UNESCO asks us to show our commitment to your ocean (and 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”.
UNESCO 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.