Johanan Dujon from Saint Lucia has developed a process to transform sargassum seaweed to a high-quality fertilizer which he now exports to other small states.
Johanan is among four exceptional young people from India, Nigeria, the Solomon Islands and Saint Lucia who won prizes at the 2019 Commonwealth Youth Awards in recognition of their efforts to end hunger, sexual violence, sanitation issues and climate change. A ceremony was held on March 13, at the Commonwealth’s Headquarters in London, where winners shared a £12,000 grant for their innovative projects.
The Commonwealth Youth Awards regional winners are:
Africa and Europe: Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, Nigeria, focus on SDG 5: Gender Equality
Asia: Padmanaban Gopalan, India, focus on SDG 2: Zero Hunger
The Caribbean and Canada: Johanan Dujon, Saint Lucia, focus on SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
The Pacific: Bobby Siarani, Solomon Islands, focus on SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Johanan Dujon founded an indigenous biotechnology company ‘Algas Organics’. His company develops commercial agricultural products from harmful Sargassum seaweed.
These products unblock fish landing sites and reduce the harmful effect of the seaweed’s hydrogen sulphide emissions on local communities.
Speaking at the ceremony, he said: “Saint Lucia heavily depends on tourism. This seaweed problem has been having a crippling effect on our tourism and local fishery sector. We have developed a process to transform this seaweed to highly quality fertilizer that we now export to other countries.”
Johanan hopes to use his grant to expand his work to other affected small island states in Africa and the Pacific.
Every year the Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work recognize the exceptional contribution of young people, aged 15-29, of 53 Commonwealth countries who are leading initiatives in view of the sustainable development goals.
From more than 500 nominations from over 45 countries, 16 finalists were chosen by a panel of judges including representatives of high commissions, partner organizations and young leaders.
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