On June 8th, the first Virtual Ocean Literacy Summit was organised on the occasion of the World Oceans Day. There was no better chance to celebrate the creation of the "EU4Ocean” coalition and its dedication to ocean literacy, together with Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, and IOC-UNESCO. Because of the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, this meeting took place virtually to officially announce and celebrate this launch and share ideas and perspective for the protection of our blue planet.
Why ocean literacy?
The ocean is a source of life for human beings. “Understanding human influence on the Ocean and the Ocean’s influence on people” is at the core of ocean literacy. Recognising how human beings and the ocean are interconnected will help us make responsible choices to better protect our ocean and to use the opportunities it offers in a sustainable manner. This is what we are striving for in Europe, contributing to the improvement of the well-being of Europeans, as envisioned and recently confirmed in the European Green Deal. This is why EU4Ocean came to shape, serving as a connecting platform where everybody can join the tide and increase our collective impact.
How to implement it?
To protect the ocean, great efforts have already been made, especially here in Europe. The EU4Ocean Coalition amplifies them by connecting diverse organisations, projects and people that contribute to ocean literacy and the sustainable management of the ocean. Within the Coalition, three large communities are ready to act for the ocean:
What happened on June 8th?
During the Virtual Ocean Literacy Summit, the EU4Ocean coalition was officially launched. The Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius addressed the need for a stronger connection between Europeans and the ocean. Understanding the vital role of the ocean and caring for the health of the ocean is a shared responsibility of all citizens, who benefit from the ocean in many ways: from the food, the oxygen, the energy, the jobs and entertainment it provides us. The launch of the EU4Ocean initiative is a call for action to all citizens who believe in ocean literacy as a way to contribute to the sustainable management of the ocean. A short video let us dive in the EU4Ocean and its communities of change makers, giving us a glimpse of their goals and commitment for the years to come.
Speech by the Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius:
Stay tuned for more!
However, this was not all. You will hear from us again, in September 2020, when the EU4Ocean communities will kick-off a series of initiatives at international and local level, across Europe. A series of webinars will present the three EU4Ocean communities: the EU4Ocean Platform, the Youth4Ocean Forum and the Network of European Blue Schools. The collective mobilisation of key stakeholders will be at the core of the growing European Ocean Literacy community. They will engage not only at international level, but also at local level, in five sea-basin that express the EU diversity, cultural richness, and knowledge sharing.