The Literacy Pillar aims at contributing to bring awareness to the dangerous environmental situation that the ocean faces and to the importance of recognizing the ocean’s value as a key natural capital of the planet and therefore of our economies as well. The focus of this Action Plan lies, for the first years of the Foundation, upon preparing a Blue Generation through educational Programs for school children and increase public awareness on the challenge of ocean sustainability.
Knowledge transfer from the university and research centers, cultural institutions and businesses, to the general public and, in particular, to the younger generations is a missing link in ocean literacy at the global level. Strengthening the maritime culture in Portugal is a key ingredient for the collective awareness of the ocean’s strategic importance for society.
Using Portugal as a starting point in the case of literacy will, nevertheless, allow us to replicate Actions in other countries, namely in Portuguese speaking countries and developing states. Hence, the building blocks projected to the Blue Generation Program are possible to scale-up and to be implemented in other countries.
Citizens aware of the perils the ocean faces are also more active in using the ocean wisely and sustainably and in supporting the conservation of the blue natural capital. Starting with children makes sense since they are the engines of society’s change. Oceanário de Lisboa has been investing in educational programs for many years with very good results and the Foundation intends now, through the implementation of this Pillar, to reach all school children between 5 and 9 years old as well as all teachers of those children, so as to qualify the latter to transmit to the former a coherent and clear message. To reach the general public, outreach activities led by oceans leaders such as, for example, ocean sports champions, are an effective way to transmit the Foundation’s values and gather support for the initiatives.
Support science-based processes in establishing efficient Marine Protected Areas and recovering degraded ecosystems.