Why the EU4Ocean Coalition?
The ocean is a source of life for human beings. It gives us food, oxygen and energy. It is home to many species and acts as climate regulator. Understanding how we influence the ocean and how the ocean influences us is at the core of ocean literacy. This understanding allows us to make responsible choices to better protect our ocean and to use the opportunities it offers in a sustainable manner. This is what we are striving for in Europe, contributing to the improvement of the well-being of Europeans, as envisioned and recently confirmed in the European Green Deal.
The European Ocean Coalition (EU4Ocean) connects diverse organisations, projects and people that contribute to ocean literacy and the sustainable management of the ocean. Supported by the European Commission, this bottom-up inclusive initiative aims at uniting the voices of Europeans to make the ocean a concern of everyone!
This coalition will:
- Contribute to enhancing awareness and the engagement of all parties involved in the sustainable management of our ocean and seas;
- Help coallition members to become ocean advocates in their own field/role/region as well as agents of transition supporting changes in perception, values, attitudes and behaviour towards more sustainable practices, management of the ocean and blue economy opportunities;
- Put ocean literacy high on the policy agenda, contributing inter alias to the implementation of the EU marine and maritime policies and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the Agenda 2030, in particular the SDG 14 Life below water.
The EU4Ocean coalition combines EU-wide activities with actions dedicated to the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean (including the North Sea), the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the global ocean.
The coalition is made up of three components: a Platform for organisations and individuals engaged in Ocean Literacy initiatives, a European Youth Forum for the Ocean and a Network of European Blue Schools.
By joining an active group of organisations, initiatives and people, members of the EU4Ocean Platform will benefit from the sharing of ideas, build partnerships and join forces to deliver a more coordinated approach to ocean literary activities in Europe. Thus, uniting and collectively encouraging other Europeans to join the movement. At the core of the platform is the exchange of expertise, knowledge and best practices in ocean literacy, leading into synergies and new collective initiatives that can reach broader audiences thereby generating larger impact.
Are you a changemaker between 16 and 30 and passionate about the Ocean? Do you want to join other young people to tackle the climate crisis, fight pollution and ensure food security? If so, the European Youth Forum for the Ocean (Youth4Ocean Forum) is for you!
As a member of the Youth4Ocean Forum, you will get the chance to be the voice of your generation, pitch your ideas and network with leading experts, stakeholders and decision-makers addressing ocean challenges. You will be able to develop new projects with like-minded people from different European countries. Your initiatives will be supported and showcased to enhance their wider take-up and impact.
Network of European Blue Schools
How are we connected to the ocean? Find the blue link! As a teacher, school director or staff of education services, you will challenge your students from primary, lower and upper secondary, technical or vocational schools to develop a 'Find the blue' project that links them to the ocean. By successfully completing the project and sharing its results, schools will receive the European Blue School certification.
The Network will assist you in connecting with relevant partners to: (1) share Blue School experiences; (2) find inspiration on how to address ocean topics that are relevant to your curricula, your school and your community; and (3) receive the European Blue School stamp recognising the value of your initiative. In addition, participating teachers will gain access to specific training, resources and assistance by other members of the EU4Ocean Coalition.
EU4Ocean is a project funded by the European Commission and implemented by a consortium of 12 partners across Europe, which includes: ACTeon (coordinator, France), Seascape Belgium (Secretariat of the European Marine Observation and Data Network and the European Atlas of the Seas, Belgium), the European Marine Board (EMB, Belgium), Nausicaá-National Sea Centre (France), the World Ocean Network (WON, France), Ciência Viva (Portugal), the European Marine Science Educators Association (EMSEA, Belgium), Ecologic Institute (Germany), the European Centre for Information on Marine Science and Technology (EurOcean, Portugal), Secretariat of Submariners (S.Pro, Germany), MARE Nostrum (Romania), European Schoolnet (Belgium), and Farah Yasmin Obaidullah (freelance campaigner, founder & director of Women4Oceans, The Netherlands).
Ecologic Institute is a founding member of the EU4Ocean Platform. Withing the Consortium, Ecologic Institute leads the communication module, aimed at ensuring visibility of and collaboration among the three Communities and its members. This includes a) the design and implementation of the overall underlying communication and dissemination strategy for the EU4Ocean Coalition, b) the establishment of communication infrastructures (i.e.: webpages within the Maritime Forum), c) the development of content and communication products (i.e.: web articles, social media content, e-cards, GIFs, videos, etc.), d) the design and coordination of social media campaigns and online contests, as well as e) the establishment of collaborations with key stakeholders and multipliers for further outreach. Furthermore, Ecologic Institute contributes to a) the Working Group "Healthy and Clean Ocean", to raise awareness about the amount of garbage, including plastics, that ends up in our seas and ocean and b) the coordination of activities in the Arctic sea basin through the organisation of event s and the mobilisation of local communities for ocean literacy initiatives.
Follow the conversations on #EU4Ocean and stay informed.