The Mystical dorm room was cloaked in darkness. There was no movement, no noise until the bright light of a portal blazed in the center of the room. The Gifted Four tumbled out, deep in discussion.

“I’m so glad Felix took us to this conference,” said Verum, “I realized how important it is to save the oceans to tackle climate change.”

The Gifted Four were just returning from the island nation of Palau located in the Pacific Ocean. It consists of over 500 islands with some being coral islands and some being volcanic islands.

Palau along with the United States (US), had co-hosted the seventh ‘Our Ocean’ conference in April. The two-day conference was a key moment for countries, civil society, and industry to commit to concrete and significant actions to protect the oceans.

“Felix, you mentioned that it’s the first to be held in a small island developing country. But why Palau?” said Scorch.

“A healthy ocean is super important for such small island states. This is especially true for communities that depend on the ocean for their survival. The conference was held in Palau to highlight this,” replied Felix, “According to John Kerry, the impact of marine protected areas is higher in such places than in wealthier countries like the US.”

“Who is John Kerry?” said Orak.

“Kerry is the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and the person behind these conferences. He was the Secretary of State in US President Barack Obama’s administration,” said Felix, “Kerry has always loved the ocean and advocated (promoted) their protection. During his time in office, Kerry started the ‘Our Ocean’ conferences in 2014.”

“What was the conclusion of the conference?” said Scorch, “I might have missed that bit.”

“The conclusion was quite optimistic. This time, 410 commitments were made for issues such as climate, sustainable fisheries, marine protected areas, marine pollution, and so on,” said Felix, “An astounding $16.35 billion were pledged to ocean protection!”

“Phew! Finally, humans are realizing that they can’t solve the climate crisis without solving the ocean crisis, which cannot be solved without reducing emissions,” said Verum.