Towards a Sustainable Voyage
A round-the-world cruise takes you around the 40,000 km circumference of the earth. This is a style of travel that allows you to experience the size of Planet Earth, and be immersed in the great nature of the ocean. The marine environment is one of the most important themes for Peace Boat voyages as we sail around the world. Through our connections with the United Nations Peace Boat is an official partner of the UN SDG Action Campaign, and we have been promoting the importance of these goals and issues related to sustainability at ports around the world. In addition, we provide opportunities for people to think about the global environment as something close to home through the experience of travel.
Once we set out on a voyage, we are surrounded by the ocean. Things we may have heard about on the news such as ocean pollution and rising sea levels due to climate change become more familiar as we see plastic floating on the surface of the water, and the sea changing color every day. As part of our efforts to address the global problem of marine pollution caused by plastic waste, we have stopped using disposable plastic products such as straws, cups, forks, and muddlers onboard Peace Boat cruises. We also minimize the use of other disposable plastic products in an effort to reduce the amount of plastic waste.
The ship’s restaurants serve seafood that has passed the MSC certification, an eco-label for the sea that certifies that the seafood was caught through environmentally sustainable fishing practices. This is the first time in the world that MSC-certified seafood is served in a restaurant on a round-the-world cruise. Peace Boat voyages also offer meals in line with our own environmental guidelines, such as the selection of completely cultured and artificially bred bluefin tuna instead of endangered natural tuna. Because the ocean is necessary for our life and travel, our voyages are designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible. It is only on a Peace Boat cruise that you can be involved in sustainable initiatives through your daily life onboard.
The Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassadors
Peace Boat’s Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassadors Program was launched in 2017. It invites young people from island and coastal countries on the front lines of the climate change crisis to join Peace Boat Voyages. Youth from more than 10 countries and regions, including Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, the Maldives, and Trinidad and Tobago, have participated to date. They utilise the unique nature of ship travel to tell voyage participants and people in the ports of call about the impacts of climate change and marine pollution on the islands where they live, the actions needed, and various initiatives being taken.
Visit the Islands Facing the Climate Crisis
“The beauty of the ocean is magical, but also incredibly terrifying. Because, if the current rate of climate change continues, the ocean may be the only thing left of the Pacific islands I call home,” said Genevieve Jiva, a program participant from Fiji. Made up of 330 volcanic islands and coral reefs, Fiji is one of the island nations most affected by climate change, and is facing a serious crisis, with some estimating that the sea level will rise by three meters by 2050. Peace Boat provides opportunities for learning with local environmental groups and residents during port calls to Fiji, and also conducts programs to plant mangrove trees and clean beaches in cooperation with the locals.
Ms. Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), who played a major role in the Paris Agreement signed in 2015, is also an active supporter of the Program. In 2017, she joined our voyage, gave talks and participated in discussions with the Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassadors. These interactions and exchanges of ideas are fed back to the United Nations, leading to environmental protection efforts, stimulating further discussions, and serving as a way to bring the voices of youth leaders from Small Island Developing States to the UN.
Participate in Onboard UN Events
When the ship calls at New York, Peace Boat holds events related to the SDGs on board the ship, with the attendance of many guests including senior UN officials. In 2019, we held an official UN event onboard to commemorate United Nations World Oceans Day, in which the UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs spoke onboard to open the event. On the day, various Peace Boat activities were introduced and the Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassadors also presented their calls from their island communities and recommendations for action. In addition, keynote speeches and discussions onboard the ship on topics such as “Oceans” and “Partnerships” provided a valuable opportunity to learn about front-line initiatives and issues related to environmental issues.