Milton Kisapai: Goal 14 Life below Water

Milton Kisapai at the launch of the Team PNG Champions for the SDGs ©PNG Olympic Committee

Port Moresby, 8 August 2017

The United Nations in Papua New Guinea and the PNG Olympic Committee have appointed five Team PNG Athletes as Champions for the SDGs. Here is the story of Milton Kisapai, a prominent athlete in hockey and Champion for the SDGs.

Milton Kisapai’s life started by the water; with his heritage grounded in the Manus province and New Guinea Islands region, Milton was raised with a deeply rooted connection to the ocean. Frequently returning to his village on a small island in Manus, the bond between athlete and ocean was strengthened considerably over the years. Milton’s commitment to environmental protection developed and led him to become the Champion for Goal 14: Life below Water of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

While Milton continues to enjoy life in and by the water, his athletic prowess on land has seen him take up the captaincy of the national men’s hockey team and become a member of the PNG Olympic Committee.

At 26 years old, Milton brings passion, commitment and experience as an environmental advocate to his position as a Champion for the SDGs. Selecting Goal 14 and improving awareness of environmental issues around the country was a clear choice for Milton; the University of Papua New Guinea Marine Biology student has previously worked with the National Fisheries Authority and participated in the Love Your Coast program.

Advocating for Goal 14 provides Milton with a platform to integrate his heritage and athletic career with an inherent connection to the ocean.

“I am proud to have this opportunity and hope to use it to encourage others to learn about and protect the environment. I have a very strong and important connection to the New Guinea Islands region and to the ocean, and I plan to use it to relate to and inspire the people of this region, and the entire country, to take action to protect our oceans.”

Determined to make the most of his new role as a Champion for the SDGs, Milton hopes to communicate with, educate and empower the community and other athletes through sport. He has already begun to educate people in his home province of Manus by exposing the community to the SDGs and sparking discussion.

“The ocean plays a very important role in many people’s lives around the country; it has economic, social, cultural and environmental significance. I hope that by being a Champion for the SDGs I will draw attention to this and inspire others to protect not just our oceans and waterways, but the environment as a whole.”

Find out more about SDG Goal 14 and how PNG is supporting the SDGs:

http://pg.one.un.org/

http://www.pg.undp.org/content/papua_new_guinea/en/home/sustainable-development-goals.html