Ocean literacy: understanding the ocean’s influence on you and your influence on the ocean

On 12 to 14 May 2015 partners from universities, NGOs, and research centres met in Plymouth to launch the European Commission Horizon2020 project Sea Change. The overarching goals of the project are to bring about a fundamental “Sea Change” in the way European citizens view their relationship with the sea, by empowering them – as ‘Ocean Literate’ citizens - to take direct and sustainable action towards healthy seas and ocean, healthy communities and ultimately - a healthy planet.

To attain these goals, the key objectives of Sea Change are to:

  • Compile an in-depth review of the links between Seas and Ocean and Human health based on latest research knowledge outputs
  • Build upon the latest social research on citizen and stakeholder attitudes, perceptions and values to help design and implement successful mobilisation activities focused on education, community, governance actors and directly targeted at citizens. marine education 
  • Build upon significant work to date, adopting best practice and embedding Ocean Literacy across established strategic initiatives and networks to help maximise impact and ensure sustainability
  • Ensure that efforts to sustain an Ocean Literate society in Europe continue beyond the life of Sea Change through codes of good practice, public campaigns and other ongoing community activities.
  • Ensure that all activities of Sea Change are carefully monitored and evaluated to ensure maximum sustainability, effectiveness and efficiency
  • Ensure Knowledge exchange with transatlantic partners to bring about a global approach to protecting the planet’s shared seas and ocean.

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) is one of the main partners of the consortium and will lead the activities of the project aiming to engage in a dialogue with key actors of the international marine governance system, with a particular focus on Europe and the trans-Atlantic context, in order to improve decision-making and subsequent policy development.

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