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Although the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda are beginning to enter more and more into the current environmental debate, in the Mediterranean basin the negative impacts caused by climate change and the consequent loss of marine biodiversity are increasingly worrying.

For this reason, Marevivo, together with the Hellenic Association for the Protection of the Marine Environment (HELMEPA), the Higher Nautical Institute “G. Da Verrazzano” of Porto Santo Stefano and the Vocational High School of Konistres in Èvia, Greece, organized a series of three webinars entitled “Promoting Ocean and Climate Literacy in Nautical High Schools and Local Communities”. 

The goal of the initiative, which is part of the project “Ride the Wave: Ocean and Climate Literacy for Nautical High Schools” (Erasmus+ KA210-SCH-Small Scale Partnership Program), funded by the European Union through the National Agency of Reference for Erasmus programmes for schools, “INDIRE” (GA. N. 000049369), was to share the most significant best practices in the field of environmental education, from the Mediterranean, North America and the Arctic.

Experts from Greece, Italy and other EU and non-EU countries, presented case studies and shared knowledge on the role of the oceans in tackling climate change. In addition, current issues have been addressed such as the relationship between ocean sciences and sectors related to the Blue Economy (for example, tourism), the value of Marine Protected Areas in the protection of biodiversity and the importance of environmental awareness activities promoted by Organizations.

More than 100 participants took part in the webinars, including organizations such as the Argentario Mediterranean Aquarium, the Ziguele Cooperative, the G.Eco Cultural Association, the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR), the Hydrographic Institute of the Italian Navy, the International Ocean Institute (IOI) – Canada, the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE/MEdIES) and the Tsakos Enhanced Education Nautical School (T.E.E.N.S).

The participants and other stakeholders active in the protection of the sea and environmental education will continue to collaborate through the creation of the “Local Sea Network”, a network of European organizations united by a common objective, launching other initiatives in the short and medium term.

The purpose of the network is the exchange of good educational practices that could be adapted locally in different geographical and cultural contexts and the development of joint initiatives and integrated actions for the protection and conservation of our seas. The first step will be the development of a tailor-made educational program for Nautical Higher Schools, which will be launched as a pilot project in spring 2023 both in Italy and Greece, accompanied by a replicability toolkit to support educators.