World oceans cover more than 72% of the planet surface. But as citizens, local authorities, economic sectors and civil society, what do we know about the oceans, the state of their ecosystems or the services they deliver to society? Do we (individually and collectively) know enough for us to act responsibly, so the pressures on marine ecosystems are reduced and opportunities offered by the oceans duly seized?
Evidence suggests that knowledge is not sufficient to promote widespread behavioural change. A first barrier might reside in the fact that this knowledge, although available, is currently scattered and not sufficiently structured and organized. As a second challenge, it might be difficult for the public and other economic actors to understand a complex system such as the ocean. Thirdly, knowledge might not be effectively conveyed to citizens and to the specific actors involved in the ocean-human interactions. And this is where ocean literacy comes into place.
This MOOC explores effective ways to move from knowledge to behavioral change through ocean literacy. In particular, during the course we will look for answers to the following questions:
What do we know about the human-ocean relationships? Which opportunities for changing behavior of sea-connected socio-economic actors? How do (ocean) knowledge systems function? How can we establish conditions that enable individuals or organised groups to develop their knowledge and potential, so they can take their role and responsibility in society?
The course is offered by ResponSEAble, a research project supported by the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Commission. The project involves 24 leading institutions from all over Europe, including marine biologists, ecologists, economists, social scientists, communication experts and ocean literacy experts. The MOOC will be taught by some ResponSEAble scientists and experts, as well as by some external European experts which participated to project activities.
The ResponSEAble approach to gathering knowledge and to translate it into effective ocean literacy products;
Some key marine environmental issues, the related human-ocean relationships and the key actors who could bring about behavioural change;
Communication on ocean issues, including: (i) media; (ii) communication with some specific actors; and (iii) ocean literacy initiatives at the EU level;
Behavioural change, from a psychological point of view;