Ocean culture and revolution in oceanographic solutions

A diamond ray and a one-eyed porcupine fish forage in the sand as hundreds of bigeye trevallies gather behind them.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) calls on everyone to join the revolution to unlock innovative scientific solutions for the oceans. UN News has spoken to some experts about the importance of ocean literacy.

The ocean culture It is commonly defined as the understanding the influence of the ocean on oneself Y one’s influence on the ocean.

© Nicholas Hahn

A diamond ray and a one-eyed porcupine fish forage in the sand as hundreds of bigeye trevallies gather behind them.

Empower people to act

Francesca Santoro, head of ocean culture at UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), explained that the definition goes further.

“It’s about equipping people with tools that allow them to better use their knowledge of the oceans to be more responsible and able to make more informed decisions about ocean resources. It’s really about being able to understand the extent to which the oceans influence in our life and how we can impact the ocean in positive and negative ways.

As the focal point for ocean science within the UN system, the IOC leads the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021 to 2030).

“The IOC works primarily to strengthen international collaboration in marine science and ocean research, as no single country can undertake research in all ocean basins,” Santoro continued.

Moken children swim in the Myeik Archipelago in Myanmar.

© Ocean Image Bank/Ben Jones

Moken children swim in the Myeik Archipelago in Myanmar.

Decisive moment

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

Earlier this year, UNESCO launched a campaign to encourage people to join the global movement Ocean Generation.

As Vinicius Grunberg Lindoso, Communications Officer of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, explained in an interview, It’s about getting everyone involved.we are all part of this generation, regardless of age, and each person is capable of saving this ecosystem.

The idea is to use transformative storytelling to connect citizens with the culture of the oceans and promote private action to restore, protect and better coexist with the ocean.

Students, active agents of change

Some of the relevant IOC programs examine the concrete impacts of climate change on the ocean and how the ocean can be seen as the best ally in climate action.

In close collaboration with schools, teachers and educators, the UN scientific agency uses the results of its research on the oceans to develop study plans.

“We developed a series of resources – brochures, videos or games – and used them to collaborate with schools around the world to engage people from an early age, from primary school to high school. We not only included objectives of learning, but also what we call behavioral and social-emotional learning goals, because we want students to students become active agents of change, to participate in initiatives that support the protection of the oceansSantoro pointed out.

Children cleaning Praia da Poça, a small and popular beach at the beginning of the Estoril coast, in Cascais (Portugal).

UN News/Teresa Salema

Children cleaning Praia da Poça, a small and popular beach at the beginning of the Estoril coast, in Cascais (Portugal).

blue schools

In Portugal, co-host with Kenya of the United Nations Conference on the Oceanswhich is celebrated from June 27 to July 1, the Blue Ocean Foundation plays an important role in the development of ocean culturalization and conservation practices in Portugal.

The Foundation promotes climate education among children so that they learn about the problems of the ocean and their own impact on this ecosystem, the intention is that when they grow up and have to make decisions, regardless of the profession they choose, they have formed opinions.

Samuel Collins, director of programs for Blue Ocean, explained what the initiative consists of: “We must transmit the information so that it can be assimilated by the different age groups. However, taking into account the importance of these issues, and the impact that will have in the near future of current generations, we have a responsibility to deliver this information to young people”.

In collaboration with the Lisbon AquariumBlue Ocean carries out a program to educate the blue generationtraining teachers and providing them with the curriculum and resources to transmit the message in the first educational cycle.

They will study mathematics, but they will talk about fish, they will learn French, talking about the ocean, they will make history, but integrating oceanography; so it is about reinforcing the curriculum, but from the perspective of a blue lens. [Los estudiantes] They come to the aquarium and they do a lot of fantastic activities and they have a good time, because a healthy ocean has enormous potential, and that’s important for them to know.”

The program plans to bring ocean culture to all children living in Portugal, with special attention to the group of five to nine years.

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


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

lagoon kindergarten

In Italy, Venice has for centuries illustrated the dynamic interaction between man and nature, underlining its ability to act as a model for other similar ecosystems.

Due to its ideal characteristics and its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, “Venice and its Lagoon” were selected as the application site for the pilot edition of the “Lagoon Kindergarten” initiative, which was launched last May.

The new educational program, based on the promotion of the principles of ocean culture and interaction with the environment, aims to foster a close connection between children and nature, using outdoor activities and interactions with the local community.

Thematic lessons are given to classes of 25 kindergarten students, which take place outside and aim to discover the ecosystem of the lagoon. This is followed by creative stimulation and drawing at the end of each lesson.

In collaboration with the Prada Group, UNESCO hopes to empower young people to become the future Ocean Generation.

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

More than 200 students from half a dozen countries line up to send the important message of saving our oceans.

The Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT)

More than 200 students from half a dozen countries line up to send the important message of saving our oceans.

Ocean culture in Lisbon

The ocean literacy community will meet in Lisbon, Portugal, on the occasion of the United Nations Conference on the Oceans, to ensure that ocean literacy is considered a central element of action in favor of these ecosystems.

“At the last United Nations Conference on the Oceans [en 2017, en Nueva York], oceanic culture was in its infancy; however, we can now show that we have achieved important results, such as promoting the presence of ocean literacy in formal education, and we have a growing network of blue schools around the world. But we must intensify our efforts, ensure that ocean awareness initiatives are carried out around the world and strengthen collaboration to share good practices between different actors”, Santoro said.

On the first day of the 2022 Conference, a high-level meeting of the Oceans Decade Alliance will be held, followed by a Forum on June 30, to deliver a message of action, partnership and inclusion.

“My other expectation is to include more and more stakeholders. Right now, we mainly have scientists and educators, but I think we need, for example, journalists, the media, to help us make the ocean present. in the media, and make people more aware of the importance of the ocean for the future of this planet,” he added.

We need the creative community

UNESCO has prepared a series of events for the Conference on the Oceans in Lisbon, among others, the Creative Exhibition of the Decade of the Oceans in the city’s Plaza Mayor, and an Ocean Generation Concert at the Rock in Rio Festival, the June 26th. These events engage the global creative community, with the aim of raising awareness about ocean science and conservation.

For Santoro, collaboration with the creative community is “crucial, especially as we are more aware that our emotions lead to acting. Working with artists, photographers increases people’s ability to feel more connected to the ocean or to rediscover how much that we’re connected to it. The creative community is really helping us find this emotional part of our connection to the ocean, so we have to work together, scientists and artists, to co-design and co-develop projects. It doesn’t matter if you’re a scientist, a journalist, artist, politician or someone who works in the private sector. We should join forces and have a common vision and goal,” Santoro concluded.

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