UNESCO launches the First international think tank dedicated to Ocean Literacy in Venice

 Published by : IOC/UNESCO press office for the Ocean Decade
Developing a roadmap to promote the Ocean Literacy programme internationally for the next four years, identifying priority areas of focus and methodologies to monitor its progress. With these goals, as part of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), the first international think tank dedicated to Ocean Literacy promoted by UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) was officially launched in Venice. Led by Francesca Santoro, IOC/UNESCO Senior Programme Officer and Coordinator of the Ocean Literacy programme, the think tank will be a tool of IOC/UNESCO's Ocean Literacy programme, which aims to raise awareness about the role of the ocean and what can be done to protect it. Group of Experts is composed of 20 members selected by IOC/UNESCO from all over the world and with different backgrounds: 20 researchers, artists, communication experts, teachers, anthropologists, biologists and scientists. Indeed, the aim of the think tank will be to contribute to international cooperation and promote Ocean Education in all parts of the world by sharing knowledge, techniques and projects from different fields.
 The first in-presence meeting of the think tank, which will officially kick off to lead to the creation of a roadmap, will take place on October 4th and 5th in Venice at Palazzo Zorzi, home of theUNESCO Regional Office for Science and Culture in Europe. Symbol of cities affected by the climate crisis, in recent years Venice has also become a reference point for Ocean Education. In fact, the city will see the creation by IOC/UNESCO - thanks to funding supported by the Prada Group - of the Decade Coordination Office on Connecting People and the Ocean, which will deal specifically with the relationship between human beings and the ocean: among other things, it will have the task of encouraging and supporting the implementation of a curriculum to Ocean Literacy by all UNESCO member states, as well as organizing in the lagoon city the first World Conference on Ocean Education in 2024.
 "Ocean Literacy considers the relationships between the ocean and all aspects of life on Earth and catalyzes actions to protect, conserve and sustainably use the ocean by engaging the whole of society," explains Francesca Santoro, IOC/UNESCO Senior Programme Officer. "As IOC/UNESCO, we have championed Ocean Education and are deploying the resources and tools needed to stimulate meetings, exchange of information and best practices, and collaboration in the creation of new initiatives. The involvement of experts from different backgrounds and from all over the world will help us enhance the holistic approach that we have always put at the heart of the program, to take into account all spheres and embrace all spheres of society: citizens, companies, institutions, schools, research centers, universities, foundations, organizations, entities, etc." The Expert Group will support Ocean Literacy research activities to develop evaluation tools and methodologies to increase the impact of dedicated initiatives around the world. During the two-day event, the roadmap will be created to identify new synergies with institutions and the private sector, concert effective communication approaches, and intercept opportunities for integrating Ocean Literacy into school curricula, with the aim of bringing the ocean to school desks around the world by 2025.
 The Experts Group on Ocean Literacy consists of: Afiq Durrani (researcher and lecturer, Faculty of Science and Marine Environment at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu); Anne De Carbuccia (artist and filmmaker); Arturo Rey da Silva (maritime archaeologist, member of ICOMOS International); Aslak Sverdrup (CEO of Bergen Aquarium); Carolyn Scheurle (Institut de la Mer de Villefranche coordinator); Daniel Bowie Mac-Donald (Chartered Financial Analyst); Daniel Kasnick (Primary Years Program Coordinator at Newton College Peru); Daniela Hill Piedra (biologist, founder of SeaLifeDiving, Country Coordinator of RELATO); Daniele Moretti (editor-in-chief of Sky Tg24); Diana Payne (Education Coordinator with Connecticut Sea Grant at University of Connecticut); Emma McKinley (Research Fellow at Cardiff University); Faiza Yousef Al-Yamani (Principal Research Scientist at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research); Jacqueline Uku (seagrass scientist and conservation leader at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute in Mombasa); Jan Seys (former chair at the European Marine Board Communications Panel - 2010-2017); Molly Powers-Tora (Pacific Strategy & Engagement Advisor, Climate & Ocean at NIWA); Pilar Muñoz (marine biologist, Universidad de Valparaíso); Raquel Costa (marine geologist); Ronaldo Christofoletti (Professor at the Federal University of São Paulo); Shweta Khare Naik (Executive Director at the Jane Goodall Institut); Victoria Alis (Sustainability and Environmental Consultant).
 The UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO), was established in 1960 as a UNESCO body with functional autonomy, it is the only organization competent for marine sciences within the United Nations system. The
main purpose of the Commission is to promote international cooperation and to coordinate research programs, the development of oceanographic services and the development of capacity, in order to better understand the nature and resources of the ocean and coastal areas, to apply this knowledge for the improvement of management, sustainable development, protection of the marine environment and decision-making processes of its Member States. In addition, the
IOC/UNESCO is recognized through the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as the competent international organization in the fields of marine scientific research (Part III) and the transfer of marine technologies (Part
IOC/UNESCO press office for the Ocean Decade
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