UN Water Conference In New York, IOC-UNESCO: 'With Ocean Literacy, We Take Care Of Water Throughout Its Cycle'

(MENAFN- EIN Presswire)

Francesca Santoro, Senior Programme Officer IOC-UNESCO

MILANO, LOMBARDIA, ITALY, March 21, 2023 /einpresswire.com / -- Promoting sustainable development and integrated water resources management, fostering cooperation and partnerships at all levels: these are the themes at the heart of the UN 2023 Water Conference, to be held in New York, at the Headquarters of the United Nations, March 22-24, 2023. The Conference will produce the Water Action Agenda, which will compile commitments aimed at achieving the internationally agreed water-related targets set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly with regard to Goal 6 (Clean water and sanitation) and Goal 14 (Life below water).

In order to emphasize the need for a holistic and integrated view on the water issue, the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) will participate in the Water Conference with the side event“Ocean Literacy as a powerful tool to address climate change and promote sustainable blue businesses while encouraging cross-sectoral partnerships and bridging SDGs 6 & 14” (March 23, 8 a.m. - at UN headquarters, Room B).

The event is submitted by OceanPact (Part of the UN Global Compact) and Acquamater in the context of the“Ocean Literacy With All” (OLWA) Programme of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

The panel will highlight the value of Ocean Literacy (Ocean Education) as a fundamental tool to address climate change, promote a sustainable Blue Economy and an integrated approach on the issue of water. In particular, it will analyze the profound connection between saltwater and freshwater, emphasizing the role that marine ecosystems play in relation to water availability and coastal protection, especially as mitigators during droughts and floods. Representatives from the associational, corporate and governmental worlds will participate in the event, and active projects in Italy and Brazil born from the collaboration between the public and private sectors will be presented.

The work will be attended by Francesca Santoro, Senior Programme Officer IOC-UNESCO and Global Coordinator of the“Ocean Literacy With All” (OLWA) Programme of the UN Ocean Decade.

'The first principle of Ocean Literacy is that we have one, single, great ocean, which we need to know about and take care of starting even from the rivers that reach the sea,' explains Francesca Santoro. 'Sustainable and respectful watershed management also benefits the sea water: what rivers collect today will reach the ocean tomorrow. The Water Conference is a crucial opportunity to reiterate the connection between Goal 6 and Goal 14. The water cycle is changing due to climate change, and education in this regard becomes the key to achieving, one step at a time, all the goals. That is why as IOC-UNESCO we are putting in place partnerships at all levels to bring the ocean and water into educational programs, providing tools and methodologies. Although the ocean covers 70% of our planet's surface, by some estimates less than 20% of the ocean floor is currently known and understood by science. We must reverse course and create an Ocean Generation that knows the ocean and is committed to making it clean, healthy and resilient, productive, predictable, safe and accessible. In order to do this, we need to think holistically, taking care of water from its sources to the very depths of the abyss.'

The event is thus not only part of the Water Action Decade (2018-2028) but also and especially part of the UN Ocean Decade. Coordinated by IOC-UNESCO the global initiative points to the role of marine sciences in promoting sustainable development and implementing the United Nations 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

With the event, together with Massimiliano de Martin, Counselor for the Environment of the Municipality of Venice, IOC-UNESCO brings two Venetian initiatives to New York as case studies. The first one is the“Kindergarten of the Lagoon – Asilo della Laguna”, the project dedicated to preschool children, part of SEA BEYOND educational programme, conceived and promoted by Prada Group and IOC-UNESCO to raise awareness on sustainability and ocean preservation.

The initiative is based on the principles of outdoor education, a didactic approach whose pillars are experiential learning, the environment and the well-being of those involved, creating a link between children and the Venetian lagoon ecosystem.

The first“Kindergarten of the Lagoon” outdoor education experience has been inaugurated on 24 January 2023 - the International Day of Education - at the island of Torcello.

The first round of classes will end in June 2023, and will start again in September, respecting the school calendar.

“SEA BEYOND and the Kindergarten of the Lagoon project show that Prada Group is deeply committed to social responsibility and that the co-operation between private companies and institutions has a positive impact, far greater than the value of the initiative itself. Making culture more attractive for new generations is a goal for our Group”, declared Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada Group Head of Corporate Social Responsibility.

Also in the spotlight will be the conference 'Water Resource: from the Dolomites to the Sea', organized at the Rifugio Galassi by the City of Venice, Club Alpino Italiano, National Research Council, UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, UNESCO Dolomites Foundation and Europe Direct Venezia Veneto. The event was created to discuss the water resource with contributions aimed at highlighting its characteristics and vulnerability along its entire course: from the source to the mouth.

Matteo Nardi
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