13.02.2018 - Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

How will you ‘Love the Ocean’? Take one action for your ocean this Valentine’s Day!

Show us your commitment to your ocean (and your health) – this Valentine’s day the Sea Change team are asking everyone to pledge one action to #LovetheOcean and encourage others to do the same by sharing your love across social media.

It’s easy to say we love the ocean, but for many of us, our everyday actions tell a different story. Seas of plastic, declining fish stocks and ocean acidification are just some examples of the destruction caused to the ocean by our everyday activities, which also have a profound effect on our health and wellbeing. Our relationship with the ocean has become toxic and one-sided. After all, the ocean loves us in real ways – like giving us half the oxygen we breathe, climate regulation, food, medicines and a variety of recreational opportunities.

The ‘Love the Ocean’ campaign aims to rebalance our relationship with the ocean and show our appreciation by pledging to take real action each day, sharing our pledges and actions online, and tagging them with #LovetheOcean.

‘Love the Ocean’ coincides with the final conference of the EU Horizon 2020 funded Sea Change project on 15 February 2018 at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, concluding three years of empowering and educating citizens to take action for our ocean. The conference will focus on the project’s achievements and plan for the coming years, maintaining the momentum of ocean literacy by linking with initiatives worldwide in the run up to the upcoming UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

Jon Parr, coordinator of the Sea Change project, is looking forward to the conference:

Sea Change has been looking to make a difference, to make a Sea Change, in our attitude in Europe, to our seas and ocean. We are gathering in Paris on the 15th February to celebrate what has been achieved and share our love for the ocean. We also want to look to the future, continuing that Sea Change. A lot has happened since Sea Change began and I feel confident that the recognition of the importance of our everyday lives on the ocean is growing and growing. We can all make positive changes and show our Love for the Ocean through #LovetheOcean.

We are asking for the public to post a photo or short video using the #LovetheOcean hashtag, showing what change they pledge to make to their daily lives. No change is too great or too small – you could make a pledge to take the bus to work, or simply to stop using disposable plastic drinking straws. Every positive action makes a difference to the health of our ocean! A selection of your posts will be viewed at the conference in Paris and will provide valuable insights to our team. You can also use our Facebook cover photo to share your support for the ocean across social media.

The Sea Change project has sought to foster positive behaviour change by improving the ‘ocean literacy’ of citizens, whereby greater understanding will empower individuals to change their behaviour, creating an overall ‘sea change’ in how society views its relationship with the ocean. This will lead to healthy seas, healthy communities and ultimately – a healthy planet.

We are promoting our ‘Love the Ocean’ campaign via Thunderclap now. Please click here for more information.

Join other Sea Changers today: make your pledge using the #LovetheOcean hashtag and tag us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Visit our campaign page at www.lovetheocean.eu and download our Press Pack right here!

If you’re seeking further inspiration on how you can make your sea change, you can find lots of practical ideas in our video series on Vimeo or on the Sea Change project website.

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The Sea Change project is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement n° 652644. The project began in March 2015 and will run until February 2018. The Marine Biological Association, UK (MBA) is coordinating the project. AquaTT is the project dissemination partner.

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO has coordinated the Sea Change work on marine governance by engaging policy actors and stakeholders around Europe to develop a roadmap for an effective science-society-policy interface for ocean sustainability. The Commission has moreover coordinated the development of the first-ever Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Ocean Literacy, From ABC to ABSeas: Ocean Literacy for All, attended by more than 500 students from all around the world.

Jon Parr, Sea Change coordinator, is Deputy Director at the MBA. He has a wide remit covering operations, the development of the research infrastructure and the development of the knowledge exchange programme. He has worked with the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) and sits on the several groups including the NBN National Schemes and Societies Group and UKEOF Citizen Science Group. Jon is responsible for the Educational Programme of the MBA including the public Sea Life Survey, the Shore Thing Project and the Recorders conference. Jon organised and chaired a workshop for European Commission on Transatlantic Ocean Literacy.

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For more information, please contact:

Francesca Santoro (f.santoro(at)unesco.org), Tel: +39 041 2601539

For more information on the Sea Change project, please visit: www.seachangeproject.eu




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