A wave of excitement and learning

“Exciting news! We are thrilled to announce the upcoming #MarineRegionsForum conference! Join us from November 7th to 9th, 2023, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as we focus on the Western Indian Ocean Region. Our aim is to enhance regional ocean governance.”

With these words, I embarked on an extraordinary journey with the Marine Regions Forum. My name is Hamza Buqaileh, a Water and Environmental Engineer, currently pursuing a MSc in Integrated Natural Resource Management at Humboldt-Universität of Berlin. I was given the incredible opportunity to contribute to the cause of saving the oceans through my role as a student assistant at the 2nd Marine Regions Forum.

Hamza presenting the photo competition’s prizes at the final conference dinner.

From the moment I shared this tweet, I knew I was part of something significant. The anticipation of bringing together experts and stakeholders to address the pressing issues facing the Western Indian Ocean Region fueled my excitement. This journey kicked off at the lively office in Potsdam, where I found myself surrounded by enthusiastic marine experts. The preparation phase before the conference, despite its intensity, was a new opportunity for discovery, and growth. Setting the stage for a successful and impactful forum.

The conference was a thrilling blend of excitement and discovery, with experts from every corner of the globe sharing interesting scientific insights. The conference reminded us that scientific advancements alone aren’t enough to tackle the challenges we face. With representatives from governments, organizations, and local communities in attendance, the Marine Regions Forum turned into a dynamic hive of collaboration and cooperation.

Amidst the sessions and workshops, I had the chance to immerse myself in Tanzanian culture, savoring the flavors of local cuisine and exploring the rich traditions of the region. But perhaps the most enriching aspect of the forum was the opportunity to connect, forming bonds and friendships that transcended borders. The sessions we had as early career professionals provided the perfect space for me to connect, discuss, and learn from other young professionals.

In closing, the Marine Regions Forum was a transformative journey and a fantastic experience! From engaging discussions to cultural exchanges, it was a wave of excitement and learning. As I bid farewell to this unforgettable journey, I’m motivated to keep walking on the path of ocean conservation.

Some of the Marine Regions Forum team. Top row: Anastasia Roberts, Hamza Buquaileh, Ben Boteler, Barbara Neumann, Laura Weiand, Shannon Hampton. Bottom row: Luise von Pogrell, Olga Lukyanova, Pradeep Singh, Madisen Dimacale (Photo by Empower Limited).