Ocean literacy and unlocking a revolution in ocean science options |

As part of this push, the UN Scientific, Academic and Cultural Group (UNESCO) is asking the world to affix the revolution to unlock revolutionary ocean science options. UN Information spoke to consultants inside and out of doors the UN system to reveal the significance of ocean literacy.

Empowering individuals to take motion

Ocean literacy is usually outlined as an understanding of the ocean’s affect on you and your affect on the ocean.

Francesca Santoro, who’s answerable for ocean literacy at UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Fee (IOC), defined nonetheless that the definition goes past that.

“It’s actually about empowering individuals with instruments, to higher use that ocean data to turn out to be extra accountable and capable of take choices that contain ocean assets, in a extra educated method. It’s actually about being able to understanding how a lot the oceans affect our life and the way a lot we will affect the ocean in each constructive and adverse methods.” 

© Ocean Picture Financial institution/Ben Jones

Moken youngsters swim within the Myeik Archipelago in Myanmar.


As the focus for ocean science throughout the United Nations system, the IOC leads the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Improvement (2021 to 2030), and helps ocean analysis establishments around the globe to strengthen public engagement.

“IOC works primarily to strengthen the worldwide collaboration on ocean science and ocean analysis – as no single nation can undertake analysis on all ocean basins, by itself”, Ms. Santoro continued.

Vital second

The Decade of Ocean Science is a chance to vary the state of the ocean for the subsequent 100 years.

Earlier this yr, UNESCO launched a marketing campaign to empower individuals to affix the Technology Ocean world motion.

The concept is to make use of transformative storytelling to attach residents with ocean data and drive motion to revive, shield, and stay higher with the ocean.

In an interview with UN Information, Vinicius Grunberg Lindoso, Communications Officer at UNESCO’S Intergovernmental Oceanographic Fee, described how one can be a recreation changer at this vital second.

College students as lively brokers of change

A few of IOC’s flagship programmes look at the actual impacts of local weather change on the ocean, and the way the ocean could be thought of the perfect ally in preventing local weather change.

Working intently with colleges, lecturers and educators, the UN Scientific company makes use of outcomes from its ocean analysis to develop lesson plans.

Aquarium’s help young children to discover the aquatic realm in an immersive environment.

© Unsplash/Tim B. Motivv

Aquarium’s assist younger youngsters to find the aquatic realm in an immersive atmosphere.

“We develop numerous assets – booklets, movies or video games – and we use them to collaborate with colleges all around the globe so as to have interaction individuals from an early age, from elementary faculty to highschool. We use an method that doesn’t embrace solely studying aims, it additionally consists of what we name social emotional studying aims, and behavioral studying, as a result of we wish the scholars to turn out to be lively brokers of change – to allow them to participate in initiatives that assist ocean safety”, Ms. Santoro highlighted.

Blue colleges

In Portugal, co-host together with Kenya of the UN Ocean Convention, which is happening from 27 June by means of 1 July, the Oceano Azul Basis has an essential position in creating literacy and conservation practices there.

Working in the direction of youngsters’s local weather training in Portugal, the Basis goals to have extra youngsters studying about ocean points and their impression on the ocean, so once they develop to be resolution makers, it doesn’t matter what occupation they select, they may have an essential position to play.

A Diamond Stingray and a one-eyed Porcupine fish search for a meal in the sand as hundreds of Big Eye Jacks school behind them.

© Nicolas Hahn

A Diamond Stingray and a one-eyed Porcupine fish seek for a meal within the sand as tons of of Massive Eye Jacks faculty behind them.

Samuel Collins, Programme Supervisor at Oceano Azul, defined to UN Information how the initiative works: “We should ship data in a method that’s digestible for various age teams. However contemplating the significance of those points, and the impression they may have on the close to future of the present generations, we now have the accountability to ship sure data to the youth.”

Along with Oceanario de Lisboa, Oceano Azul has a programme to teach the blue technology, coaching lecturers and offering them with the curriculum and assets to move the message within the first cycle of training.

