- common fisheries policy | sustainable fisheries | fisheries policy
- Monday 8 June 2020, 11:00 - 14:45 (CEST)
- Monday 8 June 2020, 11:00 - 14:45 (CEST)
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 literacyand the sustainable management of the ocean. Within the Coalition, three large communities are ready to act for the ocean:
- The EU4Ocean Platform is the hub for organisations and initiatives to connect, collaborate and mobilise efforts on ocean literacy. By joining the EU4Ocean platform, members can share ideas, build partnerships and collaborate to ensure a more coordinated approach to ocean literary activities in Europe.
- The European Youth Forum for the Ocean connects the relentless positivity and powerful engagement of the next generation. In the Forum, young, enthusiastic and visionary individuals can pitch their ideas, develop new projects and network with leading experts, stakeholders and decision-makers within the contexts of marine pollution, food security and the climate crisis.
- The Network of European Blue Schools enables students to embark on a journey to discover the ocean and its value, together with their teachers. By accepting the “Find the Blue” challenge, students can select an ocean topic and create a plan around it, or identify a local marine related problem and try to solve it. Successful projects will earn their school the European Blue School certification, because the ocean literate kids of today are the responsible adults of tomorrow.
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.