16 July 2018
UNESCO Meets SDG 14 Commitment, Launches Ocean Literacy Portal
UN Photo/Martine Perret
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UNESCO-IOC launched the Ocean Literacy Portal, an online initiative to encourage citizens to become more informed about the ocean and empower them to make responsible decisions related to use of marine resources.

UNESCO-IOC and partners committed to the creation of the Portal at the 2017 UN Ocean Conference on SDG 14.

11 July 2018: The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched the Ocean Literacy Portal. The Portal’s launch fulfills UNESCO’s voluntary commitment made at the 2017 UN Ocean Conference, as well as progress on the Sustainable Development Goal on life below water (SDG 14).

The Ocean Literacy Portal will provide a “one-stop shop for ocean literacy” through sharing resources, information on ocean projects and events based on scientific knowledge. It covers a broad range of ocean topics, from marine litter to marine policy, and its users can search for resources organized by: students; educators; scientists; media; policymakers; and private sector. Portal users can also register for the ‘Ocean Literacy Collaborative Workspace (UNESTEAMS),’ an online collaboration and knowledge-sharing platform that enables users to collaborate with fellow members to co-create and develop joint projects or co-work on topics and share resources.

UNESCO and partners submitted the voluntary commitment titled ‘Ocean Literacy for All: A Global Strategy to Raise the Awareness for the Conservation, Restoration, and Sustainable Use of Our Ocean’ to support implementation of SDG 14, which was the focus of the UN Ocean Conference. According to UNESCO, the ocean literacy encourages more informed and responsible behavior towards the ocean and its resources among all citizens and stakeholders. It encompasses understanding the state of the ocean as well as more in-depth understanding of individual and collective responsibilities towards the seas.

The ocean literacy commitment aims to: encourage cooperation and exchange on ocean education to improve ocean literacy; raise awareness of the two-way interaction between the oceans and peoples’ everyday lives and empower citizens to adjust their everyday behavior; and seek and apply innovative ways to make current and future citizens ocean literate so that they recognize environmental challenges and make informed and responsible decisions related to use of the ocean resources and ocean stewardship.

Also in support of this commitment, UNESCO held an ‘International Workshop on Ocean Literacy’ in December 2017 and plans to release a publication on ocean literacy. The Swedish government has provided financial support for the initiative. [UNESCO Press Release] [Ocean Literacy Portal] [UNESCO Ocean Literacy Commitment] [SDG Knowledge Hub Coverage of UN Ocean Conference]

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