Chapter 1 /

Bodhi Patil of Ocean Uprise

Words: Courtney
Interview: Bodhi Patil

Bodhi Patil is an inspired youth leader and ocean climate solutionist who is passionate about the interconnection between ocean health and human health. Bodhi is the co-creator of @oceanuprise, a youth-driven initiative of ocean organization Parley for the Oceans, focusing on engaging youth and the next generation in the conversations and actions surrounding Ocean health. Through Ocean Uprise and his work with the United Nations as an esteemed young leader, he hopes to create opportunities for young people to take action #fortheoceans. 

We are extremely excited to be welcoming Bodhi, Ocean Uprise and Parley into our OCIN collective, as one of our chosen non-profit partners for Chapter III. A percentage of swim sales will be donated to Ocean Uprise to support their work and initiatives surrounding the protection of our oceans. 


Head to our IG to listen to Bodhi's VOICES with us – an online content piece we've created to highlight the voices of inspiring and innovative leaders. Keep reading below for a quote from his VOICES, alongside some words and goals he would like to share with the greater community, that he wrote for  ECOP (Early Career Ocean Professionals) Programme; an initiative led by the UN Ocean Decade 


@bodhi_patil | | @oceanuprise  

Regarding: Centering his work on the voice of YOUTH and why it is so important that young people are heard, and that there is a strong dialogue between young people and the older generation/those in power, especially when it comes to Ocean and climate governance.

Bodhi: My focus is on addressing the need for Intergenerational Collaboration and the capability of young people in decision-making spaces. This approach combines the knowledge and experience of adults with the tenacity and passion of youth, and creates opportunities for increased youth funding, mentorship, and internships in ocean-climate action. 

The ocean & climate platform is an ECOP organization leading in ocean governance and ocean policy-making spaces. The #OceanForClimate platform is 90 members strong in promoting reflection and exchanges between the scientific community, civil society and political decision-makers. The ocean outcomes are as follows:

• “France expressed its support for the prohibition of seabed exploitation.

• The Egyptian presidency, together with the Government of Germany and the IUCN,  launched the ENACT Initiative (Enhancing Nature-based Solutions for an Accelerated Climate Transformation) – which will coordinate global efforts to address climate change, land and ecosystem degradation, and biodiversity loss through Nature-based Solutions (NbS).

• The Netherlands has introduced the Champions Group for Deltas and Coastal Zones which will seek to harmonize action between countries and Small Island States to realise sustainable management of deltas and coastal zones in the short and medium term – and to provide area-specific advice to countries on the integral implementation of their National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) or national climate adaptation strategies. 

• Several steps forward have also been taken for blue carbon ecosystems. Mangroves have been the object of financial commitments, with the launch of the Mangrove Breakthrough: an investment target of USD 4 billion to secure the future of 15 million hectares of mangroves globally by 2030. This breakthrough will build on collective action to halt mangrove loss, restore half of recent losses, double protection of mangroves globally, and ensure sustainable long-term finance for all existing mangroves. The recently launched High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance outlines the conditions for high-quality blue carbon projects and credits to ensure accountability, sustainability, and transparency in the marketplace. This aligns with growing demands for blue carbon credits that continue to attract many new actors and have been valued at over USD 190 billion per year and estimated to reduce costs associated with impacts such as flooding by over USD 65 billion annually.

• With regard to the development of the blue economy, initiatives have emerged as a step towards the “Race to Zero”. Ten leading shipping organisations and green hydrogen producers have committed to producing and deploying at least 5 million tonnes of green hydrogen by 2030. Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the UK and the US also joined the Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA), founded at COP26. The Alliance aims to be a global driving force for the uptake of offshore wind by bringing together governments, international organisations and the private sector to close the emissions gap and enhance energy security.”

The ocean-climate alarm bells are ringing. And, current decision-makers are leaving GenZ & X, the planet’s most valuable but undervalued human resource and intelligence behind. This, we cannot afford.  Many of today’s wealthiest companies were started by young people in their 20’s.  Many globally significant environmental organizations too. These have transformed all aspects of our world. Young people have the energy to cocreate, act and pivot on their, your, and our vision for a better, more efficient, climate-smart and loving world. Intergenerational collaboration with joint decision-making may just become the lovingly powerful partnership and tool we need for ocean-climate transformation.  I have no doubt that Mother Nature would approve.  So, how do we get there? Five things I’ve been advocating for international conferences that have been getting traction:

• Create and deploy a 360 degree mentoring programs  

• Place young people on executive boards and in c-suite, executive positions 

• Provide finance for youth-led innovations within organizations and institutions

• Offer equitable and paid internships for marginalized youth and those most disadvantaged 

• Create an intergenerational task-force for ocean-climate action and solutions

• Intergenerational collaboration, cooperation, and co-creation will lead to a healthy planet and people. We are all in this together.

