On the occasion of the One Ocean Summit taking place in Brest, France, UNESCO announced that it had set itself the objective of including ocean education in the school curricula of its 193 States. members by 2025. To achieve this objective, the United Nations agency provides public decision-makers with a toolbox with a shared repository of educational content on the ocean.
“The international community must make education one of the pillars of its action for the ocean. Because if we want to protect it better, we must teach it better. On the occasion of the One Ocean Summit, I set a common goal of our 193 Member States: to integrate ocean education into school curricula by 2025”, announced Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, the United Nations agency leading the Decade. marine sciences, during his presence in Brest.
From the national level to the classroom
To achieve this ambitious goal, UNESCO on Thursday unveiled a common repository of educational content for policy makers and curriculum designers. It gives them all the keys to integrating ocean education at all levels of the educational chain: from the development of national programs to the preparation of lessons by teachers.
“Thanks to this toolkit, all States are on an equal footing, able to quickly place the ocean at the heart of education and increase students’ knowledge in this area so that they become citizens. responsible and committed”, explained Stefania Giannini, Deputy Director of UNESCO. -General in charge of education.
Promoting good practices
The new educational tools provided by UNESCO, with the support of AXA and many other partners and experts, reflect the conviction that the way society interacts with the ocean must be changed to achieve a more sustainable model.
In its resource tool, UNESCO highlights good practices from Member States already working on ocean education, such as Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Kenya, Portugal and Sweden. In the form of case studies, the Organization presents the main results obtained by these countries, as well as the opportunities and challenges encountered when it comes to integrating oceanic knowledge into the curriculum in a structured way.
Including traditional knowledge
For UNESCO, ocean education should not only concern the transmission of scientific knowledge and awareness of contemporary issues; it should also promote traditional skills and know-how, such as those protected by the 2001 Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage, which promotes ancestral fishing techniques, for example. UNESCO’s new toolkit leaves it up to Member States and regions to adapt the “theory of change” to their specific practices, situations and needs.
UNESCO will monitor the implementation of this objective by its 193 Member States. A first progress report is planned for COP27, which will be held in November 2022 in Egypt.
UNESCO and the ocean
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is the United Nations agency in charge of the ocean. UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), founded in 1960 and joined by 150 countries, coordinates global programs such as ocean mapping, ocean health monitoring and tsunami risk reduction, as well as numerous scientific research projects. The agency is also the guardian of unique ocean places, through 232 Marine Biosphere Reserves and 50 World Heritage Marine Sites of Outstanding Universal Value.
UNESCO is leading the United Nations Decade of Marine Science for Sustainable Development (2021 to 2030), which this year will see the organization of several major international summits that will help to amplify mobilization in this field.