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Ocean Literacy: a toolkit by Unesco

“The ocean is a source of food, energy, minerals, increasingly of medications; it regulates the Earth’s climate and hosts the greatest diversity of life and ecosystems, and is a provider of economic, social and aesthetic services to humankind – write Vladimir RyabininES/IOC-UNESCO and QianTangADG/ED in the foreward – Knowing and understanding the ocean’s influence on us, and our influence on the ocean is crucial to living and acting sustainably”.

It is made of two parts. The first part presents the history of ocean literacy, and describes its framework made of 7 essential principles, and connects them to international ocean science programs that contributes to enhancing ocean knowledge and observations. Moreover, marine scientists and educators were interviewed to share their professional experiences on ocean literacy as well as their views on its future. The last chapter of part 1 describes the existing challenges to marine education, as well as the path for the development of successful ocean literacy activities in the context of the 2030 Agenda. One of the most important factors identified is related to the creation of multi-sector partnerships among the education, government, and private sector that have jointly built ocean literacy programs for all formal educational levels from the primary school to the university level as well as for non-formal learners. Worldwide examples of such programs are presented.

The second part, after introducing the methodological approach based on the multi-perspective framework for ESD developed by UNESCO, presents 14 activities that could provide tested examples and support for the implementation of marine education initiatives. The aim is not to provide a one size-fits-all ready to use collection, but rather to offer support and examples of what could be then adapted for different geographical and cultural contexts. The resources are designed to be relevant for all learners of all ages worldwide and to find their application in many learning settings, while in their concrete implementation they will, naturally, have to be adapted to the national or local context

«We hope that this publication will inspire the readers – scientists, educators and learners – to take greater personal responsibility for the ocean, as well as to enable them to act as citizens, working through partnerships and networks, sharing ideas and experiences and developing new approaches and initiatives in support of ocean literacy. The ocean is the great unifier and it is our shared responsibility to preserve it for the current and future generations»

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