Italian Network on Ocean Literacy

World Oceans Day is the best opportunity for showing the importance of a blue community made of specialists that are able to create a dialogue between scientists, civil society, decision makers and private sector.

In February 2017, IOC supported the creation of a new network for ocean literacy in Italy (OLI - Ocean Literacy Italy) made of almost 100 representatives from academia, NGOs, private sector, and public entities.


“The network has been created only a few months ago, and it’s growing very quickly, each one of us is bringing his/her own expertise” says Francesca Santoro (IOC UNESCO Programme Specialist) “When we met for the first time we all agreed that our first joint activity should have been celebrating together the World Oceans Day. We’re already organizing a number of coordinated activities, under the same umbrella. For Italy, the sea is a fundamental resource and has always been at the center of its social and economic development, and therefore it is essential to celebrate it also considering the cultural perspective”.

World Oceans Day is, of course, the best opportunity for showing the importance of a blue community made of specialists that are able to establish a dialogue between scientists, civil society, decision makers and private sector in order to avoid the ‘lost in translation effect’ that often happens when these actors meet to discuss environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. Ocean Literacy is not only about increasing the awareness on citizens about the ocean, but it’s also about bridging the gap amongst those actors, creating common grounds and understandings. All this must lead to create long lasting partnerships and tangible commitments to find solutions for problems that are affecting our ocean and that can’t be anymore ignored.

On 3rd May 2017, a press conference was organized at the Italian National Commission for UNESCO in Rome, to present the OLI network but also the draft programme of the events that will be carried out, under the OLI umbrella, for the WOD on the 8th of June.

The “OLI for WOD 2017” programme will see the participation of 7 research centres, 2 natural museums, 5 cultural and scientific associations, 7 sports associations and recreational diving centres, 2 science centres, 2 private companies and 2 universities. 8 Italian cities will be involved, namely Venice, La Spezia, Ferrara, Molfetta, Bologna, Gela, Napoli and Trieste, touching all the Italian seas but also some inland cities, bringing the sea closer to everyone; according to the words of Gesine Meissner (member of the EU Parliament and President of the European Parliament's Intergroup on Seas, Rivers, Islands & Coastal Areas): “ ….landlocked countries and regions are also concerned by our seas and ocean”.

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“OLI for WOD 2017” activities in Italy are organized by:

Osservatorio del Mare a Molfetta | Lega Navale Italiana - Coordinamento Emilia Romagna | Istituto di Scienze Marine (CNR-ISMAR) Sede di Bologna, Venezia e La Spezia | UISP Sedi territoriali | Fondazione CMCC, Centro-Euro Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici | Thetis S.p.A. - Venezia | Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche | Stazione Zoologica Anton Dhorn | Città della Scienza, Napoli | OGS, Trieste | European Research Institute | Università di Bologna | Distretto Ligure delle Tecnologie Marine (DLTM) | Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) | Centro di Supporto e Sperimentazione Navale della Marina Militare Italiana (CSSN)| NATO STO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) | Yacht Club Costa Smeralda | Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia | Università di Padova | Museo di Zoologia Adriatica Giuseppe Olivi | Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale (ISPRA) | Progetto Desire | “Emozioni per il cambiamento” (Emotion for Change) | Lega Navale Ferrara | Centro Universitario Sportivo Ferrara - Associazione Didò - Ferrara | Gruppo Subacqueo Ferrarese | Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Ferrara | ENI scuola

Photo: Credits Erika Mioni. Pilot Project Percorsi nel BLU (“Blue Paths”) in la Spezia (SP).

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