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UNESCO Assembles International Group of Experts on Ocean Literacy in Venice


The first face-to-face meeting of the IOC/UNESCO Group of Experts on Ocean Literacy took place at the UNESCO Regional Bureau in Venice on 4-5 October 2023.

Nominated by their respective governments, the experts took the opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to promoting ocean literacy and recalled that as a reflection of the multi-stakeholder nature of this vital cause, the group is dedicated to guiding the implementation and possible evolution of the Framework for Action for Ocean Literacy for the UN Decade of Ocean Science.

The opening session closed with a video call with Vladimir Ryabinin, IOC/UNESCO Executive Secretary, who highlighted the relevance of Ocean Literacy as a cross-cutting theme in the UN Ocean Decade 2021-2030 and, emphasized the fundamental role that the Group of Experts can play in advancing the agenda.

The Group is composed of experts from different disciplines, stakeholder groups, geographical regions, stages of career and gender balance that have collectively paved the way for defining good practices and shaping the future of Ocean Literacy worldwide.

During the discussions, experts focused on defining good practices within the context of Ocean Literacy. They engaged in these conversations with the aim of establishing a comprehensive framework. Their goal was to identify and share best practices to provide individuals and communities with the knowledge and understanding necessary for informed decision-making regarding the ocean.

Developing Global and Regional Programs

The discussions recognized the importance of creating programs that can be adapted to different regions. This approach ensures that local communities can access pertinent information and resources tailored to their specific challenges. Simultaneously, it promotes a sense of global unity in the effort to protect our oceans.

Coordination at All Levels

To maximize the impact of their efforts, the discussions emphasized that it is crucial to strengthen networks at global, national, and local levels. Collaborating with like-minded organizations, academic institutions, NGOs, international organizations, and the private sector can lead to powerful alliances, which, in turn, amplify the promotion of Ocean Literacy worldwide.

Mobilization of Resources

The discussions explored innovative methods for mobilizing both financial resources and in-kind support, acknowledging the significant role of financial resources in effecting meaningful change. This approach aims to advance Ocean Literacy through strategic partnerships and creative fundraising strategies, ensuring sustainable funding for projects dedicated to Ocean Literacy.

Collaboration with Other Sectors

The discussions recognized that Ocean Literacy intersects with various sectors. As a result, experts highlighted the importance of forming partnerships with other UNESCO sectors, academic institutions, NGOs, research organizations, and private entities. Collaboration across various disciplines and sectors is seen as a way to drive impactful change on a larger scale.

Research Tools Development

The experts emphasized the necessity of developing robust research tools and methodologies to assess the effectiveness of ocean literacy initiatives. By collecting data and analyzing outcomes, these tools can help refine strategies and ensure a lasting impact in enhancing ocean literacy worldwide.

The IOC/UNESCO expresses their gratitude to these dedicated individuals for their invaluable contributions to the field of Ocean Literacy. We believe that these efforts will shape the way we educate, inspire, and engage with our oceans. The outcomes of this meeting will support a work plan for this Group of Experts, enabling them to collaborate with other initiatives and strengthen existing work worldwide while also aiding in the establishment of new initiatives as needed. 

Together, the global community is encouraged to continue working towards a world where every individual is equipped with the knowledge and passion needed to protect and preserve our beautiful blue planet. Meet the members of the IOC/UNESCO Group of Experts on Ocean Literacy.

Meet the members of the IOC/UNESCO Group of Experts on Ocean Literacy

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