s land and oceans.
Seagrass absorbs carbon dioxide, thus slowing the rise in temperatures and the evaporation of water, which causes climate change. The world is losing about 7% of its seagrass due to rising ocean temperatures. It’s vital we keep the seagrass healthy and strong so we can help stop climate change, which leads to negative long-term impacts such as animal extinction and extreme weather, which is already happening.