"I think people need to know that they’re lovingly powerful creators. And that they have the ability, tenacity, and conviction to do incredible things in the world. No one is too small or insignificant to make a difference in any sector or field. Especially in the environmental, climate, and ocean space – you are needed. Your unique perspective, inputs, and thoughts can be the change that we need for systemic action; for governmental and policy shifts; and for people living in harmony with mother nature and the seas around us. "

OCIN Voices with Bodhi Patil

Regarding: his reflections from COP 27

Bodhi: COP 27 threw me into the deep end. Fortunately, I love the deep end. In fact, it’s one of my favorite places to be, with no bottom in sight, just deep blue beneath me. A canvas of limitless potential and discovery. An opportunity for learning and growth. A chance to disrupt the entire system and re-create systems where people and the planet live in symbiosis.

This COP my fellow young ocean-climate leaders and I shine bright. Our projects were featured within UN panels, high-level side events and through powerful art exhibitions. We had fun, bringing incredible childlike joy to a space of such serious energy. Through our songs, dance, inquisitiveness, we created more positive outcomes. Many climate executives, ocean solution experts, and UNFCCC leaders expressed their continued support for youth funding, mentorship, and internships for holistic climate education/empowerment (integrating all parts of the living earth system, especially the ocean). 

Within the complexity of highly technical negotiation on NDC’s and loss and damage, to the grassroots movements demanding the criminalization of ecocide, human rights violations and climate injustice, COP was a hotbed of competition, collaboration, and new knowledge. A huge win was established as a loss and damage fund agreed upon by the parties to support countries most affected by the environmental inequity of climate impacts and particularly vulnerable countries in the global South will be implemented. However, questions remain to be answered in regards to addressing the operation, implementation and execution of this fund. Furthermore, Increased global support for a climate resilience/adaptation fund for SIDS “large ocean states', coral conservation, coastal stewardship and Indigenous rights was led by a groundswell of activists on-the-ground at COP 27. 

It is easy to say that COP 27 was a complete failure. In my experience, there were many wins as the ocean-climate dialogue will be strengthened within countries NDCs, young people will have a larger platform in joint-decision making with the launch of the Childrens and Youth Pavilion,  the Ocean Pavilion reached a massive audience, and increased finance was offered towards ocean solutions from philanthropists, government, investors, and industry accelerators. The biggest win of all, was forming an Intergenerational task-force of Ocean-Climate warriors who will continue to relentlessly fight for Ocean Health and Human Health in their lives, careers, and communities. The power of grassroots movements, Indigenous groups, youth constituencies, and ocean-environmental justice activists shone brightly at COP. As an ECOP, being able to add value, contribute youthful joy and urgency, and share tools to empower young people was essential to sowing the seeds for a more just and ocean-climate-literate world. It is a great honor to be a part of this global ocean community and help accelerate Intergenerational Collaboration and meaningful youth participation. 

Regarding: Incorporating Ocean Optimism into his work and sharing examples of what he's been proud to have achieved in 2022.

Bodhi: To me ocean optimism is about approaching all aspects of life with a positive, creative, and collaborative attitude. It is imperative to incorporate ocean optimism into conservation and ocean finance work in order to learn from the best practices of bright spots. The TOP 8 biggest bright spots of 2022 for youth-led ocean-climate action are the:

Youth ocean solutions like One World Breath, Ocean Uprise, Sustainable Ocean Alliance, Earth Echo, Youthtopia, UN1FY, MyEffect and others are scaling up and making an impact at international fora.

Establishment of the UN Youth Office

Oceanic Global Ocean x Climate Summit 

• Youth ocean-climate health solutions and declarations that came out in full force at COP 27 led by Islands 2030 Netork, GLISPA, and AOSIS for Large Ocean States

The Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) and XPrize Coral Reef Restoration Challenge

• Indigenous-led biodiversity and storytelling platforms being elevated like Nia Tero, PISFCC, Health in Harmony, Tetiaroa Society, and Polynesian Voyagers Society

STOP ECOCIDE International and the Fossil Fuel Non Proliferation Treaty pushing for more systemic change to divest and criminalize fossil fuel extractionism

• MORE meaningful spaces for young people in Intergenerational Collaboration and Joint-Decision Making!!!