Eline Postma is a marine biology student, aspiring documentary filmmaker and ocean enthusiast. The video entry winner of our Storytellers competition, Eline blew us away with her videography skills as well as her evident passion for the ocean. Here’s what she had to say…
What makes our oceans such a valuable asset to protect?
The majority of people on this planet live in close proximity to the coast, and therefore many people’s livelihoods depend on healthy marine ecosystems. Fish provide an important source of protein in many cultures, and healthy coral reefs provide a basis for good economic health. On a more biochemical level, oceans are hugely important for storing carbon, more so than forests, meaning they play a key role in mitigating the effects of global warming. I could go on and on about this topic, but I think I’ll keep it at this!
What one piece of advice would you give to people who want to get involved in ocean conservation?
When you start thinking about all the problems the world has, it can become overwhelming up to the point where it feels as if nothing can make a difference anymore. If everyone keeps doing their part however, the accumulated efforts will pave the way to a more sustainable world. Keep making conscious decisions, find out what kind of seafood has been caught sustainably and take care of your community.
What was your #NOREGRETS moment on the Contiki Storytellers trip?
Ever heard of the Tarzan swing in Costa Rica? It is probably the closest I’ll ever come to bungee jumping (which I’m never going to do…). It’s a rope swing that requires you to jump off a platform. Sometimes you just need to give up control and trust that the instructors have adjusted the length of the rope sufficiently so you don’t hit the ground! Adrenaline feels good.
Who have you been inspired by on this trip?
It’s impossible to pinpoint a single person!! Everyone on this trip has seemed to figure out how to live their dream, and it’s such an inspiration. I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by them and it feels like I’m in the best classroom I could imagine for myself.
What place do youth have in the conservation conversation?
Cliché or not: our youth is the future. Through schools, it is feasible to reach a large audience that have the means to take the message of conservation with them into the rest of their lives. Our youth are all potential advocates that will affect future policies, so conservation education from a young age is of great importance.
You’ve been diving and working in and around the ocean from a young age – what did learning about the sea turtles and watching them lay their eggs mean to you?
To me, it felt very symbolic. Turtles can travel for thousands of kilometers around the world, but they always manage to find their way back home. This seems analogous to not forgetting about your own roots, and giving back to where you’ve come from. Going back to what Céline said: if saving the world is too overwhelming, start in your own backyard!
What three things do you think are the most important when telling a story through filmmaking?
Filmmaking is a powerful storytelling tool when it comes to conservation. It’s a medium that allows you to combine the art of photography as well as spoken word. This way, you can convey the beauty this world has to offer, as well as tell stories of the people that make it their life’s mission to preserve it. Ultimately, this would awaken a sense of awe and compassion within others, and inspire them to make decisions that will benefit the conservation efforts that help preserve the environment for future generations.
For more from Eline, check out her vimeo channel here. Plus don't forget to enter our #contikistorytellers competition to be in with a chance of winning your very own trip to Costa Rica! Check out the competition here.