They’ll do math, however they may talk about fish, they’ll be taught French, talking concerning the ocean, they’ll do historical past, however integrating oceanography, so it’s simply reinforcing the curriculum, trying by means of a blue lens. They arrive to the Oceanario, they usually do loads of unbelievable actions, and get excited, as a result of there’s an enormous quantity of potential in a wholesome ocean, and reinforcing that’s essential.”.

The programme envisages to carry ocean literacy to all youngsters, resident in Portugal, with a particular give attention to the group between the ages 5 to 9 years previous.

In response to the Basis, utilizing Portugal as a place to begin within the case of literacy will, however, permit the replication of actions in different international locations, particularly in Portuguese talking international locations and creating states.

Kindergarten of the Lagoon

Not so distant in Italy, Venice has for hundreds of years illustrated the dynamic interplay between humankind and nature, underlining its capability to behave as a mannequin for different related ecosystems.

As a result of its perfect traits and its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage web site, ‘Venice and its Lagoon’ have been chosen because the implementation web site of the pilot version of the “Kindergarten of the Lagoon” Initiative, which was launched final Could.

The brand new instructional programme primarily based on selling ocean literacy rules and interplay with the atmosphere, goals to foster a detailed connection between youngsters and nature, utilizing outside actions and interactions with the local people.

Children participate in drawing activities at an ocean awareness event, in Venice, Italy.


Youngsters take part in drawing actions at an ocean consciousness occasion, in Venice, Italy.

Thematic classes are given to courses of 25 kindergarten college students, performed utilizing outside training and aimed toward discovering the lagoon ecosystem. That is then adopted by artistic stimulation and drawing on the finish of every lesson.

In partnership with the Prada Group, UNESCO, hopes to empower youth in turning into the longer term Technology Ocean.

The worldwide neighborhood should make training one of many pillars of its motion for the ocean and have interaction in training to assist as we speak’s youth turn out to be accountable and conscious residents of tomorrow,” stated Ana Luiza M. Thompson-Flores, UNESCO Regional Bureau’s Director.

Lisbon: scale it up

The ocean literacy neighborhood will convene in Lisbon, Portugal, for the UN Ocean Convention, making certain that ocean literacy is seen as a central component of ocean motion.

“The final UN Ocean Convention [in 2017, in New York], ocean literacy was in its infancy, however now we will actually show that we now have been capable of obtain essential outcomes resembling selling the presence of ocean literacy in formal training, and we now have an rising community of blue colleges around the globe. However we have to scale this up, guarantee that ocean literacy initiatives are occurring around the globe, and strengthen the collaboration to share good practices amongst totally different actors,” Ms. Santoro advised UN Information.

In Lisbon, on the primary day of the 2022 Convention, there will likely be a high-level Ocean Decade Alliance Assembly, adopted by an Ocean Decade Discussion board on 30 June, to convey a message of motion, partnership, and inclusivity.

“My different expectation is to see our neighborhood embrace increasingly stakeholders. Proper now, we primarily have scientists and educators, however I believe we want, for instance, journalists, the media, to assist us make sure that the ocean is current in media retailers, and that individuals are extra conscious of the significance of the ocean for the way forward for this planet,” she added.

Inventive neighborhood is ‘essential’

UNESCO has a collection of occasions lined up for the UN Ocean Convention in Lisbon – which embrace exhibitions such because the Ocean Decade Inventive Exhibition on the metropolis’s primary Sq., and a Technology Ocean Live performance on the Rock in Rio Pageant, on 26 June. These occasions contain the worldwide artistic neighborhood, aiming to boost extra consciousness to ocean science and conservation.

For Ms. Santoro, the collaboration with the artistic neighborhood is “essential, particularly as a result of we’re extra conscious that our feelings drive motion. Working [more in depth] with artists, photographers, enhances the capability of individuals to really feel extra related to the ocean or to rediscover how a lot we’re related to it. The artistic neighborhood is admittedly serving to us find this emotional a part of our reference to it – so we have to work collectively, scientists and artists, to co-design and co-develop initiatives. Regardless of if you’re a scientist or a journalist or an artist or a policymaker, or someone working within the non-public sector. We should always all come collectively and have a typical imaginative and prescient and a typical objective,” Ms. Santoro concluded. 

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