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Achieving Ocean Literacy: Building Capacity and Actions for Implementation

Ocean with a cloudy sky

Photo: Apelöga/Åsa Glifberg

“Knowing is the key to caring, and with caring there is hope that people will be motivated to take positive actions. They might not care even if they know, but they can’t care if they are unaware.”

― Sylvia A. Earle, The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean's Are One (2009)

It cannot be denied that our planet is facing adverse impacts of climate change and pollution among other issues which result in devastating consequences for humans and life on and below land. Unfortunately, much of this are results of man-made and human activities; the accumulative negative consequences of all “small” individual actions

damaging the environment and planet we live on. To this end the threat to the oceans, as it covers over 70% of the planet, is crucial to address in particular with regards to conserving and protecting the marine environment as it supports life and the ecosystems on earth and makes the earth habitable.

Referring to the statement by Sylvia A. Earle, many people on our earth are simply not aware of the influence of the oceans on the planet and people, nor aware of the severe consequences “small” actions can have, such as littering on land. It is therefore crucial to increase ocean literacy , and it can be done in many forms; transformative cross-sector partnerships, capacity building efforts and with scientific research and educating the general public by creating awareness of the challenges seen and mainstreaming potential solutions to marine debris and sargassum. This essentially will assist in improving efforts to mitigate and prevent further degradation of our planet and resources. Our Oceans are vital for the wellbeing of people, the planet and prosperity.

By achieving ocean literacy, we invest in ourselves as people, with a bigger awareness of the ocean's influence and in turn their influence on the ocean, will be more motivated to take action for a better future. It will be the commitment of the international community, regional and national actors as well as local societies and individuals to actively spread awareness and understanding to build capacity in all levels to address these challenges. Key is to actively pursue the efforts and solutions to achieve increased ocean literacy generally while also informing as well as inspiring policy makers, industry leaders and general public to take positive actions for a sustainable planet.

In light of this, in this session on Achieving Ocean Literacy: Building Capacity and Actions for Implementation, you will have the chance to engage in an interactive and practical workshop with roundtable discussions with Ocean experts and practitioners on exploring the challenges and opportunities of Ocean Literacy. This is done through the lens of contemporary issues such as capacity building, financing and international partnerships on ocean literacy matters with a global, regional, national and community perspective. The aim of the workshop is to identify a number of issues within each Roundtable topic and discuss what the solutions may be to establish impactful actions that will help to achieve ocean literacy. The Roundtable topics are;

  • Education and Capacity Building
  • Financing and Governance
  • Partnerships and Agenda setting
  • Tools and Technology

By the end of the session, the goal is to have a set of practical solutions and actions that could be shared to inform and inspire policy makers, leaders and stakeholder in various sectors; international, regional and national level to take action but also to encourage and empower each participant to take with them to contribute to the implementation of Achieve Ocean Literacy, spread the knowledge and action further.

The session is hosted by the World Maritime University (WMU) and Swedish Agency for Water and Marine Management (SwAM).