Mercator Ocean International (MOI) with the Copernicus Marine Service in partnership with Sulitest and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) will host a side-event during the 2021 session of the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. The event will kick off a SDG14 educational module and is entitled “We Are All Ocean Citizens”. It will take place online 9 July 2021, at 7:30-9:00 am EDT / 1.30-3.00pm CEST.
Sulitest to co-produce a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 pedagogical module with UN DESA. The UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 also called “Life below Water” is meant to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources”. Last year, this initiative was announced by the MOi Director General, Pierre Bahurel, and the Sulitest Secretary General during a SDG Learning and Training event that was part of the Global Environmental Commons and held through the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
For creating the module, MOi, Sulitest and UN DESA have formed a dedicated Working Group and have been working since September 2020. It includes a wide range of ocean champions within the United Nations system, the European Commission, and across the larger advocacy and scientific community. The UN’s foremost ocean advocate Peter Thomson, UN Special Envoy for the Oceans / SDG14, is part of it along with representatives from the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP). Within the European community there are voices from, the European Commission Directorate General for Maritime Affaires and Fisheries (DG MARE, EMODNET), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-European Policy Office), the Ocean & Climate Platform, and Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, and many more.
The MOi team dedicated to the project are: Elodie Gutknecht, Coralie Perruche, Fabrice Messal and Cecile Thomas-Courcoux. The Working Group (researchers, practitioners and experts, policy- and decision-makers) has conceived a sound MCQ Module meant for students (future decision-makers), policymakers, entrepreneurs interested in a sustainable blue economy, and the general public. This tool provides vital information to help all better understand the challenges our ocean faces, why the SDG 14 is essential for our planet’s health, and how we are all concerned. For example, the module deals with ocean acidification, for which the EU Copernicus Marine Service has developed a suite of ocean data products and indicators (including contributions to EUROSTAT/EEA in support of SDG 14).
The United Nations has declared that we are in the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Thus, the release of this module is timely, and it provides important ocean literacy tools to raise awareness amongst citizens worldwide on the importance of the ocean and of course provide clarity on the ocean sciences. More than 150,000 young people have already passed Sulitest modules. The UN DESA pilots the United Nation SDGs and has made science literacy a top priority. Sulitest, works to raise awareness amongst the general public, in particular youth—our future leaders. They also aim to measure the uptake of sustainable literacy. They have created 3 SDG educational modules thus far that cover energy and the circular economy, for example.
The SDG 14 module developed by MOi on behalf of the EU and in partnership with Sulitest includes a list of 26 questions first in English, and then it will be translated into a variety of other languages. Reaching out to as many citizens as possible is considered a top priority.