Tenth anniversary of Ocean Literacy in Europe | Flanders Marine Institute

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Tenth anniversary of Ocean Literacy in Europe

Added on 2022-10-12
Exactly ten years ago, on 12 October 2012, the Provincial Court in Bruges provided a suitable setting for the First Conference on Ocean Literacy in Europe. That day, the organizers VLIZ and the European Marine Board, welcomed the founding fathers of the US Ocean Literacy movement, Craig Strang and Peter Tuddenham, and representatives of IOC UNESCO, European Commission, EMSEA, National Geographic Society, World Ocean Network, BBC Blue Planet, EUAC, European Schoolnet, Ciencia Viva and many local stakeholders to discuss the future of Ocean Literacy.

Photo: VLIZ | Vivian Hertz

Today, Ocean Literacy – defined as “making sure every citizen has an understanding of the ocean’s influence on us and our influence on the ocean” – is an established concept all across the world, finding its way in major policy documents and in informal and formal education and outreach activities.

When leading up to the conference in 2012, some key stakeholders were asked back then what they hoped to achieve within ten years, the answers read like:

We should move towards a society where ocean, remote as they are from our day-to-day life, are constantly brought back in the picture by feedback mechanisms between ocean observation, knowledge and public discussion”.

“I hope one day ocean science will have its own ‘Ocean Olympics”.

“Let’s develop a strong European vision on Ocean Literacy, integrated in European marine policy documents; it might be an idea to have a more strategic approach i.e. define strategic objectives and a long-term plan to pursue them, using EU-instruments; this First Conference will be interesting in that regard”.

“I envision a European initiative/network that can elaborate common educational materials for the different levels of schools adaptable to all countries in Europe”.

Photo: VLIZ | Vivian Hertz

Link: www.vliz.be/en/event/2012-first-conference-ocean-literacy-europe

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