In support of the International Year of Reef, the Challenge in 2018 partnered with Ocean Geographic to offer two spots to join the scientific expedition to Raja Ampat, Indonesia, where the winners would join elite marine scientists, conservationists and underwater photographers to perform a health check in one of our world’s richest marine biological provinces.

The Challenge accepted entries from youths between 18 to 35 years of age who were residing in ASEAN. Participants were invited to write a 3,000 word essay with their solutions on either of the following themes: coral reef conservation in Singapore and the Region, or reduction in plastic waste by individuals and organisations. 10 finalists with an impressive track record and solutions were shortlisted and presented their ideas to a prestigious judging panel. Judges included CDL Chief Sustainability Officer Esther An, GGEF Founder Christina Lee, OCBC Bank Head of Group Brand & Communications Koh Ching Ching, expedition director Michael Aw, NParks Director of the Coastal and Marine Environment Branch Dr Karenne Tun, and Tropical Marine Science Institute Professor Chou Loke Mi.

After much deliberation, two winners were selected: Anna Oposa, founder and “Chief Mermaid” of Save Philippines Sea and Sam Shu Qin, marine biologist with the NUS Reef Ecology Lab.

Anna Oposa, Chief Mermaid of Save Philippine Seas

Sam Shu Qin, Marine biologist and co-founder of Our Singapore Reefs

We believe that both winners will form a formidable force to promote solutions and expand awareness to combat climate change.