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Understanding the ocean and unleashing a revolution in ocean science solutions |


As part of this push, the United Nations Scientific, Educational and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is asking the world to join the revolution to unleash innovative ocean science solutions. UN News spoke with experts inside and outside the UN system to Revealing the importance of understanding the ocean.

Empowering people to take action

Reading and writing of ocean people generally defined as an understanding of the ocean’s influence on you and your influence on the ocean.

Francesca Santoro, curator of ocean literacy at UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), however, explains that the definition goes beyond that.

“It’s really about empowering people with tools, making better use of that ocean knowledge to become more responsible and able to make decisions related to ocean resources,” said Dr. more understanding way. It’s really the ability to understand how much of an impact the oceans have on our lives and how much of an impact we have on the oceans in both positive and negative ways. ”


Moken children swim in the Myeik Islands in Myanmar.

© Ocean Image Bank / Ben Jones

Moken children swim in the Myeik Islands in Myanmar.

As the focal point for ocean science in the United Nations system, the IOC takes the lead United Nations Decade for Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021 to 2030), and support ocean research organizations around the world to increase community engagement.

“The IOC works primarily to strengthen international cooperation in ocean science and ocean research – such as No single country can do research on all ocean basins on its own”, continued Ms. Santoro.

Important time

The Ocean Science Decade is an opportunity to change the state of the oceans in the next 100 years.

Earlier this year, UNESCO launched a campaign to empower everyone to participate The Ocean of Generations global movement.

The idea is to use transformative storytelling to connect citizens with ocean knowledge and drive action to restore, protect, and live better with the oceans.


In one Interview with UN NewsVinicius Grunberg Lindoso, Communications Officer at UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, describes how you can be a game changer at this critical time.

Students are active agents of change

Some of the IOC’s flagship programs look at the specific impacts of climate change on the oceans and how the oceans can be seen as the best allies in combating climate change.

Working closely with schools, teachers and educators, The UN science agency uses its ocean research findings to develop lesson plans.


Aquarium's helps young children explore the aquatic world in a vibrant environment.

© Unsplash / Tim B. Motivv

Aquarium’s helps young children explore the aquatic world in a vibrant environment.

“We develop a number of resources – booklets, videos or games – and we use them to collaborate with schools around the world to engage people from an early age, from elementary school to high school. high school. We use an approach that includes not only academic goals, but also what we call social-emotional learning and behavioral learning, because we want students to become active agents of change – so that they can participate in initiatives that support the oceans”, emphasized Ms. Santoro.

Blue school

In Portugal, co-hosting with Kenya’s United Nations Ocean Conferencetakes place from June 27 to July 1 Oceano Azul Foundation has an important role in the development of literacy and conservation practices there.

Working towards climate education for children in Portugal, the Foundation aims to have more children learn about ocean problems and their impact on the ocean, so when they become As decision makers, no matter what career they choose, they will have an important role to play.


A Diamond Stingray and a One-Eyed Hedgehog fish forage in the sand as hundreds of Big Eye Jacks schools behind them.

© Nicolas Hahn

A Diamond Stingray and a One-Eyed Hedgehog fish forage in the sand as hundreds of Big Eye Jacks schools behind them.

Samuel Collins, Program Director at Oceano Azul, explained to UN News how the initiative works: “We had to provide information in a way that was easily digestible for different age groups. But given the importance of these issues, and their impact on the near future of current generations, we have a responsibility to provide certain information to young people.”

With Oceanario de LisbonOceano Azul has a program to educate blue generationtrain teachers and provide them with the curriculum and resources to get the message across during the first educational cycle.

They’ll do math, but they’ll talk about fish, they’ll learn French, they’ll talk about the ocean, they’ll do history, but it’s integrated with oceanography, so it just reinforces the curriculum, seen through a blue lens. They go to Oceanario, and do a lot of great activities, and are very excited, because there’s a lot of potential in a healthy ocean and it’s so important to reinforce that. “.

The program is intended to bring sea literacy to all children, residents in Portugal, with a particular focus on the 5 to 9 year old group.


According to the Foundation, the use of Portugal as a starting point in the case of literacy, however, will allow the replication of actions in other countries, namely in Portuguese-speaking countries and developing countries.

Lagoon Kindergarten

Not far away in Italy, Venice for centuries exemplified the dynamic interaction between man and nature, emphasizing its ability to act as a model for other similar ecosystems.

Due to its ideal features and designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, ‘Venice and its lagoon‘ has been selected as the deployment site for the beta version of “Lagoon Kindergarten“The initiative, launched last May.

The new educational program is based on promoting the principles of understanding the ocean and interacting with the environment, promoting close connections between children and nature, using outdoor activities and interacting with nature. work with the local community.


Children take part in a drawing activity at an ocean awareness event, in Venice, Italy.

IOC-UNESCO

Children take part in a drawing activity at an ocean awareness event, in Venice, Italy.

Themed lessons are given to classes of 25 kindergarten students, delivered using an outdoor educational approach and aimed at exploring the lagoon ecosystem. Followed by creative stimulation and drawing at the end of each lesson.

In partnership with Prada Group, UNESCO, hopes to empower young people to be the future Generation of Oceans.

The international community must make education one of the pillars of ocean action and engage in education to help today’s youth become responsible. and tomorrow-conscious citizens,” said Ana Luiza M. Thompson-Flores, Director of UNESCO’s Regional Office.

Lisbon: scale up

The ocean literacy community will convene in Lisbon, Portugal, for the United Nations Oceans Conference, ensuring that ocean literacy is seen as a central element of behavior. ocean motion.

“The Last UN Ocean Conference [in 2017, in New York], ocean literacy is still in its infancy, but now we can actually show that we’ve been able to achieve important results like promoting the presence of literacy. Ocean literacy in formal education and we have a growing network of blue schools around the world. But we need to scale this up, ensure that ocean literacy initiatives are happening around the world, and increase collaboration to share good practices across different parties.” , Ms. Santoro told UN News.

In Lisbon, on the first day of the 2022 Conference, there will be Senior Ocean Decade Alliance Meetingfollowed by Ocean Decade Forum on June 30to convey messages of action, partnership and inclusion.


“My other expectation is to see our community become more and more stakeholder. Right now, we mainly have scientists and educators, but I think we need, for example, journalists, the media, to help us make sure that oceans are present in the oceans. The media and people are more aware of the importance of oceans for the future of the planet,” she added.

Creative community is ‘most important’

UNESCO has a wide range of events organized for the United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon – including exhibitions such as Ocean Decade Innovation Exhibition at the city’s Main Square, and the Generation of Oceans Concert at the Rock in Rio Festival, on June 26. Those events involve the global creative community, aiming to raise awareness. more about ocean science and conservation.

For Ms. Santoro, collaboration with the creative community is “very important, especially because we are more aware that our emotions drive action. Working [more in depth] with artists and photographers, empowering people to feel more connected to the ocean, or rediscovering how connected we are to the ocean. The creative community is really helping us find this emotional part of our connection to it – so we scientists and artists work together to design and co-create. develop projects. It doesn’t matter if you’re a scientist or a journalist or an artist or a policy maker, or someone working in the private sector. We should all come together and have a common vision and a common goal,” concluded Ms. Santoro.



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