The launch of the "Blue Society" took place at the European Parliament, Brussels on Wednesday, 18th November.
Our global Ocean is vast, covering over 70 % of the Earth and is vital to our life and wellbeing producing a huge range of goods and services. Yet it is extremely fragile and is experiencing increasing pressure on its resources and ecosystems through human activities. Sea for Society, an FP7-funded, three-year mobilisation and mutual learning action plan with 28 partners from 12 countries, set out to address the challenge of taking advantage of the Ocean's tremendous opportunities to meet society's current and future needs whilst protecting it for future generations. Sea for Society engaged over 500 stakeholders and citizens in a dialogue on the future of our Ocean. Together they developed more than 700 ideas to improve human-Ocean dynamics and over 600 solutions to address barriers to sustainability. Ultimately, putting these solutions into action will help to build a Blue Society.
The event, organised in collaboration with the EP Intergroup on "Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development", will provide a platform to learn and exchange on how the concept of a Blue Society can become a reality through open discussion among invited participants representing science, industry, policy-makers and civil society. Sectoral representatives, including youth, will use their own practical experience to explain how we can move towards a Blue Society by galvanising its values within their own spheres of influence. The event will be an opportunity to exchange ideas and for identifying practical strategies for the future. Organisations and individuals present will have the opportunity to sign a commitment to become champions of the Blue Society by committing to positive change in their own personal and professional activities.
Blue Society film produced for the Sea for Society FP7 project
Irish youth representatives attending the event are Sibeal Regan, student at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Joanne Casserly, Galway Atlantaquaria and Jasmine Blenkins, marine science student at National University of Ireland, Galway.
AquaTT, Irish Area Leaders for the Sea for Society project, will host a special 'Marine Outreach and Ocean Literacy Think Tank' at The Marker Hotel, Dublin, Thursday 26th November 2015. The 'Marine Outreach and Ocean Literacy Think Tank' is an opportunity for the Irish Sea for Society partners to share the findings of the project with interested stakeholders and, most importantly, to get their input into how we might develop the concept of a 'Blue Society', and progress and coordinate Marine Outreach and Ocean Literacy activities in Ireland into the future. More information on the think tank and how to register by 19th November is available here.
Irish partners in the project are AquaTT, National University of Ireland, Galway and the Marine Institute.
For more information see www.bluesociety.org