THE future of marine wildlife is in the hands of about 2000 local young people.
Tweed dolphin conservationist Nicole McLachlan hopes to have 100,000 internationally before she presents evidence of it to the United Nations in June.
These little hands are printed on sheets Ms McLachlan will take to the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.
"I had the idea at the 2011 International Whaling Commission week in Jersey, Channel Islands.
"Since then the project has taken off and is really starting to take shape," she said.
The In Our Hands project's message is simple, Ms McLachlan said.
"The oceans and marine wildlife are being destroyed before our very eyes.
"It is in the hands of younger generations to reverse the mistakes of the past to give hope for a better future.
"The In Our Hands project involves the education of younger generations on marine conservation issues, inspires kids to become active in marine conservation and facilitates those with a passion for the marine environment.
"The aim of this project is to reach as many children, teens and young adults as possible in order to show that you can stand up for your future at any age, race or gender.
"The project also encourages the youth to pursue and dedicate their lives to what they're truly passionate about."
She has about 10 people from local schools and organisations helping her.
But as the Southern Cross University marine science student will re-commence study again soon she needs more support.
"The project sees kids from anywhere in the world making huge sheets with coloured handprints.
"And a message beside each print to those in positions of power, demanding the protection of our oceans and wildlife to safeguard the futures of the youth of the world.
"After collecting as many sheets as possible, I will personally deliver these sheets to the environmental decision-makers of today."
She will also present In Our Hands to this year's International Whaling Commission meeting in Panama, Environment Minister Tony Burke and hopefully Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to offer "hands on" support.
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