On 24 – 25 September 2020, the first EU4Ocean workshop– Designing Ocean Literacy action in Europe was organised by the EU4Ocean Coalition – a new initiative on ocean literacy of the European Commission.
Following the official announcement by the Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius during the first international Virtual Ocean Literacy Summit (World Ocean Day, June 8, 2020), founding members of the EU4Ocean Platform have recently kicked-off their work: 76 organisations and initiatives eager to connect, collaborate and mobilise efforts on ocean literacy. Members gathered online to get to know each other, and shared ideas of collective actions on three priority themes: Climate and Ocean, Food from the Ocean, and Healthy and Clean Ocean.
At the same time, the Youth4Ocean Forum is gathering its founding members, a group of young people aged between 16 and 30 who are passionate about the ocean. Founding members are joining forces to support changes in mindsets and practices across Europe that will contribute to a healthy and sustainable ocean.
This summer, the Network of European Blue Schools is being established to bring the ocean into classrooms – and students to the ocean! Teachers, school managers, marine educators and students will be provided a handbook to help them engage in the “Find the Blue” challenge. Students will create and implement practical action-oriented problem-solving educational projects addressing ocean issues and challenges. Successful projects will earn their school the European Blue School certification.
A diverse community engaged in Ocean Literacy is growing in Europe.
On 24 September, a series of interactive and participatory online workshops served as a platform for founding members and key stakeholders to present the ambition, organisation, process and tools put in place for supporting collective action for each of the three communities of the EU4Ocean Coalition. Online workshops on 24 September included:
This online workshop reflected the focus of, and interconnection between, the three communities of the EU4Ocean coalition: the EU4Ocean Platform, the Youth4Ocean Forum, and the Network of European Blue Schools. Winners of the #YoungOceanWaves contest were announced during this online workshop.
This online workshop focused on the need for a collective change of understanding, values, and actions, as well as on the growing importance of communication and capacity building for effective joint efforts. It presented the first operational work of the EU4Ocean Platform.
Youth is a drive for change. The online workshop paved the way for the Forum to operate and promote collaborations between young enthusiastic people.
Ocean literate children will be responsible adults. In this online workshop, schools and teachers shared experiences in Ocean Literacy and identified drivers and pre-conditions for success and key areas for future work. The EU Blue School handbook and certification process will be presented.
September 25 was dedicated to building momentum for collective actions, mobilising representatives of the three communities at the EU and at the regional sea basin scales in the Arctic Ocean, Baltic Sea, Atlantic & North Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Black Sea, which express the EU diversity, cultural richness, and knowledge sharing. Online workshops on 25 September included:
Morning session | Paving the way to collective initiatives addressing key marine challenges: thematic workshops
Combining plenary and parallel group sessions, these online workshops aimed at setting the basis for collective ocean literacy initiatives on Climate and Ocean, Food from the Ocean, and Healthy and Clean Ocean.
Afternoon session | Building collective Ocean Literacy initiatives at the sea basin scale
Five parallel online workshops were co-organised to investigate specific marine and Ocean Literacy challenges in European sea basins. Participants were encouraged to share their know-how and identify opportunities for collective actions.
The winners of the #YoungOceanWaves photo and video contest have been announced during the “EU4Ocean coalition: what, what for, how?” online workshop. Over 136 amazing photos and videos have been shared on Instagram between 14.07 and 18.08 2020. A wave of inspiring, intense, stunning images of the ocean, its creatures, landscapes and people who are emotionally connected to our blue planet.